PDA

View Full Version : I don't know what to do!!



Piper
25th January 2011, 12:55 AM
I think my pup has SM! I've been in deniale since I got him. I kept hoping that it was just a reaction to the shampoo I first used on him but I have since bathed him with hypoallergenic shampoo and have left it for a while to see if it would get better..and it hasn't. After looking at videos today and doing more research I am convinced that he has it. He scratches at his ear, bites his feet a lot and sometimes cries out for no apparent reason. The one thing he doesn't do though is he doesn't seem to be bothered on a leash. Since this is a progressive thing I very worried his will get bad since he is only 4.5 months old.
I can take him back to the breeder since she gave me a 5 year health guarantee but oviously we're already very attached to him. But if this is SM and it gets worse then I might have to put him down in a few years which would be even worse for the family.
Any advice would be appriciated!

sins
25th January 2011, 01:53 AM
It's very unlikely that your puppy has SM.
Please don't get distressed because he scratches and cries.At his age it's more likely to be a minor ailment,so go to your vet for a checkup and have them look for obvious minor causes like mites,ear infections etc...
Puppies are so enjoyable at 4.5 months and it's such a pity that your enjoyment of him is marred by worry.
Noone can predict if your puppy will remain free of this or develop the condition over time.So I think you need to sit down and decide if you can give a longterm commitment to him and look after him,come hell or high water.
If you feel it's too much,then perhaps talk to your breeder about your feelings,perhaps she/he can take him back?But if as you say you've bonded,then that's not a real option?
Just keep a good insurance policy for him,have a checkup with the vet and sort out any issues he may have.
I can understand where you're coming from,but just make sure you have all the facts before deciding either way.
Sins

Mindysmom
25th January 2011, 02:21 AM
The first winter we had Max he started scratching a lot. With the colder weather the air in our house got much drier. I changed his food to a food that had a higher fat content and started adding salmon oil to his diet and the scratching went away.

anniemac
25th January 2011, 02:55 AM
I know it is frightening but agree with sins and don't think you should worry. Having a cavalier with SM, I would not trade her for the world. That being said, it is a commitment and you sometimes face hardships but I have felt more joy. I just love her so much.

It is hard not to watch everything, but enjoy this time and try not to leave any shoes around :)

Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk

Piper
25th January 2011, 03:09 AM
Thank you for your responses! I have an appointment with the vet this friday to talk about it and see if there are any other things that are causing it.

Soushiruiuma
25th January 2011, 03:16 AM
Like others have said it's early to be symptomatic (though not unheard of). If this seems to be centered around baths it could be something as simple as not rinsing the shampoo out completely. This is really common. Make sure you are rinsing every part of the puppy (under the tummy, between the legs, feet, behind the ears) even just the smallest amount of leftover soap can be extremely uncomfortable. If you have a spray hose style attachment those can make it easier to rinse.

If that doesn't fix it there are other things to consider, but it is good to be aware of SM as a possibility if other solutions don't help.

Furrfoot
25th January 2011, 04:54 AM
I had to try several shampoos to find one that didn't make Rose itch, itch, itch (and yes, it freaked me out, too)! I ended up with this:
Grreat Choice™ Tearless Puppy Shampoo
http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3680386&lmdn=Brand

And it only has these 6 ingredients:
Ingredients: Purified water, coconut based surfactants, fragrance, dmdm-hydantoin, tetrasodium edta, fd&c blue 1.

It also worked for my parents' long haired silky dachsund, who they thought just had "skin issues" or allergies they couldn't figure out- they went and bought the big bottle ;) . I'll be buying a few soon, too (with my luck, since it works great, they'll change the ingredients or stop selling it :P) .

Enjoy your puppy! I hope the itching is gone soon:)!

Piper
25th January 2011, 08:06 AM
Add another symptom to the list :( In puppy class tonight the teacher pulled up on his neck a little for the stay position and after he was done he started air licking like crazy. Things just seem to keep getting worse. I'm going to be having major surgery in a week and this is really not soemthing I want to be worried about on top of that but I just can't help it.

Piper
25th January 2011, 08:13 AM
I had to try several shampoos to find one that didn't make Rose itch, itch, itch (and yes, it freaked me out, too)! I ended up with this:
Grreat Choice™ Tearless Puppy Shampoo
http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3680386&lmdn=Brand

And it only has these 6 ingredients:
Ingredients: Purified water, coconut based surfactants, fragrance, dmdm-hydantoin, tetrasodium edta, fd&c blue 1.

It also worked for my parents' long haired silky dachsund, who they thought just had "skin issues" or allergies they couldn't figure out- they went and bought the big bottle ;) . I'll be buying a few soon, too (with my luck, since it works great, they'll change the ingredients or stop selling it :P) .

Enjoy your puppy! I hope the itching is gone soon:)!

Thanks :) I am surprised though that the shampoo that worked for you had fragrance. I did try a couple different shampoos and the last one was super mild but it didn't seem to help any..

Nicki
25th January 2011, 12:00 PM
In puppy class tonight the teacher pulled up on his neck a little for the stay position


:yikes:yikes First thing to do is find a different class I'm afraid - why on earth was the teacher pulling up on your puppy's neck??? Look for a class with positive, reward based methods, NOT one that relies on manhandling.




Other than that, I'm sorry to hear you have concerns about your puppy and obviously this is affecting your enjoyment of what should be a happy time :(


Sorry to that you are facing major surgery yourself and wishing you well for that.

Sins post above was very good - re read thata too.



Go to this site http://sm.cavaliertalk.com/ and print off the information for vets, to make sure they are familiar with SM http://sm.cavaliertalk.com/diagnosing/diagnosing/isthissm.html



You do need to rule out other things first, it is unusual to have such a young puppy showing symptoms [do you know anything about the family history, are the parents MRI scanned?]


However the lip licking does concern me - this can appear if a dog is felling nauseous for some reason but in connection with the mentioned incident it is more likely to be a pain reaction. make sure they check the ears thoroughly.


Not all affected dogs will show every symptom, some are very happy even on a collar. One dog for months I treid just about every harness I could find, and he ended up "going naked" for about 6 months until we found something that did not irritate him. He was microchipped and we are fortunate to live in an area where I have several walks that I can just drive to and then let them out of the car, not requiring any distance on lead [he was also extremely obedient]

So not scratching on a collar is not necessarily significant.


Please keep us posted, we will keep you in our thoughts :flwr::flwr:

Kate H
25th January 2011, 02:48 PM
Just catching up on this thread, but feel we need to say what has been said many times before on this forum: SM is not a death sentence. Yes, the earlier a dog shows symptoms the greater the pain is likely to be, and they may eventually need to be put to sleep if the pain becomes uncontrollable by medication. But younger SM dogs are also better candidates for surgery, which can often transform their lives. Many of us have older dogs with SM who are living happy lives, with symptoms well controlled by medication. As people have said, it would be very unusual for such a young puppy to have very obvious symptoms, but even if he develops SM in later life, you could still have a Cavalier for you and your family to love and enjoy for many years - especially as knowledge and treatment of the disease may well improve over the next few years.

I don't think any Cavalier breeder today can give a 5-year health guarantee!!

Kate, Oliver (9.5 years old with SM) and Aled

Mindysmom
25th January 2011, 06:35 PM
Add another symptom to the list :( In puppy class tonight the teacher pulled up on his neck a little for the stay position and after he was done he started air licking like crazy. Things just seem to keep getting worse. I'm going to be having major surgery in a week and this is really not soemthing I want to be worried about on top of that but I just can't help it.

Well I would be stressed if somebody pulled on my neck too - I agree with finding another trainer.

I'm glad you are going to the vet because they are certainly the ones to check out all concerns but try not to worry to much. I'll tell you a funny story about Max that your class story made me remember. His first class was touted as "positive training" - what I learned from that is people's idea of positive might vary. I decided to stick it out and quietly do things my way as I was mainly there to socialize him. He was being a bit of a brat one day and the trainer once again suggested a martingale collar for him (I use a halter). Since she was quite young and I didn't want to be disruptive I agreed. I put the collar on Max so loosely that it barely touched him (and he wears a flat collar all of the time). He immediately threw himself on the floor and had what could only be described as a toddler tantrum and making choking sounds. If you walked in the door at that moment you'd think I beat him! He obviously sensed my discomfort with the situation and was responding appropriately (he thought):grin: The martingale came off and the trainer allowed that "maybe it does bother him" and I was allowed to use my own method from then on in.:grin:

Furrfoot
25th January 2011, 07:29 PM
Thanks :) I am surprised though that the shampoo that worked for you had fragrance. I did try a couple different shampoos and the last one was super mild but it didn't seem to help any..

I was too! I can't use fragrances in my own shampoo :o . I was all set to order some rather expensive, unscented, sensitive skin shampoo when I decided to try one more... :)

I would explain to the trainer that you don't want him or her pulling on your dog's neck (etc. etc.), especially if he's not liking it with a reaction like that. And if they aren't going for that, ask for a refund for the remainder of your classes, or, be prepared to lose the money. Better that than a trainer who isn't responsive to your dog's individual needs.

I would bring it up with the vet, get his ears checked and whatever else has been suggested that you can do before your surgery, get yourself through your surgery (been there, done that a few times) :hug:, and you'll be in better place to find out what's going on with your puppy. *Deep breaths* :wink:

Furrfoot
25th January 2011, 07:35 PM
Oh! I almost forgot...for Rose's first bath, I washed her with a bar of "Clearly Natural" unscented (clear bar) glycerin soap because I hadn't gotten puppy shampoo yet, and she was smelling like a dog, lol. I believe I washed her 2 times (same bath) so it wouldn't leave a sticky film (trick I learned from stories from my dad's childhood), and she didn't itch after that bath. Might be worth a shot?

Piper
25th January 2011, 10:43 PM
I don't have a problem with the dog trainer. She was just keeping him in position not doing anything aggressive. If it was a "normal" pup it wouldn't have bothered them. When I talked to her after about my concerns she showed me another method instead and was very empathetic.
The episodes happen every day and I haven't bathed him in 2 weeks now to see if things would settle down but instead seem to be getting worse.
I have 4 children and wanted a nice family dog (which he is!) but I did not sign up for a sick one that I have to give meds to every day and watch the poor thing in pain. I got him from a breeder who`s dogs had not shown any signs of SM (she says). I saw the parents. The mom is 5 years old and the Dad is 8 and both were supposively heathly. They are both great looking and good tempered dogs. She did give a 5 year congenitial health guarentee which she would reimburse the price of the dog for the vet bills or give a new puppy.
Maybe she was lying about the parents health or maybe I just have bad luck.. I don`t know.

Piper
25th January 2011, 10:47 PM
I was too! I can't use fragrances in my own shampoo :o . I was all set to order some rather expensive, unscented, sensitive skin shampoo when I decided to try one more... :)

I would explain to the trainer that you don't want him or her pulling on your dog's neck (etc. etc.), especially if he's not liking it with a reaction like that. And if they aren't going for that, ask for a refund for the remainder of your classes, or, be prepared to lose the money. Better that than a trainer who isn't responsive to your dog's individual needs.

I would bring it up with the vet, get his ears checked and whatever else has been suggested that you can do before your surgery, get yourself through your surgery (been there, done that a few times) :hug:, and you'll be in better place to find out what's going on with your puppy. *Deep breaths* :wink:

I appreciate your kindness! Thanks :D

Blondiemonster
26th January 2011, 05:06 AM
Hello there!

I'm so sorry to hear about your concerns. I know a lot of people may say not too worry and that it is unlikely to have a puppy showing symptoms so early.
Even though they may be right (it IS unusual) it is also not impossible. So if your gut feeling says there is a problem you need to listen to it and get to the bottom of it.
Do u have insurance for him? A good thing would be to get insurance.
So that way, when u do MRI, insurance can reimburse u. I know u have a health guarantee from the breeder , but still.
Another good idea would be to get a neuro clinical exam after ruling out normal things like "ear mites" , ear infections etc... and /or an mri. Please dont give up on him to early. It is not at all sure that this is a problem that cant be solved and unrelated to SM. If he goes back to the breeder, lord knows what will happen to 'm or where he will end up. :( If he does end up being diagnosed with SM, there are treatments out there to keep him comfortable and even surgery with a good success rate, so he can have a chance. Unfortunately, when buying a pup, none of us are guaranteed we wont have any health problems. Health guarantees are sorta silly I personally think. Accepting potential health issuas comes with the territory of owning and loving a dog. I personally have a dog with SM, and I am so grateful every day she is around. She has taught me so many lessons about life and is such a loving dog to me and my family. Every thing I put into her she gives back times a million. As for children, assuming you have them...
When I was a child I had horses, and they got sick sometimes or died, and these were great life lessons for me, also to care for a horse through sickness and health. I am grateful every day for the things animals have taught me and continue to teach. So dont worry too much about your family suffering too much. Im sure you have many happy years with your pup waiting for you!!!!!!! Good luck!!! We are here for u if u need us.

Reptigirl
26th January 2011, 10:29 AM
I have 4 children and wanted a nice family dog (which he is!) but I did not sign up for a sick one that I have to give meds to every day and watch the poor thing in pain. I got him from a breeder who`s dogs had not shown any signs of SM (she says). I saw the parents. The mom is 5 years old and the Dad is 8 and both were supposively healthy.

I'm sorry to point this out but I most of the people who end up with an SM cavalier "Didn't sign up for a sick one that needs daily medication."

I purchased my puppy as a family pet to grow up with my son. (Our current Shepard is over 7 and our son is 2) We thought a puppy to grow with him would be great. I also wanted to try my hand in the show ring. I don't make much money. I run a small home business making less then $1,000 a month. (Thankfully my boyfriend has a real job. LOL) I have a 2 year old son, 4 dogs, 4 cats, chinchillas, fish, reptiles. My boyfriend also has a 5 year old and a 3 year old. I don't like the idea of having to be home every 8 hours to make sure my pup has his meds. I don't like that I can never sleep more then 8 hours because he NEEDS his meds. But in my opinion it's like a child. I MADE the choice to get a puppy. In my opinion if I made the choice to take in a life and a promise to care for it then it should be for life. Do we dump our children if they become ill? or our partners? A pet is a life. Not a disposable object that when it becomes too much for us to handle that we toss aside.

I'm sorry if I come across as harsh but I see it happen all the time. And I see the dogs suffer and often put to sleep from it. If you are financially unable to care for your pup then it would be in his best interested to go to someone who can. SM can be a very painful condition and no animal or human should have to suffer the pain. Also be warned if your puppy really has SM symptoms is VERY unlikely your breeder will be "keeping it" or "re-homing it". If you decide it is best to re-home your pup due to the medical issues please think about such things in the future before taking on another puppy. ESPECIALLY from a high risk breed! Health insurance has been a life savor for us. Our MRI visit alone was over $1800 and they paid back $1465.

I would definitely try to rule out any other condition. Especially ears or maybe a small injury due to running and playing. Aside from his SM/CM issues my pup has pulled a muscle or had a body ache just from running around the house and yard. I would also look into Pet Insurance ASAP!

Also, I forgot to mention. My pups breeder assured me that his parents were free of any heath issues! Not all dogs show SM symptoms and a lot of people don't know what they are looking for. Some breeders can easily overlook dogs scratching or rubbing there heads because this can be normal dog behavior. I ended up with both of my pups parents. I'll tell you this ... the breeder just didn't see it. The signs/symptoms were all there. I spent an entire day watching the dad and didn't see it but after having him for a few days in my care it started to become clear. Were the parents at least heart, eye and hip tested?

Piper
1st February 2011, 03:28 AM
I just saw this last message now. I guess I have a different opinions then you. I think if a puppy you buy has health problems right away and the breeder states he's healthy then I think I would have every right to take him back. If my dog developed something 2 years later then that is a whole other story! I love pets, I think they can be a wonderful addition to any family and I care what happens to them but in my opinion my human family will always come first. I know a lot of people think of their pets as children and that's fine but that not the way I see it. I give my pets love, attention, food and water and certain medical care but I am not someone that will put my dog through chemo or have him have brain surgery. I would do everything I could to make my dog comfortable if he develops SM eventually without going to extremes and if it got to the point where the quality of his life wasn't very good then I would put him down. This is just the way I feel about things and it doesn't make me any less worthy to own a dog.

lovecavaliers
1st February 2011, 04:46 AM
I don't think anyone was saying to put your pet before your family. I think many just feel that when you sign up for a pet, you are committing to ~10-15 years of responsibility no matter what the future brings. My opinion is that pets are NOT disposable just because they turn out not to be as we had hoped (no matter what age they are). As Blondie's mom pointed out as I kid I learned a lot of important life lessons helping my mother take care of some of our sick pets (young and old)
It is good that you are aware of your limitations at this time. Since you do not feel prepared to handle this potential situation, perhaps you can give the dog to a cavalier rescue along with some of the refund from the breeder. I am sure he could be found a new home that is willing to take on a puppy with possible extensive medical needs. SM does not equal death sentence. I hope this post did not seem offensive it is just one of many opinions.
Again this is all a bit premature since he may not have SM at all.

Piper
1st February 2011, 06:17 PM
We are keeping him. He seems to be doing better since he was found to have ear infections and has been on antibiotics. If he develops SM one day then I will deal with that if and when it comes..