View Full Version : beginner questions on SM

16th September 2011, 02:01 PM
So as stated in my update reply for sleeping patterns, our vet said that if we want to get Toby MRI'd to see if he has CM/SM then she is all for us going. I honestly don't know if what I see in Toby is normal puppy stuff or something more. What I see has been happening for awhile. I have been taking the watch and see approach.
He does scratch in all areas but not bad enough to lose hair or get red spots or sores, it also only last a few seconds or so. He does bite himself usually the back legs but not all the time, he does lick himself, other people, clothes, carpet etc.. He does butt scoot but not everyday and the Dr said his anal glands feel ok. She said its probably that his butt hair is bothering him, its growing but still very short.
So that is the list for now. I also thought of allergies for these things but have not spoken to her yet about that. He is on Taste of the wild dog food which is grain free and we mainly feed ZiwiPeak jerky snacks for treats. But with all of this it is different meat sources.
He is on flea meds (comfortis) but only been on it one month. I do worry about bug bites but I don't see any bumps or sores.
Anyway, I don't know what the first steps are in getting Toby checked for CM/SM. I don't know if he is too young to even be thinking of a specialist. He is 21 weeks old. Do you think its too early? I wish I knew someone who lives around here with dogs that have SM so they can view Toby and see if they think he has it from his patterns.
What do you think?

16th September 2011, 02:48 PM
Warning a little graphic----

Just wanted to add, do you think that his butt scooting could be because his testicles are large and so its something for him to get used to having a "bulge" between his legs?


16th September 2011, 03:23 PM
I think the latter is unlikely Becky :o - unless they seem very red, or swollen [fluid]

The scooting can be a learned response, do you give him attention for doing this?

It sounds like he is having some irritation, whether from parasites, allergies or sensations is hard to determine. Allergies usually do cause red spots, raw areas etc. To do an elimination diet, you need to feed a novel protein source and something like potato [if he's not had that] for AT LEAST 8 weeks, with nothing else AT ALL, no treats. Obviously this has to be done under veterinary supervision.

Parasites, COmfortis ONLY works on fleas as far as I can see? It might be worth speaking to your vet about something else, just to rule them out - I think you get Cheyletiella over there too which can be very irritating and is sometimes hard to see, although you can generally see wee flakes in the coat.

Are you bathing him a lot? Really Cavaliers should only be bathed 3-4 times a year unless they've rolled in something disgusting! Otherwise this can dry the coat and skin out, causing itching.

You could try something like Salmon oil, also look at his diet.

If you are really concerned, try to get some video and at the very least, keep a diary of what is happening and when - see if anything triggers it. It's hard as most of these things are normal behaviours, but in SM/CM we see them to extreme. If you've not had a Cavalier or even a dog before, it's very hard to judge.

If you are still worried, then the best thing would be to have a consultation with a neurologist...they would address your concerns and rule out other causes.

There is lots of information about diet on the forum, this is "my" view:

After a considerable amount of research, I was feeding a home prepared diet, getting frozen raw meat delivered, but it was Durham Animal Products and I wasn't happy with the quality - the lamb and beef was mainly tubes [vessels] Then adding a mix of pureed raw veg and fruit, you need to feed a wide selection. It's better to feed pureed than cooked veg - esp don't microwave anything as that destroys the vital energy in living things. I also fed a mineral supplement to get he correct dose of calcium and phosphorus. Although tripe is well balanced for the latter two, they are not in sufficient quantities.

However when I was ill it was hard for my husband to deal with all this, so we went over to Darlings preprepared raw. http://www.darlingsrealdogfood.com/ Although I thought this was very good, it seemed expensive, but you don't need to feed the amount they suggest, and by the time you've bought decent quality meat and veg and fruit etc, it doesn't really work out any more expensive. Unfortunately they changed their system and now send it out frozen rather than chilled, which doesn't work for us as it takes 2 days to deliver it to here [north Scotland]

So we've switched to dehydrated raw - K9natural which I'm really impressed with http://www.k9natural.co.uk/index.php/about_k9_natural/

ingredients are: meat, blood, ground bone, seasonal fruits and vegetables, heart, liver, kidney, green tripe, eggs, garlic and cod liver oil. All of these ingredients are of a quality deemed fit for human consumption, and all except the cod liver oil (from Norway) come from New Zealand farms and growers. Because it's dehydrated, it doesn't need any special storage except keeping it dry [so no freezer running costs either!] it also doesn't take up much storage space. I got mine from http://www.partnerspets.com/store/pr...ood-Lamb-4-Kg/

Lauren actually prefers this to the raw meat!! she picked it out of the bowl before the meat when I mixed the two.

K9natural recommend you also feed raw bones for their teeth cleaning and amusement effects! so we feed chicken necks [which I get from a wholesale butcher] for one meal - I stand them on the worktop in the utility room with a bib on to keep them clean and feed them one at a time using pliers as one day I wasn't concentrating and Tommy bit through my nail EEK

Feeding necks for one meal and K9natural for the other works out at under 3 per day for the three of them including supplements - they have Carob flour, natural live [bio] yogurt, garlic granules, oatbran etc They often have Neem sticks for treats, Fish4dogs treats, and dried meat treats which I bake myself - liver, rabbit, chicken etc. Even something like Naturediet works out around 78p per day each.

I am very wary with bones as there have been incidents, but then there are also horrid things that happen with kibble, contamination [remember that melamine in the Chinese raw ingredients?] also bacterial contamination, bloat etc. You can grind bones in a mincer. Alternatively you could wrap the bits in a tea towel and bash thoroughly with a rolling pin or mallet. or cut up the meat into pieces with the garden pruners - so no choking on bones. There are mincers around the 150 price range which do a pretty good job on chickens - used to do whole carcasses through them. They are not great at rabbit though, and tend to struggle with the chicken skin.

Everything fresh is frozen for 2 weeks before use, to kill off any parasites - it doesn't kill bacteria and you have to be extremely careful when handling raw meat. Richard Allport the homoeopathic vet actually recommends the use of Zoflora as a disinfectant.

We use bibs for the dogs as here http://www.pbase.com/trevorhughes/image/133780155/medium.jpg

Lauren wasn't impressed with breakfast!

I've discovered that the large size of the Junior Macare bibs are perfect, they do up with velcro at the back so adjust a bit, and are the perfect length so they don't drag on the floor.

16th September 2011, 03:25 PM
Like everything in life, you have to choose what you want to spend on feeding your dogs...and then find the best product for that money which also suits your lifestyle. There are very cheap feeds, we are in a farming area and a lot of the collies are fed that awful Dr Johns stuff, which is mostly cereal and produces voluminous quantities of poo http://s2.images.proboards.com/sad.gif [always a good indicator to how well they are digesting their diet. They should produce small, firm stools - no mucus.]

You need to check ingredients lists carefully - if a product says "with" chicken, it only has to contain a minimum of 4% chicken; chicken "flavour" doesn't have to contain any chicken at all!

What to look for on the ingredient list.
Quality Foods Should Contain:
Superior sources of protein, either whole fresh meats or single source meat meal (ex. chicken meal rather than poultry meal)
A whole-meat source as one of the first two ingredients.
Whole, unprocessed grains, vegetables, and other foods. Nutrients and enzymes are more likely to be found in unprocessed foods.

Quality foods should contain very little to NONE of the following:
Food fragments - lower-cost by-products of another food manufacturing process, such as brewer's rice and wheat bran...Manufacturers usually include at least one fragment to help lower costs. Beware any food that includes several fragments.
Meat by-products (not handled as carefully as whole meat) - any food that contains meat by-products as the MAJOR protein source indicates a low-quality product.
Meat and animal derivatives can contain beaks, feet and feathers - which when tested, do contain protein but not easily accesssible by the dog.

Fats or proteins named generically (ex. animal fat/poultry fat instead of beef fat/ lamb meal)
Artificial preservatives (BHA, BHT, ethioxyquin)
Artificial colors.
Sweeteners (corn syrup, sucrose, ammoniated glycyrrhizin) to improve unappealing food
Propylene glycol - a toxic substance when consumed in large amounts; added to some "chewy" foods to keep them moist.

How to Grade Your Dog's Food

Start with a grade of 100:
1) For every listing of "by-product", subtract 10 points
2) For every non-specific animal source ("meat" or "poultry", meat, meal or fat) reference, subtract 10 points
3) If the food contains BHA, BHT, or ethoxyquin, subtract 10 points
4) For every grain "mill run" or non-specific grain source, subtract 5 points
5) If the same grain ingredient is used 2 or more times in the first five ingredients (I.e. "ground brown rice", "brewers rice", "rice flour" are all the same grain), subtract 5 points
6) If the protein sources are not meat meal and there are less than 2 meats in the top 3 ingredients, subtract 3 points
7) If it contains any artificial colourants, subtract 3 points
8 ) If it contains ground corn or whole grain corn, subtract 3points
9) If corn is listed in the top 5 ingredients, subtract 2 more points
10) If the food contains any animal fat other than fish oil, subtract 2 points
11) If lamb is the only animal protein source (unless your dog is allergic to other protein sources), subtract 2 points
12) If it contains soy or soybeans, subtract 2 points
13) If it contains wheat (unless you know that your dog is not allergic to wheat), subtract 2 points
14) If it contains beef (unless you know that your dog is not allergic to beef), subtract 1 point
15) If it contains salt, subtract 1 point

Extra Credit:
1) If any of the meat sources are organic, add 5 points
2) If the food is endorsed by any major breed group or nutritionist, add 5 points
3) If the food is baked not extruded, add 5 points
4) If the food contains probiotics, add 3 points
5) If the food contains fruit, add 3 points
6) If the food contains vegetables (NOT corn or other grains), add 3 points
7) If the animal sources are hormone-free and antibiotic-free, add 2 points
8 ) If the food contains barley, add 2 points
9) If the food contains flax seed oil (not just the seeds), add 2 points
10) If the food contains oats or oatmeal, add 1 point
11) If the food contains sunflower oil, add 1 point
12) For every different specific animal protein source (other than the
first one; count "chicken" and "chicken meal" as only one protein
source, but "chicken" and "" as 2 different sources), add 1 point
13) If it contains glucosamine and chondroitin, add 1 point
14) If the vegetables have been tested for pesticides and are
pesticide-free, add 1 point
Score: 94-100+ = A 86-93 = B 78-85 = C 70-77 = D 69 and below = F

Suggested Reading:
"Give Your Dog a Bone" by Dr. Ian Billinghurst.
"Grow Your Pups With Bones" by Dr. Ian Billinghurst.
"The Ultimate Diet" by Kymythy Schultze.
"The Holistic Guide for a Healthy Dog" by Wendy Volhard & Kerry Brown, DVM
"Natural Health for Dogs&Cats" by Dr. Richard H. Pitcairn, DVM, Ph.D. and S. H. Pitcairn
"Home-Prepared Dog&Cat Diets,The Healthful Alternative" by Donald R. Strombeck, DVM
"Earl Mindell's Nutrition&Health for Dogs" by Earl Mindell, R.Ph., Ph.D. & E. Renaghan
"The Encyclopedia of Natural Pet Care" by C. J. Puotinen
"Natural Dog Care" by Celeste Yarnall, Ph.D.
"Why is Cancer Killing Our Pets" by Debra Straw

"The Whole Dog Journal" a monthly guide to natural dog care and training is a brilliant source of information on nutrition and many other topics. www.whole-dog-journal.com (http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/)

16th September 2011, 04:51 PM
Thank you for the reply Nicki. Thats a lot of info!
To answer your questions, when I do see him scoot I do tell him to quit. When he does it though I don't see him looking at me as if he is seeking attention. What made me think of the anal glands is 90% of the time he scoots after he goes poo. The other 10% is random. It doesn't happen everyday though.
We do bathe him every few weeks to 1 month, just depending if he starts smelling like dog. The vet said his coat is shiny and feels good. When we brought him home from the breeder his coat was rougher and it didn't seem shiny. Since changing his dog food to Taste of the wild his coat looks so much better. We did try Salmon oil but he would not touch it. We did the liquid since he was too small for pills. Not sure about now though if he is old enough and heavy enough for pills. Not sure what else we could try. There is a small amount of Omega 3 & omega 6 in the dog food (like 0.3%).
When the vet looked at him I didn't see that she was worried about mites or parasites. We are still on the de-worming until December. She gave us the de-worming meds on our first visit. Its just for a precaution. When she calls me this morning about his antibiotics if we can discuss mites.
As far as the food, the vet did not want us to put him on RAW until he is 9 months and she was very strong headed on that. She said not even Raw bones. I wonder if she also meant Dehydrated RAW too. The store I go to has K9natural food but it is VERY expensive. Even the employee that I was working with said he had to take his dog off of it because it got to be too expensive. Granted his dog is 45 lbs.
We give Toby Tendon chews for his teeth and to keep him busy! What would be rough is not giving treats at all because we are in the training period where we are encouraged to give treats for training. He is not the type that goes head over heals for a toy so I don't think it would have the same affect on him. UGH! I wonder what my husband would say if I told him I wanted to change his food yet again LOL He loves his Taste of the wild, dances for it.
Here are the ingredients of the dog food:
I will have to go through the list you posted to see what the differences are.

Thank you for all the info.

16th September 2011, 05:08 PM
Becky that looks a really good quality kibble.

Most vets are really quite anti raw...there are so many differing views.

K9natural looks very expensive but makes up to 4 times it's weight, you also feed raw bones once a day so are only feeding half the daily feed amount.

Your vet definitely checked anal glands? Definitely no dry poo on his bottom - that can cause scooting. You would probably be best to ignore the behaviour rather than interacting at all with him, any interaction is better than nothing at all to a dog!

I would maybe have a good look at http://sm.cavaliertalk.com/ and http://www.veterinary-neurologist.co.uk/ print off the treatment algorithm and info for vets and discuss it further with your vet.

16th September 2011, 05:31 PM
Thanks Nicki. We'd heard nothing but great things about Taste of the wild. Yeah, I was very surprised at our vets insistence that he not be on RAW until 9 months but that is better than not at all. We agreed to wait until then.
If you are supposed to add Raw bones to the K9natural diet then we will have to wait for that. I was also thinking of ZiwiPeak food. He loves the treats so I was thinking of the food too.
We did not physically see her check his glands although she did an eye look while in the room and said that she thinks its his hair. They took him out of the room at that time because they had to get him to go potty(even though he would not go). When the assistant brought him back in she gave us meds and told us the vet said his glands are fine. I hate to second guess her but it does make you wonder. I am way too scared to check it myself. I will definitely keep my mouth shut when he starts the scooting again. I don't want him thinking he is getting attention for it.
From what I saw when talking with her, I think she knows that there are specialists out there for SM and I don't think she really wanted to discuss it with me. I kinda felt as though she wanted to brush that aside maybe thinking that I am over analyzing the dog and the situation. I was happy to know that she does have knowledge of SM. I was afraid of getting one of those vets that know nothing about it.
I guess what I am afraid of it being a pain in the butt. I think I feel this way because I was in the vet every few weeks with our Peke and his MVD issues. I felt as though I lived there. I am really not trying to find something wrong with this dog but I can see that I might be over sensitive at this time because I only lost my Peke in April. I am trying to look at it from both sides I guess.
Does that make any sense? She is a great vet who was there through the hardest time in our life and was so gentle with our Peke and with us. I would hate to second guess her now. UGH!
I will definitely keep those links on my favorites for the time when we approach the vet again.

19th September 2011, 06:05 PM
So true that everyone seems to have a different opinion on RAW...many vets are against it. I have always had a great experience with it and know several breeders who wean their puppies right onto RAW with no trouble at all. It is a very personal decision.

Isle of Dogs makes a great oil that you can put in their food to help with skin and coat called Royal Jelly Supplement. I had my dogs on that for a while.


19th September 2011, 07:14 PM
Awesome! I will check it out!