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Karen and Ruby
1st January 2012, 10:07 PM
Hi Everyone,

Does anyone with an SM dog notice how sensitive they are under their front legs (what I call the arm pits)

Ruby has always been sensitve under there since a pup but yesterday she had a real scream day. We went for a walk and came across someone we knew- she went in for her usual fuss and as he was rubbing her belly he went for a scrumple under the leg and she really screamed.

Then we got to my parents for New Years and she went running up to my dad who went in for a cuddle and she screamed again

Then at my sisters later in the evening she went in for her usual Ruby cuddle where she gets her front paws round your neck and does a face plant but as my sister went to lift her legs off after being given a good wash she screamed again.

It seemed that yesterday was an overly sensitive day for her.

We are all very careful of where we touch Ruby and my family all know of how to pick her up so as not top hurt her but she was really bad yesterday!

Does anyone else have this issue with their Cavaliers?

Nicki
1st January 2012, 10:09 PM
Yes have had this with mine in the past. Sorry to hear that Ruby had a bad day :(

I would keep her quiet for a few days, no walks as she needs to rest. hope she's feeling better soon.

Love my Cavaliers
2nd January 2012, 01:12 AM
Riley is very sensitive under her armpits. I have learned never to pick her up that way - never ever. That's about the only time that I ever hear her scream in pain, if someone even begins to pick her up that way.

These poor babies. I hope Ruby settles down. Give her lots of gentle hugs.

anniemac
2nd January 2012, 01:39 AM
I'm sorry about Ruby. I remember picking up Ella never under her armpits. Like Riley, that was usually the only time she would yelp.

However, today I picked up Elton that way and he screamed in pain and snapped at me. I have never seen such horror or scared look as that before in my life. I knew it was from pain of some kind and not behavioral.

So to ask others, is there anything else that you can think of besides CM or SM? I have been concerned with Elton about something neurological going on CM or CM/SM, I have no idea. He has been scratching, head rubbing, licking, etc. but he also could have allergies or both.

PS. I've already contacted neurologist and working on diet changes because I do think he has allergies (red runny eyes, pink skin etc) but I KNOW allergies does not cause this yelping especially what I saw today.

I'm sorry about Ruby but I almost was going to post the same question.

mommytoClaire
2nd January 2012, 02:20 AM
I'm so sorry to hear about Ruby's discomfort. Hopefully you will get some answers.

Anne, so sorry to hear your concerns about Elton. I would wait out the diet changes and see if that helps. Did you end up picking up insurance on him?

anniemac
2nd January 2012, 03:02 AM
Anne, so sorry to hear your concerns about Elton. I would wait out the diet changes and see if that helps. Did you end up picking up insurance on him?

I do have insurance and it's now past the waiting period. I know the only way to diagnose is an MRI, (Elton also had full neuro exam in july and showed no clinical signs) Elton is 5 now.

Pat
2nd January 2012, 07:35 AM
However, today I picked up Elton that way and he screamed in pain and snapped at me. I have never seen such horror or scared look as that before in my life. I knew it was from pain of some kind and not behavioral.

So to ask others, is there anything else that you can think of besides CM or SM?

Of course there is something else besides CM or SM - It is an incorrect way to pick up an animal, and it's painful!!

Trivia fact - the term for that part of a dog (or human, for that matter) is axilla - plural is axillae. Hard for me to refer to an animal's "armpits" since animals don't have arms!

But my main point is that one should never, ever pick up a small animal by placing one's hands under the front legs with no support under the hindquarters. It is painful whether a dog has SM or not! People tend to try to pick up my small (7 and 9 lb) shih tzu that way, and they will cry out every time because it hurts. It is also frightening to be dangling with no support. Same with my cat; he will yowl if he is picked up that way. Ditto for my two Cavaliers. Believe me, these five animals do not all have SM.

It makes sense that a dog with SM is more sensitive in the axillary region. However, because a dog yelps when picked up incorrectly does not mean the dog has SM.

Pat

Alana
2nd January 2012, 09:20 AM
[QUOTE=Pat;409703]Of course there is something else besides CM or SM - It is an incorrect way to pick up an animal, and it's painful!!

Thank you Pat. I made the mistake of picking Bella up that way a couple of times and she yelped and I was worried that my 12 week pup had SM. Then I thought well most of her weight is below where I am holding her so it must hurt and so I began picking her up more carefully. She doesn't yelp anymore.

Kate H
2nd January 2012, 11:00 AM
Getting back to the original query, which was about a Cavalier with SM being touched, not picked up, I've noticed that the air pressure in the UK has been very up and down lately - it was very high last week (1020) but is gradually getting lower this week. So that may have had something to do with Ruby's extra sensitivity. Even Oliver, who isn't usually affected by air pressure, had a difficult day when the pressure hit 1020. Hope Ruby's better today!

Kate, Oliver and Aled

Reptigirl
2nd January 2012, 06:34 PM
Holly is very sensitive under her arms ( and hind quarters). Does your Ruby do a lot of of the "air guitar" or phantom scratching. Holly is the only one here who does it on a regular basis. I've only ever seen Flash or Blitz do it a few times since owning them (They are not sensitive under there arms). This is Holly's main SM scratch. She Scratches at her Belly/Arm Pit area but only makes contact occasionally. I've assumed the scratching & Yelping if touched there were related to where is feeling pain/discomfort.

Karen and Ruby
2nd January 2012, 07:52 PM
Ruby will always make contact when she is scratching.

I just want to say that she is never picked up under the armpits or axilla! The screaming was from being touched there.

She seems alot better today- has had a good walk and run about at the park and seems happier in herself as well.

Its good to know I'm not alone- well actually NO it isn't good to know as that would mean I'm glad your babies are in pain but nice to know others have experienced this.

On the contrary I can handle Charlie in exactly the same area with no sensitivity what so ever.

Karlin
2nd January 2012, 09:25 PM
Very helpful reminder about how to pick up an animal, Pat -- so many people pick up small dogs like they would a child, under the 'armpits', and this is so wrong for so many reasons!

I think as some comments veered over to discussing how this is also a way to cause pain for a dog that there might be confusion that Karen's original query involved picking up a dog this way but of course it wasn't. :thmbsup:

My Leo sometimes can be very sensitive to even the lightest touch in exactly that area -- it comes and goes though (not too often that he has it). I actually just ask people not to pet/rub him and note he is sensitive. Curiously a harness is still more comfortable for him though! It doesn't seem to bother him at all.

Karen and Ruby
2nd January 2012, 09:35 PM
Very helpful reminder about how to pick up an animal, Pat -- so many people pick up small dogs like they would a child, under the 'armpits', and this is so wrong for so many reasons!

I think as some comments veered over to discussing how this is also a way to cause pain for a dog that there might be confusion that Karen's original query involved picking up a dog this way but of course it wasn't. :thmbsup:

My Leo sometimes can be very sensitive to even the lightest touch in exactly that area -- it comes and goes though (not too often that he has it). I actually just ask people not to pet/rub him and note he is sensitive. Curiously a harness is still more comfortable for him though! It doesn't seem to bother him at all.

Yes the harness thing does make me wonder as well!!

anniemac
2nd January 2012, 09:36 PM
Sorry it got off topic and thanks Pat for the reminder. I never actually picked him up but he yelped at touching him there.

I don't know if this has anything to do with it or not but i did read that there are extra nerves there.

http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/vcarroll/2011/feb/variations_of_normal#.TwITJ4l5mc0

I don't know if that makes it extra sensitive?

PS. I have always been told about dislocating shoulders by picking up children by arms (I want to say either my sister or me had that happen with a babysitter). So I usually have the weight being even on my mind but will avoid armpits and place under chest and hind first and to get him standing first if I have to pick him up.

anniemac
2nd January 2012, 09:39 PM
I feel terrible and I sure hope I never did anything to hurt him.

Karlin
2nd January 2012, 09:44 PM
I wouldn't think anything went off topic, so much as (usefully) stepped sideways for a few posts.:) And some good points made as a result -- a lot of people don't realise that it isn't good to pick up a dog or cat like that so the discussion might save some animals some pain (now or in the future as dangling like that can damage spines and joints) and some people some future worry and vet costs! :)

Furrfoot
4th January 2012, 07:51 PM
Sorry it got off topic and thanks Pat for the reminder. I never actually picked him up but he yelped at touching him there.

I don't know if this has anything to do with it or not but i did read that there are extra nerves there.

http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/vcarroll/2011/feb/variations_of_normal#.TwITJ4l5mc0

I don't know if that makes it extra sensitive?

PS. I have always been told about dislocating shoulders by picking up children by arms (I want to say either my sister or me had that happen with a babysitter). So I usually have the weight being even on my mind but will avoid armpits and place under chest and hind first and to get him standing first if I have to pick him up.

Rose has NEVER liked being picked up (in a certain way, so not always) by the armpits, and will yelp, ever since she was 12 weeks old. She has allergies, but no SM, etc. symptoms. Since she doesn't really mind a harness, I figured there was something going on "structurally" that I didn't know about since I've only had bigger dogs who I didn't pick up unless I had to (and then it was a "power lift" lol). Thanks for the link, that explains a lot! I think they know that we don't mean to hurt them, so please don't beat yourself up about making him yelp. Toesies get stepped on, etc. and they forgive us ;) .

On a side note (I'm sure the vast majority on here know this, but mentioning just in case ;) ), Rose's breeder explained very well and throughly about making sure we picked Rose up in the "football hold", always supporting her chest, etc. so we have made it a habit to do that from day 1. I wasn't sure I would get the hang of it after toting a (similar weight) baby on my hip, lol, but now I'm doing good not to pick up a baby like that :P , haha. Seriously, though, I'm glad the breeder was as emphatic about it as she was (she knew we were getting our first small dog).