View Full Version : Do Cavs have a spot under there front arms that is tender?

6th May 2009, 01:26 PM
Rex hasnt hurt himself but I have noticed even since we got him, if you pick him up under them arms (arm pit area I think) or play a little ruff w/him and he is on his back (rubing his belly and up to his neck)and you are rubbing and playing he will yelp once...do they have a soft spot or something does anyone noticed this...I sat last night and was rubing around there and he didnt yelp I dont know what it is....it doesnt seem to ever bother him just when it happens...any idea????


6th May 2009, 01:46 PM
Harley also yelps like this or when i pick him up it has been suggested it could be a sign of sm, i think rex is too young though, di

6th May 2009, 01:56 PM
Well, a first thought is that dogs should not be picked up from under the arms like a child -- they do not have the flexibility of say a cat and this causes their entire weight of their body to dangle from their arms and shoulder joint and can be very painful for them. Always pick up dogs by fully supporting them under the chest and legs.

Tenderness in this area can indeed be related to syringomyelia though as well -- for some reason it is a common area of tenderness that can come and go. Leo sometimes cannot bear to be touched in this area and I have to be very careful in putting harnesses on and off him at times.

If this is an ongoing sensitivity it should be discussed with your vet. If he yelps when playing then I wouldn't play with him in this way -- it is too rough for him.

6th May 2009, 02:13 PM
I understand what you are saying but we are not playing ruff w/him just rubbin his belly and he is the one playing ruff, the only time I pick him up in that way I use his arms under them should I say is if we are both on the floor and he is already in that postion and I pick him up just a little for kisses..that is when I have noticed... so I dont know what it is....

What are the 1st signs of sm and how young can they be, can anything help prevent????

Cathy T
6th May 2009, 03:24 PM
Neither of mine has ever tolerated being picked up under the front legs baby-style. Both would yelp when anyone tried to pick them up that way. I had a groomer who tried to pull Jake towards her (pulling him out of a crate) and pulled him by his front legs, he yelped, she said he was a big baby.....we never went back there again :mad: I always advise people to scoop up their rear and have one arm under their chest to pick them up comfortably.

Mom of Jato
6th May 2009, 04:04 PM
When Jato was a puppy he yelped like you are describing. I have a friend who liked to pick him up under the armpits instead of bending over and he would yelp. Now that he is grown, she doesn't pick him up in that manner, and I've never heard him yelp again. Maybe it's their way of communicating they don't like it.

6th May 2009, 04:06 PM
I hate to say this, but Ilsa has always had that problem, since she was a baby. I used to call it her scream spot. It turns out that it was one one of the first signs of SM. I hope there is another explanation for Rex, but as he is young I would be vigilant in looking for other symptoms as he gets older.

Jen and Ilsa

6th May 2009, 04:52 PM
I also hate to say it like Jen but Abbey did that when she was really little and I mean little. She hasn't done it for a couple years so not sure why. Her obedience trainer when she was a puppy said it was because cavs are such babies. Me since finding out that she has sm I have thought of it as her second symptom--the first being a seizure 2 weeks after we got her. I'd also be watching her but at least you are aware of sm unlike I knew nothing of it. Hopefully its just like jato said.

6th May 2009, 05:27 PM
Don't you just hate the "cavs are babies" explanation given for when they cry? When I got Pixie two Octobers ago, she was 9 weeks old. Fairly early on she began to do some strange things almost immediately that made me worry about her. Picking her up, even with two hands under her belly and ribs made her yelp. She would also start yelping out of the blue when she was seemingly at rest, or even sleeping. When this would happen, she would turn back towards her body like something was hurting her. As much as she loved to cuddle, she did not want you to rub the top of her head/neck area. She'd duck away and avoid that or sit up very straight with her head back to keep you from reaching that part of her head and neck. It was the yelping on being picked up and the yelping for no reason that got me worried. Those symptoms ultimately had me searching the web for explanations and brought me to this forum. Reading here got me worried, so I bought her health insurance. I'll never know if it was sm since she died at 11 months (an accident that had nothing to do with her health).
I now have Bandit (11 months) and Lizzie (8 months) and neither of them have ever done any of those things. If anything, it has helped me see how something was definitely NOT right with Pixie.
That said, don't ever use their front legs, underarms to lift them. It really hurts, like Karlin said. Even pulling them to you that way hurts. If he continues to yelp even when you lift him in more appropriate ways, I'd be concerned that you had other problems going on.
Get health insurance (that covers hereditary conditions) just in case and read up on sm.

6th May 2009, 06:40 PM
Oh my gosh, that is so interesting that so many cavs seem to have arm pit sensitivity! Alice has always had this as well! In fact just about 30 minutes ago my husband came home for lunch and picked Alice up with a little too much "armpit action" and she yelped. She doesn't do it really often, she seem to just be sensitive in the armpit area I guess. We always try to be gentle and we don't handle her any different than any of our other dogs, I wonder if this breed is just sensitive there. My Westie can be held under his armpits with out a problem, not that we really do that, but an example of how it seems to be a cav thing.... interesting...icon_nwunsure


6th May 2009, 07:12 PM
are there test to see if they have or can get it???

I need to read more into I guess..now this scares me...
why does this happen and is it only w/cav's?

Also what is the rish if you have a cav from a same breeder???? My freind have 2 that are 6 and 7 from the same breeder no prob. like sm that I am awhere of but I am going to be calling her today and talking to her about this.?????

6th May 2009, 07:26 PM
For starters, read Karlin's info site here:

Also, go to the health library and there are quite a few articles and informative links there. I do hope you are not dealing with this problem.
At present, the only surefire way to test for it is an MRI scan. Otherwise, vets have to go on symptoms. You would be the best one to monitor for those symptoms since you are around him all the time. There are quite a few people on here dealing with this troubling problem. There is a whole section for SM and MVD posts. You might browse thru those threads and read up on other posters journeys with SM.

7th May 2009, 02:20 AM
I know that this is definitely an SM symptom, but for what it's worth, Mags scanned clear and she won't tolerate being touched in that area either.

She can really yelp, especially when she is surprised.

She gets some bad matting under her front legs and it is really tricky to keep her calm and work them out. I usually have to cut them out and fast, because she just gets so annoyed. :rolleyes:

7th May 2009, 02:58 AM
Anna has a spot at the base of her sternum that she can't stand to be touched. It was explained to me by my vet as being kinda like a ticklish spot that doesn't agree with her. My armpits are ticklish so i'd think their's are to?:confused:

Daisy's Mom
7th May 2009, 02:01 PM
Daisy has always been this way, too. My family has all had the Daisy-picking-up lesson on how to pick her up so she doesn't yelp so it doesn't happen much anymore. It worries me, but she doesn't show any other SM-type symptoms so I'm trying not to dwell on the possibility.

7th May 2009, 03:12 PM
Thank you..I feel better...still worried but better...I am hopeing for the best for everyone...

10th May 2009, 02:39 AM
While she's so wee I wouldn't worry unduly at this point - just be aware. Both of mine yelped regularly as pups at random things - most especially being lifted 'wrong' and this stopped as they matured. However, my two have NOT been scanned, so this may be an SM symptom. On the other hand, Holly is nearly 6 and Amber almost 3 so if they are SM dogs (realistically, they probably are) they are either asymptomatic or as near as makes no difference.

Basically, I'm trying to say: train everyone you know on the correct way to lift a pup (even a verbal cue can help the pup prepare itself for liftoff; I always held the pup for a second before actually lifting it up and that seemed to stop the squeaks and yelps...). Read up on SM - but most importantly, enjoy your pup. Statistically I believe the chances of SM showing up on such a young pup are small.

18th May 2009, 01:29 AM
Kingstons does the SAME thing. He squeals if any pressure is applied to his armpits. I have to warn his groomers and daycare providers to pick him up VERY carefully. He's three years old and I suppose time will tell if it's SM related, but I pray it's not.