View Full Version : hopefully you guys can put my mind at rest....

8th July 2010, 10:55 PM
ok ive been lookin up sm, im pretty clued up on mvd and bentley currently has no signs of a murmur. now, im gettin paranoid. here is why:

1)bentley rubs his face along the floor and rubs around my sofa (waging his tail as he does so and looking very chuffed with himself)
2) he licks his lips alot (however he has had his 2 top fangs out due to alignment issues so im praying thats why he does it)
3) whenever i take his harness off after a walk he scratches and once again rubs along the carpet and then runs round
4) he has plaque on some teeth (he is 2 and im hoping it because of his mentioned teeth issues)

he isnt acting ill, or lathargic. he is as lively as ever, but i have looked up sm symtpoms and the above has now worried me. are things that i have taken to be bentleys funny little quirks, things i should be worried about??

he has never yelped in pain or acted stiff.....

opinions would be fantastic as im so paranoid after losing sullivan :(


Love my Cavaliers
9th July 2010, 12:42 AM
I have an SM dog (Riley) who has almost none of the typical symptoms. However Oliver, who scanned clear in December when he was almost 9 has always rubbed his face on the carpet and sofa, especially after eating. None of my dogs really scratches after taking their harnesses off, but maybe you have Bentley's too tight, or it just irritates him for some reason. I know after I have my hair in a ponytail, I massage my scalp for awhile because it feels so good to take the ponytail holder out. Could be a similar thing with Bentley. Caan't address the teeth issue, but i know Brian M would tell you to brush his teeth to cut down on the plaque!!!I think some dogs just have more plaque than others though. I hope this eases your mind some. It seems like once we find out about SM, we are always on the lookout for it. I would just talk to your vet and see if he/she is familiar with SM and describe Bentley's sympton. I f you are really concerned see if you can talk to a neurologist. Hope this helps.

9th July 2010, 11:58 AM
Harley has been scanned and has a chari malformation and some spinal fluid although they said they couldnt call it sm and he does all what you say less the plague cant say ive noticed any. I think those symptoms seem to be typical cavaliar behaviour and sm just makes those traits worse. You will go mad if you keep looking for symptoms and unless your dog is in pain ( i know hard to tell sometimes) or phsically uncomfortable I would forget about sm (if thats possible) and enjoy your dog, i think i wasted three years worrying and to be honest it didnt achieve alot.

9th July 2010, 12:31 PM
I see you live in Surbiton which is quite close to Wimbledon. Had you thought about asking your vet for a referral to see Clare Rusbridge for a clinical examination and assessment. My advice would be to get Harley checked, if there is a problem he could be put on medication that will slow down the progression of SM. The symptons you are describing sound a little suspicous! If you have any problems with transport, I am happy to assist as I am not that far away.

I know a couple who have a little cavalier. She has been displaying symptoms for sometime, the couple refused to believe it! Finally this week I took them to Wimbledon. Poor little dog, has severe sm with a syrinx and scoliosis. The worst part is there regular vet didn't believe there was anything wrong and also took their time to refer the dog.

I wouldn't leave anything to chance. Don't let your vet fob you off either.

Please pm if you need anything.

[Tania I removed the name of this dog. The owner needs to give permission for their dog to be named and I cannot tell if this is the case so am just removing name and a few other specific details :thmbsup:]

9th July 2010, 01:48 PM
Face rubbing may or may not be connected to SM -- I know many dogs -- including my SM-free dogs -- face rub. But it is also a very frequent sign of SM as dogs feel discomfort or pain around their head.

I'd be more concerned about having your dog scratch as soon as you remove his harness. Only my worst-affected SM dog does this. He did this well before he started air-scratching as well. It could be something; it could be nothing. But often removing a harness triggers SM scratching as it scrapes the areas where they are often most sensitive.

If your vet isn;t really familiar with SM it might well be worth seeing Clare for a clinical exam (an exam without an MRI) for an assessment and advice. A vet can tell you if there are clear signs of neck, shoulder and back pain though. Owners would not tend to see this at all. Vets however will not have the training to see the many signs of neurological pain-related responses a neurologist like Clare will spot right away. That is one reason why vets miss this condition all the time, even when they do know about it.

Incidentally Leo, my worst affected dog, has almost never shown any obvious signs of pain. Rarely, he might flinch when touched on one side. But two weeks ago he had a full screaming pain session, very disturbing. Owners often don't see the signs of pain as dogs will conceal these in front of owners (as a study at one of the US vet hospitals on dogs showed). I do think it worth assessing a dog showing some potential signs, especially if only 2 as you can try some meds that are known to help reduce progression in some dogs. I wish I had kept Leo on these but the possible benefits weren't really well understood at that time.

Plaque is a problem in the breed but not related to SM. It does tend to be linked to poor heart health if left untreated so definitely get into a routine of brushing Riley's teeth -- your vet can advise on that. :)

9th July 2010, 03:57 PM
Ella has a severe case of SM and what I started to look for is if they scratched on side typically. She started looking funny walking up stairs and did the face rubbing etc. Some of it is typical behavior but look and see if it is one side. I agree to get her checked out. I don't know how it is over there but here it can be expensive. I wish we had Dr. Clare Rusbridge over here :). I think catching it before it is to the point that Ella was at the better.

9th July 2010, 04:49 PM
My sm dog rubbed her face but to the point we had a mucky trail at her nose level all around the walls in every room. she even turned the video recorder on by rubbing on that

9th July 2010, 05:27 PM

Leo has done all the things you have mentioned at some point. He has been MRI'd and doesnt have SM. He does have CM and that is what causes his discomfort at times:(
However if you're worried get him checked out for peace of mind......the not knowing will drive you crazy:lpy:

Mel X