View Full Version : a new treatment for SM?

Dee Chettle
13th September 2012, 02:53 PM
Hi everyone,
I recently got a beautiful Cav called Barley. but he as started to air scratch and shake is ears. he's only 3month old but it is worrying me. the vet just said its possible that he has it and theres no cure!

I did some searching and came across this:

and was wondering if anyone as tried it for thier Cav. its called Normast.

13th September 2012, 06:10 PM
I'm really sorry you are seeing SM in a dog so young. :(

Normast isn't a cure. Some people have tried it in combination with other medications, generally. I would never ever give this alone! Regardless of whether Normast helps (and there is no clear evidence that it does, though some feel it does give additional help when used with the traditional medications needed to relieve the pain of SM), I find the way the owner of the company promotes it to be questionable at best -- especially if it gives anyone the idea that it is somehow a cure for this very serious disease. I also don;t like that he pops up on forums himself promoting a very expensive treatment. It very definitely is not a cure-- or the human and canine world would rush to use this alone and be delighted to at last have a simple solution to an awful condition. Neurologist Dr Clare Rusbridge for example does not include it on her treatment options.

I would want some proper clinical trials to believe this stuff actually works any better than what is already available-- and not just owner self-reporting which is far too subjective. I believe there is some interest in a proper trial and I would welcome that. :thmbsup: But when something is hailed as a huge breakthrough and yet isn't being seen as such by the human community with this condition, who would surely rush to use such a godsend, I have major doubts.

You do need to work with a neurologist as a priority now, not a vet -- if your cavalier has this condition, you need to be able to knowledgeably consider your options, whether to opt for surgery or medications, and if medications, recognise that these will not halt progression in a symptomatic dog. Young dogs showing symptoms, especially at only three months, tend to be more severe cases -- but you can only learn what is going on by working with a neurologist as this is a specialist condition. Air scratching almost certainly indicates this is SM as I am told by neurologists they have not seen it with any other condition. Thus you do urgently need specialist assessment and advice and you need to inform the breeder as well so they can make some responsible decisions about their breeding programme and MRI their breeding stock if not already done (it should have been, by any responsible breeder).

I am not sure where you are based but if in North America www.cavalierhealth.org has a list of board-certified neurologists and notes those that are known to have experience of canine SM.

Dee Chettle
13th September 2012, 07:23 PM
I'm in the UK, my vet said not to worry yet as he's young.
he hasnt showed any sign of pain and he his scratching a lot less now ive took his collar off.
ive also notices a flea on him, looked like a cat flea so treating him and the house and the cat. and will watch his behavior over the next couple of week.
i cant walk him till next weds as just had his last pup shots. but will be using a harness instead of a collar just incase he has SM. i prey he hasnt.

13th September 2012, 08:01 PM
Hello Dee and welcome to the board.
Sorry to hear you're worried about your puppy,so soon after getting him.
When you say air scratching,can you describe what you're seeing?
Perhaps your vet has mentioned SM as a possibility for his scratching,rather than any kind of formal diagnosis.
It usually takes an extensive neurological examination by a neurologist to correctly diagnose the condition.
While it is possibly for very young puppies to be affected,and we do have some members here who have had this experience,such early onset SM in babies is still thankfully rare.I would use this time between now and next Wednesday to find out as much as you can about SM in cavaliers,so you can be well informed when speaking to your vet.
Young puppies cannot regulate oil production and can sometimes have dry flaky skin.You tend to notice it a bit more in tricolours in the black hair.
A good quality puppy shampoo with something like aloe vera or teatree oil is nice and soothing for them.
If you suspect your puppy has a flea,your vet can give you a "spot on" product like stronghold which will deal with fleas and mites.
It's also possible for a puppy to have ear mites which burrow into the ear canal and can be very irritating for a puppy.Have a look into the ear and see if there's brown deposits in or around the ear. It's probably a good idea to treat cat and puppy together.Perhaps let him get over his vaccinations first.
For the moment,try not to worry.
Here are some links to basic information on cavalier health.
www.cavaliermatters.org (http://www.cavaliermatters.org/)


Dee Chettle
13th September 2012, 08:15 PM
Thanx, i have been reading a lot about SM to be honest its making me ill thinking about it. im just going to try and enjoy him for now unless i do see signs of pain.
yes thats exsactly what the vet said, he mentioned SM as a possibility for his scratching. he checked his ears which looked clear.
i have noticed white specs on his black fur. i gave him Frontline 3 weeks ago so cant really give him more for at least another week. (also treating the cat but she is a daft cat as likes to sleep in garden even when raining so frontline on her probably not working as well at it should do).
i will try the shampoos next week so not to wash the frontline off.
Thanx for your advice i do hope im just an overly worried mummy.

Dee Chettle
13th September 2012, 08:26 PM
sorry forgot to tell you about his scrathing.
he runs up the garden while trying to scratch at the same time about 3-4 times a day also scratches at his ears and shakes his head about 5-6 times a day each lasting about less than a minute. he also twitches his hind leg while dreaming.

13th September 2012, 08:31 PM
It's very natural to worry about them,they're so precious!
You can wash the puppy 48 hours after the frontline treatment..
My first cavalier had severe SM.She never air scratched or bunny hopped,or had any of the obvious symptoms that you would expect them to have.She was almost three when she was diagnosed but showed no major symptoms until she was perhaps three and a half and had lameness and became very withdrawn. She had screaming episodes which came from nowhere.
Other symptoms can be explained away as normal canine behaviour..or allergies,so the best advice is to have a good insurance policy in place should you ever need further referral.Your local vet hasn't the expertise to make a definite diagnosis,but it's good that you are aware of the condition and if you continue to have worries as your puppy grows,you'll be able to follow up with a specialist if you feel the need to.
Barley looks very sweet, tricolours are fabulous and hopefully you'll find the time to post more pics of him.

Dee Chettle
13th September 2012, 08:44 PM
Thanx, he is very sweet :) just wish dogs could talk just hate the thought of him being in pain and not knowing about it. but he does seem jolly and happy, loves playing and laying on his back a lot for belly rubs ;)
im looking into insurance at the moment.

13th September 2012, 09:48 PM
Dee you are so sweet. Its easy to tell you are in LOVE with this little pup but I think you need to BREATHE.....:o relax and take a minute. I have a cavalier from "unknown" family history so I can only watch, wait and worry as well however I think your worried Mommy scents is on overdrive. Its so easy to do with cavaliers especially since you have lived thur SM before. However, scratching is normal at a collar or fleas or even just in a young puppy getting into fresh dirt. And the twitching when sleeping....haven't you seen the youtube video of the dog running in his sleep and wakes up only to run into the wall??? You are exactly correct to look into insurance because you know all too well how costly medical problems can get. And if you have concerns you are also right to want your pup checked out (like all good Mommy's) but I think you are standing on the wrong side of the panic/worry vs enjoy your puppy fine line every aware cavalier owners live with everyday. Oh yeah and just treat with Frontline as the directions state don't bother with flea baths or other methods if you do find fleas before your pup is due for the next treatment call the vet. Remember too many baths (in too harsh shampoos) can dry out skin causing you guessed it itchy skin.
Please go enjoy your puppy and keep us updated :)

Dee Chettle
13th September 2012, 09:51 PM
One last thing if anyone can answer.

Can ‘air scratching’ while walking/running be seen in normal behaviour for any dog breed?
or symptoms of another ailment?
or is it strictly associated with SM

Dee Chettle
13th September 2012, 10:11 PM
Thanx MomObvious (http://www.cavaliertalk.com/forums/member.php?8837-MomObvious) you are right about me being on the wrong side. i only just found out about SM yesterday and obviously panicked, im now thinking it could be a number of thing or even nothing, like i said he seems a very happy chappy, chirpy and very active so while he is, ill enjoy him and stop stressing so much.
Thanx everyone for your kind words and support. :)