View Full Version : Started air scratching this morning

6th November 2008, 10:11 AM
I've just got back from taking Star over the field and we literally got in the door and she saw one of the cats then started scratching whilst walking and rubbing herself along the sofa for a good 2-3 minutes. Obviously i'm worried evenmore so and have booked her in to see the vet although Ibcant get her in until monday pm. Theres only 1 vet I want to see and she's off this week. The other vet isny very nice so doubt he would listen to SM fears.

Will it be okay to wait til monday? She seemed fine on the walk although scratched a couple of times but she usually stops and sits down when she does it. I'm trying not to think the worse but I cant help it. She's such a little sweetheart.

6th November 2008, 10:24 AM
There is no hurry. It would be very, very unusual for a puppy to be showing symptoms, so don't get overly worried. What looks like air scratching may simply be her trying to scratch her belly for a totally different reason.

I would have her checked for possible skin problems. I'd also try to get a video or two of her scratching. It is just extremely unusual for a young pup to start air scratching especially without doing this slowly and increasingly first while on the lead. My dogs with SM never air scratch except when on a lead and harness and even then, only one air scratches. It took Leo, who does air scrtahc,more than two years after becoming symptomatic to move from excessive scratching to air scratching. So it is just really unlikely that you would have a young dog that is suddenly air scratching with out signs of occasional pain, etc.

Running along a sofa in the way you describe is 99% of the time NORMAL for small dogs -- my aunt's pugs did this three decades ago. Only rarely is this a symptom and when it is, as I said before with face rubbing, it is a reaction to *pain*, not something the dog seems to be enjoying.

Please have a careful read of the symptoms list and the Is This SM document I posted and watch the videos on my SM site as that might help filter out what is likely to indicate a problem and what isn't.

If you are seriously concerned than arrange to see a neurologist who can do a clinical assessment and tell you whether to consider an MRI. But really, this would be only if you are seeing more that what you are currently seeing I think unless you don't mind the cost of this type of assessment.

6th November 2008, 10:36 AM
Thanks Karlin..
I really don't want to worry and I've read the documents several times and I do see her doing some of those things but they are also the type of things that dogs do. She didn't seem to be in pain (no yelping or crying) when she was rubbing herself but it was quite frantic. It's just when I saw her airscratching I just lost it. I didn't realise that it was a gradual thing but thought it could affect a pup at any age. What worries me is that if they do have it before they are 2 yrs old the worse it is.

I'm still gonna keep the vets appointment and get her checked for any skin conditions as suggested and I'm going to get her one of those harnesses today I've seen in another post. We've got insurance so am not too worried about the costs. She's sat on my lap at the moment watching Phil and Fern ! I just love her to pieces and want to look after her the best I can.

6th November 2008, 12:04 PM
My dogs often do a spell of frantic running around the sofa or face rubbing that turns into writhing on their backs -- and the ones who do this most often are the clear dogs.

They are especially prone to doing this, like all dogs, right after a meal or a walk or if they are wet.

Air scratching could just start up but it would be really, really unlikely and puppies do all sorts of actions where they start something then stop. They also tend to scratch a lot anyway.

Unless this behaviour really, really stands out as unusual, I am sure you are probably looking at a skin problem, fleas, mites, allergies or maybe nothing at all, just a playing puppy.

My SM dogs do not face rub to any greater degree than my clear dogs. Others with SM dogs do have clear connections between these activities and the dog trying to address some pain but really you are looking for abnormal types of these things.

6th November 2008, 03:47 PM
Once again, thank you. I hate coming across as some obsessive, neurotic and over reacting but she really is my little sweetheart.

I feel a bit better now and I'm thinking if she was in pain she'd be yelping.. I've a feeling she'd be quite vocal if she was in pain because she was yelping for a couple of days after being spayed and gives off a yelp every now and then when she is playing with our other dog and things get a bit boisterous.

I've ordered the harness now anyway and took her collar off just in case. I'll keep the video camera handy should it happen again and just keep an eye. Will still go to the vets though, can't see any fleas on her (she was frontlined last month) so will get her skin checked out and ears.