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View Full Version : Signs of SM as young puppies?



cavalover
1st March 2012, 01:44 AM
I was reading about many cavaliers with SM showing signs starting in puppyhood. For owners of cavs with SM: How old were your cavs when they first started showing symptoms of SM, and what were the signs that appeared first? How old was your cav when he/she was first diagnosed? Anyone have a cav that didn't have symptoms as a puppy later develop symptomatic SM?

Karen and Ruby
1st March 2012, 02:13 AM
Hi there,

Rubys first symptoms recorded by vet were crying in her sleep at around 6 months
Then at 8 months she slowed down and refused to play tug of war, full stop after yelping when we were playing one day.
Generally lethargic and not much energy from that point on.
Diagnosed at two and a half after watching PDE!

Reptigirl
1st March 2012, 04:46 AM
Flash had symptoms from the day we brought him home at 12 weeks old. He scratched his neck, rubbed his head and chewed his hind legs until he had bald spots on them. He would bark at things that were not there, afraid of invisible things, yelp for unknown reasons. He licked his paws until the furniture around him was soaking wet. He started air scratching around 6 months old. His MRI at 6 months old did not show SM but he had sever CM with enlarged ventricles. He is managed extremely well on medications now at almost 2 years old. His neurologist was not too surprised by his young age.

http://youtu.be/cFGwlwg4sgA
http://youtu.be/s8TIAuOVrhc
http://youtu.be/hMqE_pJWMW4
http://youtu.be/8SKxTuJcViE

Alana
1st March 2012, 05:18 AM
Bella does this after a bath or if the fan blows on her. I am hoping her hair tickles her ears and that is why she rubs them. She just does it twice then will move away from the wind. She did it yesterday for a bit but that was after we sprayed vinegar on the floor after she pee'd on the carpet. So I think it was because she smelled it, didn't like it and wanted to 'rub the smell away'. I am hoping.

Hopeful4now
1st March 2012, 08:32 AM
Hi Cavalover, I joined this board after my pup Dagny was diagnosed via MRI for CM and SM at 4 months old. I saw symptoms from the get-go at 14 weeks. Scratching that didn't seem normal, head rubbing and the occasional yelp like a flea bit her butt (but then would go right back to normal) were the early signs. The major screaming episode is what got us to the neurologist ASAP.

Yeah, I guess I'm the lucky exception to the rule, but this DOES happen. People reading this may say, "Oh, well I researched my breeder and that's really rare." Yeah it's rare but I never thought (w/all my research and planning) this would happen to me. And yes pups from breeders who health test get this as well. You can see my thread all about my journey the last month in the thread "My puppy was just diagnosed with SM." It's been crazy. I'm a different person now. Can't say that it's for the best either. Just been really hard. But everyone on this board has been great, so thanks again. And best of luck to you!

Kate H
1st March 2012, 11:55 AM
The problem with knowing when a Cavalier develops symptoms of SM is that they can resemble symptoms of a lot of other things and not get recognised as SM. (Works the other way round as well - you can worry about SM symptoms that turn out to be something else.) In retrospect, Oliver had symptoms from when I got him from his breeder at a year old, but squinting in strong light and being a restless sleeper were put down to just his little quirks. When he was mini-scanned and diagnosed with SM at 6, both I and my vet considered he had no SM symptoms (the scan was done mainly to satisfy my curiosity, as he had a clear family history of SM). So unless a puppy has very clear symptoms, as others have described, or you are experienced at recognising signs of pain (not always easy), it can be quite difficult to pinpoint when a dog starts having symptoms of SM. They will have been born with CM, of course, as the SM develops from that, and CM can also cause similar symptoms.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

cavalover
2nd March 2012, 12:41 AM
Thanks for the responses, and I agree with Hopeful4now that everyone on this board is great! I have been reading the blog about Abbey who had SM and the surgery (Abbey's mom says that she also has posted on cavaliertalk before), and I read that Abbey had identifiable signs back into young puppyhood. It got me thinking about how common it is for SM/CM signs and symptoms to appear at such a young age. It seems like symptoms often appear pretty early on based on your responses, and it is so helpful to hear all of your personal experiences. Kate, you point out a good point that SM symptoms can resemble other things, which I think are important to be aware of too. I haven't been able to identify any signs at this point in my guy, but with the high prevalence of SM I want to be prepared if he does develop symptoms later.

Karen and Ruby
3rd March 2012, 09:20 PM
Thanks for the responses, and I agree with Hopeful4now that everyone on this board is great! I have been reading the blog about Abbey who had SM and the surgery (Abbey's mom says that she also has posted on cavaliertalk before), and I read that Abbey had identifiable signs back into young puppyhood. It got me thinking about how common it is for SM/CM signs and symptoms to appear at such a young age. It seems like symptoms often appear pretty early on based on your responses, and it is so helpful to hear all of your personal experiences. Kate, you point out a good point that SM symptoms can resemble other things, which I think are important to be aware of too. I haven't been able to identify any signs at this point in my guy, but with the high prevalence of SM I want to be prepared if he does develop symptoms later.

Yes Linda is Abbeys mum! Abbey was unfortunately given her wings at just 7 years old in January of this year down to a worsening in her SM. Although the surgery gave her releif for many years!