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GraciesMom
16th January 2011, 01:46 AM
Hello all! I went looking for the best online forum for Cavs and this appears to be it. I am a fairly new Cav mom in the USA. My hubby and I adopted Gracie in late October. She was 5 months old at the time and is 8 months now. Breeder is a show judge and said he had planned to show her but she was too small. We love her dearly :lotsaluv: and can't imagine life without Gracie. I get to work from home most days a week for at least half a day and my hubby also works from home some. I also take her to doggy day care for 4 or 5 hours a few days a week to play with other small dogs and get more exercise. She has become the dog that they always want

I am a tad concerned that she has shown some signs of SM, so am keeping an eye on that. In reading some of the information here about how this condition has evolved and increasing, I am just so angry and sad at the same time. Cavs are just too precious to have been put in this situation where their survival is at grave risk. I certainly want to help with any efforts to put pressure on breeders and others to force changes. Even though my dog came from a "respected" breeder who periodically serves as a show judge, I think that he may have known that Gracie had CM and was then at risk of SM.... and that is why he rejected her as a show dog. I hope that I am wrong, but doubt it.

Anyway, I am thrilled to meet other Cav family members. Even knowing what I know now, I can't imagine not having Gracie in our lives. She brings us so much joy. :dogwlk:

Nicki
16th January 2011, 11:18 AM
Welcome to the forum :D


We are so pleased you are enjoying wee Gracie, it's lovely that you gave an older pup a home they can be so rewarding.

Sorry you have suspicions about SM - you are doing the right things reading up about the condition, these sites may help too

http://sm.cavaliertalk.com/ [includes info you can print off and take to your vet]
http://cavaliermatters.org/

It's unusual for a young pup to be showing symptoms, sadly if she is then it's very worrying. Please can you describe what you are seeing? If possible, post a video?


Even though my dog came from a "respected" breeder who periodically serves as a show judge, I think that he may have known that Gracie had CM and was then at risk of SM.... and that is why he rejected her as a show dog. I hope that I am wrong, but doubt it.


The majority of Cavaliers do have CM - I think the latest research states 93%. He would not have known for sure without an MRI scan though.

He may have been aware of symptoms though, and sadly some breeders will "dump" these dogs on pet homes :(


We look forward to hearing more about Gracie and seeing some photos??? 8-)

GraciesMom
16th January 2011, 01:42 PM
Thank you so much for your comments Nicki. I have been devouring all the info on CM and SM. The sad thing is that we thought most of her symptoms were normal puppy things and some were kinda cute. Now, we sadly know this is not funny. Gracie has had MUCH less sympyoms this week after we modified her collar and harness so that they are wrapped in thick soft polar fleece. But here are her symptoms.

She has had periodic frantic scratching at one ear and stopping in middle of walks to scratch at neck area more than I thought she should. The latter has definitely improved with the modifications to her collar/halter.
Less frequently, we have seen the 3-legged air scratch when walking...more so around the house than on a lead.
After pooping outside, she will do some butt scooting, but sometimes she will scoot on her butt unrelated to pooping outside.
After eating soft food out of a bowl, she will rub her nose/head vigorously in the carpet. I am not sure if that is to get the food off her muzzle or the eating of the food aggravates the SM. We are now feeding her off a small plate which seems to make it easier for her to get the food into her mouth (and not on her nose). Her face rubbing has lessened considerably. We also changed to venison from lamb and that also seems to make her much less itchy around the nose too.
So.... this is where we are. Very suspicious that she has SM. I promise to post some photos later today. Gracie is a precious and funny little girl.

It truly makes me sick what has happened to this priceless breed. They are simply irreplaceable in their sweet spirit and beautiful face.

anniemac
16th January 2011, 01:58 PM
Welcome from another NC member! I am sorry about thinking Gracie may have SM. Ella has SM and even though I don't know nearly as much as others here, I am more than happy to talk since I'm so close to you.

I live in Charlotte and have a girl Ella. You will find this forum very helpful and I am always here to talk to. Send me a PM if you want to talk.

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anniemac
16th January 2011, 02:37 PM
Gracie is lucky to have a mom like you :) SM is terrible which I know from having a cavalier with severe SM. Its great to be aware of certain health issues with Gracie and to notice these things.

I don't want you to post who the breeder is, but I would like to ask if you have tried to contact him? Several (what I think of as "respectable") breeders would want to be there for you to help educate and know if there are any problems.



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GraciesMom
16th January 2011, 10:55 PM
Anyone asking to have photos of Cav will surely be rewarded with them! So here are some photos of Gracie. She is chewing on a rawhide in one pic that was only for posing... she never gets rawhides as a treat. But here is link to the photos:
http://s1014.photobucket.com/albums/af267/dhenzey/

Thanks so much to Annie and Nicki for making me feel so welcomed.:thnku:

mommytoClaire
16th January 2011, 11:42 PM
Hi Deb, I'm Cindy, and I'm new here too! I have Claire, who is only a few months older than Gracie, (and has some holes in her background, which concern me). I know when I was considering a Cavalier, I did NOT know about SM, only MVD.

I know that through my reading here, I too have a lump in my throat every time Claire does something that 'might' be a SM symptom. It's so hard to relax and not think about it.

But, someone here also suggested that those of us with pups, invest in Pet Insurance, just because they are Cavaliers, and their health problems can be SO expensive. I've been looking around, and several here have recommended PetPlan, and they seem to cover the most including genetic/inherited disorders and diseases.

She is adorable! Hoping and praying that it's just us being protective 'moms' and that Gracie's quirps are nothing more than puppy stuff!

Cindy and Claire

Love my Cavaliers
17th January 2011, 12:48 AM
Welcome to CavalierTalk. My mom just moved from western N. Carolina and beautiful sunsets over the Smoky Mountains. It was hard for her to leave. I just love the state. Gracie is absolutely adorable.

Regarding her questionable symptoms, the only one I would really monitor would be the air scratching. I have an almost 10 year old blenheim (Oliver) who has scanned clear for SM (just last year) who has scooted on his butt almost from the day we brought him home as a pup - after pooping and also unrelated to pooping. I think he just likes it. He will do it regardless of whether his glands are full or have just been emptied. I have tried every supplement and my conclusion is that for him, it just feels good. He also will face rub on the floor and the sofa every morning after he eats. Another example of it feels good to him? Who knows?

I also have an 8 yr old black and tan, Riley, with severe and advanced SM, who has never shown any of the typical SM symptoms except for the head tilt. She had other symptoms that I thought were related to some other neurologic type of deficit (never having heard of SM at the time). My 3 year old tri, Oz, has CM and may develop SM later on, but is symptom free at this point in time.

Read through the links that Nicki provided and then try to relax and enjoy Gracie. That doesn't mean ignore any symptoms she may be having, it means try not to read SM into every quirky behavior she may display. It may be worth investigating, but it may just be a characteristic unique to your dog. Certainly, if she is continually displaying worrying symptoms, it is time to print off information like Nicki suggested and have a conversation with your vet.

Again, welcome and enjoy your sweet baby girl. They grow up so quickly. You said that the breeder wanted to show her but she was too small. How big is she now? Ironically, that is what the breeder we got Riley from told us also. We got her when she was 11 months. We were going to pick her up when she was 8 months old but she went into her first heat so we decided to wait until she was finished and then we took a little vacation and wanted to wait until we came back from that also. Riley only weighs 12 pounds now (as an 8 year old). She showed some signs of SM when we looked at her at 8 months (the head tilt for one - which we just thought was a cute personality quirk), but it progressed the longer we had her. The breeder was devastated when we told her about the SM and felt that she should have payed more attention to the head tilt. She was right, but I still love my girl.

Soushiruiuma
17th January 2011, 02:50 AM
Aside from the air scratching most of what you describe could just be normal. If you are concerned, now is the time to get health insurance. Make sure that your insurance covers hearts (I have seen some where cavaliers are the only ones who are excluded for heart problems, so double check), genetic and congenital conditions.

You might consider starting a savings account instead, if you deposit the amount that you would be paying in premiums to that account it will add up quickly. This
probably wouldn't be enough to cover full MRI and SM related needs, but it's another option to cover medical costs.

anniemac
17th January 2011, 02:52 AM
I talked to someone and I really think you should contact the breeder. From the information you told me, I know the breeder would really want to know and I feel that the person You said you are going to email will be able to also add some insight.

I don't know the breeder but I do know people in the regional club and I know they are very concerned with SM. I hope they will be able to guide you also because there are some really great people.

I hope I can meet Gracie sometime, her pictures are adorable. CM/SM should not be taken lightly but like what was just said, try to enjoy Gracie. Keep this information but it might be a quirk.

Ella has always coughed after drinking water since she was a puppy. I asked if it had anything to do with SM but I was told no. Just one of the reasons I love her :)

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Charlifarley
17th January 2011, 10:59 AM
Read through the links that Nicki provided and then try to relax and enjoy Gracie. That doesn't mean ignore any symptoms she may be having, it means try not to read SM into every quirky behavior she may display. It may be worth investigating, but it may just be a characteristic unique to your dog. Certainly, if she is continually displaying worrying symptoms, it is time to print off information like Nicki suggested and have a conversation with your vet.



Hi and welcome, Gracie is adorable. I would agree with Bev - it can be very hard to get the balance right between deciding what is normal behaviour and what is a sign that something is wrong. Sometimes the more knowledge we have the more we see symptoms in our dogs.
After watching the Pedigree Dogs exposed programme, I convinced myself that symptoms that Trapper was showing -excessisve itching around his ears and muzzle were SM, but my vet assured me that they weren't - and for now anyway, he seems to be ok. Unfortunatley, not long afterwards, Bosco started to air scratch, and this time, my hunch was right.
So, enjoy your lovely little puppy, and maybe have a chat with a vet that is familiar with SM and see what they think.

GraciesMom
20th January 2011, 12:08 AM
This is such a supportive group.... what am amazing place to feel at home.

I do plan to contact the breeder. I am doing all I can to enjoy Gracie now and try not to weigh every little thing she does. The air scratching has almost gone away... not sure why. It was the least frequent symptom anyway. The other items also are reduced in the past week after changing her food and putting cushioning on her collar and harness.

I talked with my vet and we decided to wait on an MRI but revisit that if Gracie's symptoms worsen.

IMPORTANT: I honestly had not read much about the head tilting... Gracie only does that when I am talking to her and she does not seem to understand what I have said. Is that what we are talking about or another type of head tilting?

As to her weight, she is now about 12 pounds at age 8 months. She was just 10.5 pounds when we got her 3 months ago so have helped her grow a bit but definitely not a chubby girl. She is picky about food but I am sure that has more to do with us spoiling her too much. :luv: But she does seem to love and do best on the 95% pure meat wet food by Evo mixed with a California Natural puppy kibble in lamb. The venison and duck meat sure do well for her... while chicken and beef not so much. I also think she does not tolerate carrots well based on having fed bits of carrot as a treat twice. Both times her tummy was a bit unhappy. So we have to learn as we go!

Thank you all and let's hope we can make a difference with this lovely breed's health. I am committed to donating something very nice for the next auction.

anniemac
20th January 2011, 12:58 AM
Hey deb,

I am so glad Gracie is doing better. You will love cavaliertalk and I am just excited to have another person close.

Cindy said something important. I would really look into pet plan. I'm not saying anything is wrong but I have someone who has it and it is good b/c it will cover heradiary conditions.

Don't worry about contacting the breeder. Just spend time enjoying Gracie!

One thing is You know Gracie better than anyone. I am glad the vet told you to wait for MRI. You talked about getting a mini scan which would not be best for diagnosis but I don't think you need to worry about that.

From talking on the phone, and describing things I think its best to first rule out other things.

Coming from someone who went through ruling out things for too long, I do think its important because some is typical behavior. Its also important that your vet knows a little about SM. Like others said its so tough because you can look at everything then you can also not see things.

The most important thing is you do know what to look for. I would read karlins symptoms document but to be aware but what she said is to look for excessive behavior.

Oh boy! Another ruperts fund fan in north carolina. Ella was ms. December. Send me a PM and I will mail a calendar to you. I bought a bunch :)

I really hope we meet sometime and please feel free to call me anytime.

Welcome and you will really love it here.

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Chamberlain
20th January 2011, 02:39 PM
Welcome! :wggle:

I loved looking at her pictures! She has freckles on her muzzle just like my Chamberlain!

Hello, I am Katie and have five month old male named Chamberlain, he is the light of my life and I cannot imagine life without him!

He has been scratching at neck more often, mostly when he first wakes up and when I put a leash on him. I am not sure if its because he wants to lead or because....gah I don't even want to say it!

GraciesMom
20th January 2011, 11:22 PM
Hey deb,

Oh boy! Another ruperts fund fan in north carolina. Ella was ms. December. Send me a PM and I will mail a calendar to you. I bought a bunch :)

YAY!!!! Will PM you my mailing address. Can't wait to see Ella in her calendar girl pose!cl*p

GraciesMom
20th January 2011, 11:25 PM
Welcome! :wggle:

I loved looking at her pictures! She has freckles on her muzzle just like my Chamberlain!



I did think that Chamberlain looked alot like Gracie when we first got her at 5 months. They are such precious dogs and those freckles make me giggle. I love the name Chamberlain.

Another male Cav that goes to same doggy day care as Gracie is named Sir Winston Olbrich... and insists upon everyone calling him that. But... he is such a funny dog....does not seem like a Sir Winston at all!

Love my Cavaliers
20th January 2011, 11:32 PM
Sounds like Gracie is doing just fine. I also have a blenheim with freckles on his muzzle and I adore them. Adds character I think. Just FYI, the head tilt associated with SM is more of a permanent head tilt rather than an inquisitive one that she might give when she is listening to you.

GraciesMom
22nd January 2011, 12:19 AM
I just love the way Gracie tilts her head back and forth sometimes when we are chatting. One of my favorite things! Among 1,000 other favorite things about Cavs.