View Full Version : Am I being crazy or not?

Molly's mom
5th May 2009, 06:15 PM
Molly my 4 year old tri color has SM and had surgery two years ago.
When we decided to get another Cavalier, http://www.board.cavaliertalk.com/showthread.php?t=30064
I promised my self I wouldn't obsess. Well, unfortunately I haven't been able to stop myself. :mad:

Cooper is 12 weeks old and we've had him for two weeks now.
He is free of ear mites and shows no outward signs of allergies. He does not cry out in pain. What he DOES do that is really concerning me, is sometimes when I rub/scratch his neck, I can elicit a scratching reflex even when he's sleeping (that scares me).

What do you think? Am I being crazy? Is this just a puppy development issue? I had never heard of SM when Molly was a pup do I didn't obsess over her every move. Does this type of scratching ever end up being nothing?

Thanks in advance.:o

Love my Cavaliers
5th May 2009, 07:31 PM
Bev, I can't address the scratching issue, but I can tell you I have found that it is almost impossible not to obsess about SM when you have one affected dog. Riley, my 6 year old black and tan had decompression surgery one year ago. Before she was diagnosed I also had never heard of SM. The day after her surgery I had my 11 month old tri color, Oz, MRI'd to see if he had SM. He had the malformation but no syrinxes at that time. I had him checked out because he had what I think was Episodic Falling Syndrome at 4 months of age, he seemd clumsy, and he was scratching more than my other dogs - more even than Riley before her surgery. His MRI was almost a year ago, and I still wonder about his scratching and whether his occasional yelps when we pick him up mean anything. I guess he could be having pain even though his MRI was a 1 on a severity scale of 1-10 with 10 being the worst. Riley's was a 9. I probably will bring him back to the neurologist later this year just to be reassured. He is a happy, full-of-life dog, who is such a joy. I try not to worry about him, but I have this little niggling thought always in the back of my mind that he is going to develop SM. I think the challenge for us and others in this situation is how to be vigilant, but not to be obsessive. If you figure that out, please let me know!!!

By the way, Cooper is just gorgeous. If I didn't have 4 already, I would want him.

5th May 2009, 09:48 PM
How is Molly doing today Bev? I also agree with loves my cavaliers-Bev that it is scarey when you have other cavaliers. Chelsea never shows anything to be concerned about. She was also 3 when we got her which is reassuring in a way also. Bentley was a year when we got him and he scratches more than I think he should and also does the fly catching deal but I haven't seen him do that in awhile. I don't think I'm paranoid but I'm DEFINITELY a whole lot smarter and no dog of mine will ever go with symptoms like Abbey did.

Molly's mom
5th May 2009, 10:27 PM
Thanks for asking about Molly :dogwlk:
I didn't want to admit it for a long time, but have recently come to terms with the fact that Molly's SM has progressed. Her area of sensitivity/pain has slowly increased over the left side of her neck, shoulder and into the chest area. In order for us to take a walk without constant scratching sessions, I have altered a step-in harness so that the left side of it goes behind her leg. That has helped a great deal. She takes 200mg gabapentin 3X a day in addition to prilosec and just recently deramaxx. You can definately tell when the gabapentin is wearing off. Her head tilt is slightly more noticable.

That being said, we feel very fortunate that her symptoms are not as severe as they could be. I've always thought that she would really enjoy a companion, after her surgery she always had this kind of sad look about her and I am happy to say that adding Cooper has brought out a new side to her. They play for hours and yesterday my daughter crated the puppy and Molly tried to "break" him out of his crate.:smile:

Of course those of us who deal with SM know the risks of getting another Cavalier. I bought a good insurance plan, knowing that I might face this again "one day". I told myself I wouldn't put him under a microscope, but easier said then done:(

5th May 2009, 11:15 PM
A scratching reflex of that sort is pretty normal in almost every dog. If you watch the video on Chester's scratching reflex on my website, his owner explains how it is distinctive. You'd be extremely unlikely to see any symptoms in a puppy this young, and you'd also want to be seeing many different things. If you are concerned about things like this, the best move is to simply talk to your vet. I am sure your vet would say this is normal behaviour. :)

I know that it is especially hard to not worry when you already have an affected dog though.:flwr:

11th May 2009, 07:57 PM
I am just catching up on posts having been away and neglectful of Cavalier Talk for about ten days. Am so glad you had the courage to make a loving home for another Cavalier. It will be hard to find the balance between being diligent and being obsessed but I think you will. You have had the strength to go through decompression surgery and to help Molly live with her disease the best she can so I am sure you can find the strength to enjoy Mini-Cooper (love the name!).