View Full Version : sm or just puppy behaviour?

12th April 2012, 10:33 PM
I am new to this site and finding it very interesting and helpful. We got a girl cavalier Lotty for about 10 weeks.She is nearly 18 weeks now.She is very cleaver and lovely little puppy.She is my first dog and I worry about everything she does. A few things she does really freaking me out as I have read a lot about SM. She scratches on her neck a lot and shake her all body at least 3 times a day like she is wet.Her ears are clean and been checked by vet . She scoots her bum on the floor few times a day and growls and bites her legs. This video is not of my puppy,but my Lotty does exactly same thing.Is this a normal puppy behaviour or is this something wrong. Any advice on this would be appreciated.

Kate H
13th April 2012, 11:38 AM
Scooting and biting at back legs usually means their anal glands need emptying - something that needs to be done regularly with most Cavaliers; your vet will do it for you.

Neck scratching can mean that she is simply uncomfortable with wearing a collar and walking on a lead - some dogs really don't like a collar. At 18 weeks it is highly unlikely she would be showing symptoms of SM. So although you wouldn't want to ignore actual symptoms of SM, at that age look for other causes first. With the puppy in the video, for instance, I would think harvest mites, which are tiny bugs that get between the toes and are very itchy. I wouldn't think it's a symptom of SM. And any dog can pick up a flea - my two are on Frontline and still get them, and if, like my Oliver, they are allergic to flea droppings, even one flea jumping on him for a short time can drive him crazy with scratching. Whereas Aled can pick up any number of fleas and never scratches at all! Our mild winter has been bad for fleas - well, good for them as they didn't die off in cold weather, but bad for our dogs!

Relax and enjoy your puppy!

Kate, Oliver and Aled

13th April 2012, 11:58 AM
Try not to let this worry you now. I did the same thing when I got Bella and it turned out to be a skin allergy and fleas. Many Cavaliers do develop SM but don't let it ruin your time with your puppy. Look for other things to rule out first before thinking the worst. Enjoy puppyhood!

13th April 2012, 05:18 PM
Hi, I doubt your dog has SM but it's great that you're being so proactive and educating yourself about it. My puppy was diagnosed via MRI at 4 months after some horrible symptoms. She did the stuff your pup is doing (could all be normal) but the one symptom that made me say "Uh oh i think we have a problem" was when she'd be on the couch or resting and would jump up real quick and do a quick yelp as if someone pinched her butt. Out of nowhere she'd turn around real quick as if something bit her. That was really troubling for us...

But all things considered, she probably doesn't have SM. Just keep an eye on her and be the best mom you can. ;-) And if she does have SM down the road, there are medicines that really help.

Best of luck to you! Enjoy your new baby!

14th April 2012, 04:34 PM
I have a 4.5 month old puppy who scoots her butt - like another member mentioned, it just means her anal glads need to be emptied. I take her in about every 6 weeks for that - it's a super quick tech appointment at the vet.

As for scratching at the neck, Lady does that too because she still hates her collar. Although I think she's slowly resigning herself to the fact that it's staying on. :)

I worry about my pup the same way you do!!! Keeping an eye on her is great, she's lucky to have such a proactive mama.

14th April 2012, 08:36 PM
Thank you very much for all responds. I am so glad I have joined this site-so many lovely people and cavaliers and great advice. Lotty had frontline combo last week so it couldn't be fleas and her glands been emptied about 10 weeks ago(I will take her to vets again-wasn't sure how often that need to be done) .I was thinking maybe she needs her hair trimmed on the bottom of her pads that she is biting and growling at them. I probably just worry too much as I want her to be happy, healthy and comfortable as we all love her so much. I am just going to enjoy her puppy-hood and keep and eye on her.Thanks again.
Liana & Lotty

15th April 2012, 05:14 PM
Hi liana, I know exactly how you feel, I have the same worries about my 21 week old pup! I was convinced that my pup was showing signs of sm, just after I got her at 10 weeks, she displays the same symptoms as your pup and the one in the clip but it's is normally when she has problems with her anal glands, she had them emptied a few weeks after we got her and they were very full , she started to scoot and bite at her hind legs a few weeks after so she had them emptied again and the vet gave her a course of antibiotics, and told us to take her back in 4 weeks for them checking again, that will b this coming week and she's just started scooting and showing symptoms again. I know it is rare for puppies so young to display signs of sm but it is so hard not to panic when you have researched and have so much knowledge of this terrible condition, I was constantly thinking about it and researching it for weeks, I now try to put it to the back of my head and enjoy my puppy, If she does develop symptoms in the future I'm now certain I'd spot it straight away and be able to get her the help she'd need ASAP


Kate H
16th April 2012, 11:18 AM
Frontline doesn't stop fleas landing on dogs, it just kills off any eggs they lay so that they can't multiply. So unfortunately it's quite possible to have Frontline and fleas (as my two will testify)! My Oliver quite often gets mud right up into his pads, which then hardens and becomes uncomfortable; so it's worth exploring right up into the pads with your finger and see if there's anything hard there. Bathing in warm water deals with it. Aled chews at his paws when he's been for a muddy walk, so it's worth keeping the fur underneath short (reminder to myself that it's time I trimmed Aled's again!).

Kate, Oliver and Aled

16th April 2012, 07:21 PM
Thanks again everyone,reading your advice and experiences make me feel so much relax and less worried about my puppy. I am taking Lotty to have her glands done this week and her pads trimmed. She has been acting really strange today. Shivering, smacking her mouth like she was thirsty and walking with her tail tacked in so I was a bit worried again,but then I discovered a baby tooth on her blanket .So poor little thing has sore gums.When I checked her mouth I found out she has lost 2 teeth-she probably ate the other one. Any idea what will be the best to sooth her gums?I do give her toys and dental sticks to chew.

PS:sorry about the grammar and spelling ,but English is my second language.

16th May 2012, 03:49 PM
I just want to say thank you for posting this question. My 6 month old puppy Lincoln does the exact same things and it was really scaring me. This site has been so supportive since I have gotten him! During his first few days he was scratching at his collar a lot (probably because it was new) and I was terrified that he would have SM. After reading all the posts from people whose dogs are living happily with that diagnosis I am no longer as afraid of Lincoln having it. Again, thank you. :)