View Full Version : syringomyelia (SM) question

10th November 2008, 02:41 AM
We have a new 3 month old Cavalier that has started scratching for no apparent reason. I know that this is a symtom of syringomyelia. Also, Roxie is really small. Is there any evidence that smaller dogs are more prone to have this desease? We have an appointment with the vet this week. We just love this little dog so much and want to do everything we can if this is the problem. I would appreaciate any thoughts and ideas you may have. Thanks.

10th November 2008, 02:58 AM
Sorry, I don't really have any advice except it's good that you're going to see the vet. Maybe she has allergies or has a bug on her? Good luck with the appointment, I hope Roxie is okay :flwr:

10th November 2008, 05:02 AM
I think most of the SM pros will tell you that 3 months is very early for a dog to be showing SM symptoms. It is probably something much more simple; an allergy, fleas, an ear infection, etc.

Keep an eye on things and get her to your vet for a lookover.

10th November 2008, 10:41 AM
Yeah, it is good you made a vet appointment. I wouldn't unduly worry about it being SM right now, it could be many other things (fleas, allergy, ear mites, ear infection). The main thing is you are getting it checked out. :)

10th November 2008, 01:12 PM
I'm sorry that you are having these worries but as others have said, this is very, very unlikely to be SM. Has a vet checked out the possible sources of the scratching and found nothing that explains it, or are you guessing this is the case as you can't find anything yourself? Most of the things that make a puppy scratch are not easily spotted by owners -- especially ear infections, ear mites, rabbit mites, or allergies -- so you have a huge range of things that are more likely explanations. :thmbsup: Three months is about the earliest age at which SM has ever been diagnosed, so it would be extremely rare for a pup that age to be scratching due to syringomyelia (especially as for dogs that will develop it, this is a progressive disease, and dogs that do scratch may not start til they are adults).

There's lots of information that explains the condition in more detail here:


In particular have a look at the symptoms sheet and the 'Is this SM?' section as it lists all the things avet would want to check for first.

You are right to make a vet appointment, as you do need to figure out what is making your pup uncomfortable. It is probably going to be ear mites, rabbit mites or fleas though -- or maybe a bit of dermatitis, as puppies, like human babies, often can have a bit of itchy dry skin that clears as they get a bit older. Many puppies come from their breeder with ear or rabbit mites -- this is perhaps surprisingly common (my pup had rabbit mites).

10th November 2008, 03:52 PM
Thank you all for responding. Your comments have made me feel a little better about it. I'm just a little over protective and I know you all understand. These dogs just become your babies. We go to the vet tomorrow. :xfngr: Thanks again.

10th November 2008, 04:51 PM
I hope you figure out what is wrong with Roxie and can put the fears of SM to rest. :xfngr: