View Full Version : Concerned about Winston

9th March 2012, 03:11 AM
I didn't know nearly enough about SM before joining this forum, and I've spent the better part of the day watching the videos and reading the symptoms, and now I'm worried. Winston stops to scratch at his collar while on the lead, at some point every time I take him out. He scratches at his collar in the house as well. I had chalked it up to it being his first collar and just getting used to it, but now I'm not so sure. He rubs his face on the floor at least once a day, which I had assumed was just part of his puppy exuberance. He doesn't yelp or act like he's bothered by any of it. At what point should I worry? He's only 12 weeks old. Upon questioning, DH told me he came from a BYB, which I'm not pleased with at all. He said both parents appeared healthy and happy, well groomed and trained. What is my next move?

9th March 2012, 05:49 AM
There was a recent question about the same behavour in a puppy the same age here -- I think you'll find most of your questions addressed :):


In short -- very unlikely in a puppy this young, and this kind of collar scratching is pretty normal for puppies. That said: you will have less knowledge and higher risk than you could or should have had about the health of your puppy's lines and the level of risk of him developing issues, coming from parents who haven't been tested and probably never were bred according the SM or MVD protocols. But that doesn't make him any less precious or deserving of your love and care. It is a shame your husband wasn't able to find and support a testing, health focused breeder but many unknowingly make such mistakes. The good thing now is that you know more and if anyone you know wants a puppy, can point them in the right direction. And you can make sure you know about the risk conditions and their symptoms so that you always are a well-informed cavalier owner. :)

9th March 2012, 06:49 AM
Thank you so much for your reassurance. My husband has been thoroughly chastised. I told him that while I was ecstatic to come home and find my precious boy waiting as a surprise for me, I was horrified to learn that he did absolutely no research beforehand. He knows how I feel about pet stores and puppy mills, so he avoided that, but had no idea what to look for or ask a breeder. He cited the cost difference in the purchase price of the puppy. I told him you get what you pay for, and unless we won the genetic lottery, he will cost quite a bit more in vet bills than we could have otherwise expected.
The fear and concern for what Winston's future may hold has not slowed our enjoyment of him or our buying spree for him. We did purchase pet insurance, but that would have happened either way. He starts his obedience classes next week, and already has a toy collection to rival that of our human children. We will provide the same love and care for him as we would any family member, he is our baby and he will receive whatever care he needs just the same as my son and daughter do.
Whatever happens, I am glad to have found this forum for advice and support throughout the journey he is sure to take us on.

9th March 2012, 08:44 AM
Hi andrea, I recently posted about the exact same thing (see link above), whilst I was aware that cavaliers were prone to some serious health issues, i don't think I realised to what extent and I was very naive with regards to sm. I stumbled across this site and then began researching sm whilst becoming more and more paranoid that every scratch or lick of the paw meant that she had it! I often found myself just sitting and watching her for symptoms which of course doesn't help at all, so now I'm in the mind set that if her scratching was excessive or not normal puppy scratching, I would notice it without having to sit and constantly watch her, waiting for her to do something which could 'possibly' be a symptom! As other posters said to me, it is good that we are aware of sm and the symptoms but we must not let our most probably needless worrying (as karlin said it is very rare to see symptoms in a young pup) get in the way of enjoying our pup's.

Kate H
9th March 2012, 10:17 AM
And if your pup does develop SM, you will realise from this forum that it isn't a death sentence. Many dogs with SM have mild symptoms, and those with more serious symptoms can respond well to medication (which doesn't mean. of course, that we would not all prefer SM not to exist). My Oliver has had some symptoms of SM most of his life that went unnoticed until he was mini-scanned at 6. He is now nearly 11 and is an active and happy dog who leads a virtually normal life - certainly no worse than most other dogs of his age and better than many.

Be watchful but not paranoid! And enjoy you pup - I think Cavaliers really lead the field for enchanting puppies (but then I am a little biased)!

Kate, Oliver and Aled

9th March 2012, 10:27 AM
That's lovely to hear Kate, it's nice to hear that dogs who do develop sm can lead normal, happy lives. I think when you think about sm you automatically think worse case scenario so it's good to hear positive experiences from owners who have been through it 

9th March 2012, 03:27 PM
My hope, obviously, is that he stays free of SM and MVD well into old age and preferably forever. Regardless of what happens, I will love and enjoy him. He is such a sweet boy and I can't imagine not having him here.

Sydneys Mom
9th March 2012, 04:44 PM
I agree with the advice of the others. He's still a puppy and all your seeing could very well be just normal puppy behavior. It's good to know warning signs of SM and MVD, but try not to let it interfere with the enjoyment of watching your puppy grow. I don't know if you have insurance or not......I do have one piece of advice, and that is not to mention your fears of SM or any illness to your vet UNTIL you have insurance in place, otherwise it could be noted as pre-existing. There are so many things that puppies and dogs need over their lifetime, that medical insurance in a good investment.

Enjoy Winston!