View Full Version : Questions

18th April 2009, 12:24 AM
Chloe was 2 in February. She is your typical Cavalier, afraid of things and a little wimpy :). A little over a month ago she started crying when we picked her up if we were anywhere near her neck or shoulders. She also does not like to bend down to eat her food or drink water. She does sniff the ground when she is outside without a problem. Yesterday she was walking in circles - like she was afraid is lay down. She does not play anymore - she use to play every night but now she is not interested. We have had her to the Vet twice -she was given Rimadyl and muscle relaxers - neither one seems to help much. The Vet is going to X-ray her on Monday. I brought up SM and she didn't seem to know a lot about it but said if they find nothing in the x-ray they are going to refer her to Virginia Tech. My husband and I are both scared she has SM - in fact we have almost conviced ourselves she has it! Has anyone had a dog with symtoms like this - I know no one can diagnosis her over the Internet, guess I am just looking for some support and maybe some answers.
Chloe's Mom

18th April 2009, 01:22 AM
Hello, firstly I think you need a :hug: I just wanted to say that Rimidyl is a good interim while you try to find out what is wrong with Chloe. I have a dog with SM who doesn't do the things you describe but he will occasionally yelp if touched near his arm pit/rib area. There are quite a few members with affected dogs who are here to support you :)

18th April 2009, 01:48 AM
You're right--none of us can tell you whether your baby has sm or not but we can support you. My Abbey has sm and recently had surgery. We always thought she was a "woos". Long ago when she was small when we would pick her up she would "squeak". A trainer told us that cavaliers were known for that--go figure on that one. Not long ago while describing her symptoms to a breeder I was told she was what some breeders called "soft"--a term that I'd never heard before and haven't heard since. I won't call myself stupid but I should have pursued things a very long time ago--I guess I put too much faith in my vet and figured she knew what was best. I've learned alot from this experience. I think you know your baby best and follow your heart and sounds like your vet is on top of stuff by taking the next step by referring her. In regards to sm symptoms different dogs experience different symptoms and some don't even show they have it--meaning no symptoms.

I just read Karlin's post regarding wimpy and Abbey isn't wimpy. Hard to explain. She loves people and is outgoing but certain things we called her a woos. We even had a trainer at Petsmart tell us that "you have to ask a cavalier's permission before doing something or they will squeak".

Recently at the neurologist we were talking and I made the comment to him that I used to think she was a woos (I used that exact word too) and now I think she has a very high pain threshold and he said back to me "you're right". I really think now that she couldn't play much for a very long time because it hurt her. Thats one thing I'm noticing is how she does want to play with the dogs now. Like I said I had to isolate her tonight because she wanted to.

18th April 2009, 02:03 AM
She is your typical Cavalier, afraid of things and a little wimpy

Actually, that is the exact opposite of what a typical cavalier should be like and the opposite of the breed standard! Cavaliers should be outgoing, fearless ('fearless' is in the breed standard), friendly -- never afraid and wimpy. With a cavalier with such a personality it would be worth looking into causes usually, either the dog has a health issue, wasn't adequately socialised when young (many people don't realise how important this is, and it takes a lot of activity and work to make sure a dog meets lots of people and dogs and situations every single week for the first months of its life, a crucial period for socialisation) or was bred from lines with a shy temperament -- but certainly SM or some other health issue could make a dog retiring and cautious.

Hope you are able to determine the cause.

I'd recommend getting a raised water and food dish for her -- these are widely available or you can set them on something to raise them (I've used wine boxes that gift bottles come it). Problems (pain) lowering the head for food and water can be a problem for SM dogs and raising the dishes makes a big difference for them. :)

CKCSC breed standard:

An active, graceful well-balanced dog, very gay and free in action; fearless and sporting in character, yet at the same time gentle and affectionate.

Ackcsc breed standard:


Gay, friendly, non-aggressive with no tendency towards nervousness or shyness. Bad temper, shyness, and meanness are not to be tolerated and are to be severely penalized as to effectively remove the specimen from competition.

18th April 2009, 03:30 AM
I sure didn't mean to insult any Cavalier owners. I have two and they are both a tad on the wimpy side. Lucy is a Lucky Star Rescue dog so she has a good excuse. Chloe has always been friendly but never fearless! I should not have written that she is afraid of things - since all this started she is afraid we are going to pick her up wrong or something is going to hurt her - I think cautious is the perfect word. We have raised her water and food bowls. Thanks for the fast replies and support.
Lucy and Chloe's Mom

20th April 2009, 06:01 PM
I hope you find some answers soon. When Casey was around 2 YO, that's when she stopped being a puppy so to speak. She became extremely lazy and slept almost all the time. She also lost her hearing. She also became overweight. About 2 yrs ago she started showing some other signs that she may have SM. She was retreating when we would try to pick her up, almost hiding from us. She would only sleep on a cold tile floor. She stopped jumping up on the furniture or bed. She would cry out in pain for no apparent reason (only a few times has she done this).

She has never been MRId, but I do suspect she has SM and is on Rimadyl permanently and it has been a life saver for us. Casey has completely gone back to her old ways, running with the others in the yard and being our cuddle bug on the sofa again. She has stairs so she can come and go on the bed.

She had a full-body x-ray done and there were no problems. Just remember, even if it is SM, it's not a death sentence! It just has to be managed.


20th April 2009, 08:46 PM
Since you live near Blacksburg, I understand the referral to the Vet School at Virginia Tech and that may be a good place to start; however, you may want to inquire how much experience they have had with SM and consider whether it may be worth while going a little further to a Vet School where they do have experience, e.g. you might check into North Carolina State.

Keeping you and Chloe in our thoughts and prayers.

21st April 2009, 03:50 AM
Thanks for the advice and support. Chloe went to the Vet today for x-rays and an exam. The Vet spend almost 1/2 hour with her and she only cried once when he lifted her to the table. He took x-rays and found nothing. He said he still can't rule out a strain. The Vet I go to does not know much about SM but he did a lot of research before he saw Chloe. He said he would not rule out SM. We are going to keep her on Rimadyl for a few weeks - if she gets any worst or is no better we are going to take her to Tech - we will check to make sure how much experience they have before we take her. I was so hoping they would find something in the x-rays to explain her behavior. PS - She has never jumped on the furniture and has never climbed the steps to come to bed. My husband has to carry both her and Lucy upstairs to bed - sad but true!
Thanks again, Sally

21st April 2009, 08:58 PM
i do hope you get the answers you need soon. i think its the not knowing that is difficult, or it is for me. good luck, youre in my thoughts