View Full Version : Sm in other breeds?

5th May 2009, 06:42 AM
Can other breeds have sm? I have a boston terrier 9 months old that has some mild symptoms, mostly scratching, but she scratches so much it makes her whine. Also sometimes while walking she will raise her back leg as if to itch but doesn't follow through, just kinda hops. It seems her scratching is getting worse. If you pet her neck she will start to scratch as well.
I have been so paranoid about it since getting sunshine that I jump at every scratch but sun rarely itches...my boston has serious itchy skin.

5th May 2009, 11:08 AM
Yes they can, it is just the high prevalence of SM in Cavaliers that get a great deal of attention. This is a quote from a website.

This serious neurological disorder affects many different breeds of dog. Some of the known affected breeds are the Brussels Griffon, Boston Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Chihuahua, French Bulldog, King Charles Spaniel, Maltese, Pomeranian, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Hungarian Vizsla, Weimaraner, Rhodesian Ridgeback, and Poodle.

Like any SM symptoms however I'd rule out any other causes first and then consult a neurologist if your she isn't feeling better.

I hope she feels better soon, and it's something far more simple then SM.

Jen and Ilsa

5th May 2009, 11:47 AM
Boston terriers are one of the known affected breeds -- I'd definitely have the symptoms you are seeing checked as the bunny hopping gait will not be connected to allergies and if she is whining while scratching she is very uncomfortable at best and probably experiencing some pain. Also if simply touching her neck sets off scratching, I'd very much want to be talking to a vet to expore and eliminate all possibilities and then if nothing is found, arrange to see a neurologist as if this is SM, it is very early onset and you will want to act now. I would guess there are more cases now in BTs than just the one mentioned below as this was written a while ago.

From Clare Rusbridge's explanatory document:

The CKCS is overwhelmingly overrepresented for cases of CM/SM. There is no colour or sex predisposition. As shortened skull is a risk factor, any breed with a degree of brachycephalism and/or miniaturization could potentially be predisposed to CM/SM. To date the condition has been also reported in King Charles spaniels, Brussels griffons, Yorkshire terriers, Maltese terriers, Chihuahuas, Miniature dachshunds, Miniature/toy poodles, Bichon Frise, Pugs, Shih Tzus, Pomeranians, Staffordshire bull terriers, a Boston terrier, French bulldogs a Pekingese, a miniature Pinscher and a couple of cats. Recent studies suggest 35% of SM-affected dogs have clinical signs of the condition. The youngest reported dogs with SM have been 12 weeks old. Dogs may be presented at any age although the majority of dogs (approximately 45%) will develop first signs of the disease within the first year of life and approximately 40 % of cases have first signs between 1 and 4 years old. As many as 15% develop signs as mature dogs with the oldest reported case first developing signs of disease aged 6.8 years. Due to the vague nature of signs in some cases and lack of awareness about the disease there is often a considerable time period (mean 1.6 years) between the onset of signs and confirmation of a diagnosis.

Read the rest here (http://sm.cavaliertalk.com/diagnosing/diagnosing/infosheet.html).

Jen, what website gives those breeds you mentioned:

Hungarian Vizsla, Weimaraner, Rhodesian Ridgeback

This is actually very misleading as it is an entirely different form of SM, due to a condition similar to spinal bifida (incorrect formation of spinal cord), which causes SM in these larger breeds. No connection at all to SM in the smaller breeds.

5th May 2009, 12:04 PM
Wow,didnt know the bigger breeds can have it as well.Eye opener.

5th May 2009, 12:16 PM
Any animal including people can have SM. SM is a medical term that describes the existence of fluid pockets in the spine. They can be *caused* by many things from a severe impact to a skull malformation to an incorrectly formed spinal cord. SM in those larger breeds is NOT the same SM as in cavaliers and smaller breeds. It is the secondary effect of an entirely different illness. SM in humans and smaller breeds is most often secondary to a skull malformation -- in humans called the Chiari malformation -- but you could get SM after, say a car crash and impact to the head/neck. More people have problems due to the Chiari malformation alone, than the secondary effect of Chiari with SM. In dogs the neurologists refer to the skull malformation as the Chiari-like malformation as it isn't exactly the same in dogs, but is similar.

SM in those larger breeds is basically spinal bifida, as far as I understand it. Nothing at all to do with Chiari-like malformation. the condition in ridgebacks was discussed in Pedigree Dogs Exposed and the existence of the ridge is actually connected to a higher risk for the spinal condition. That is why people were shocked after the show ran to learn that breeders will destroy ridgeless puppies as they are worthless to show -- yet are potnetially the healthier of the litter.

5th May 2009, 12:29 PM

It was in this link (one of the millions of SM pages I saved lol) Sorry if the information is wrong.

Jen and Ilsa

5th May 2009, 12:38 PM
Thanks for that :thmbsup: -- it's just that people who post this kind of information on their websites don't fully read what SM means in those larger breeds and it creates a lot of confusion amongst pet owners and breeders alike.

5th May 2009, 06:18 PM
so do I start at the regular vet to rule out other stuff or go straight to the neuro?

5th May 2009, 06:54 PM
I would say as was advised to me on here to begin with go & talk to your vet,perhaps take print outs with you & take things from there. Your vet needs to rule out anything else 1st. Good luck i sincerely hope its something easier to treat

5th May 2009, 09:32 PM
I think it may be pretty common in the Brussels Griffon's also but that is truly a guess. I'm in Georgia and the University of Georgia is doing a study on sm with the Brussels and that is why I say that.

5th May 2009, 09:45 PM
I would say as was advised to me on here to begin with go & talk to your vet,perhaps take print outs with you & take things from there. Your vet needs to rule out anything else 1st. Good luck i sincerely hope its something easier to treat

5th May 2009, 11:21 PM
Georgia are doing the study on griffons not because it is particularly common in the breed (this isn't really known, although it certainly isn;t anywhere near as common a problem as in cavaliers) but because breeders became aware that it was an increasing problem in the breed and rallied to raise money for a study. Brussels griffons, unlike cavaliers, have many lines of dogs with no malformation -- this became clear from a range of international breeders who started scanning. Griffons are actually for this reason, the control group for the cavalier genome study because sadly, researchers could not find enough cavaliers without the malformation to serve as a control. :(

For any dog, the correct place to start is your own vet, making sure they are aware of the problem with SM in the breed -- eg that it is a known issue. I am sure the vet could contact LIVS for further information as well. That bunny hop would be the main issue of concern as it is so often distinctive for SM especially if coupled with scratching. I checked with one of the SM researchers, who believes you should have this investigated. :flwr: However you don't want to make any assumptions but thoroughly check out all possibilities.