Worried about Bailey
Hi all. I was hoping to never have to make a post like this and still hope that maybe I'm being too ready to jump to conclusions, but I've been seeing some behavior in Bailey that is raising concern.
He is just shy of 5 months old now and hasn't been showing any signs of pain or discomfort. However, I've noticed, just in the past couple of days, that he's started bunny hopping a little bit when running around the house. It'll only be one or two, which will kind of stop him for a second, but then he'll go back to what he was doing. And it's not every time he runs. He's also never done it on lead. I've also noticed in the last week or so that there is one spot on his back that he keeps scratching. It's right at the center of his back and he'll alternate between craning his head around to bit at it and scratching it with his hind leg. I've checked the skin and there's no obvious irritation. I also don't feel anything untoward going on under the skin.
We have an appointment with the vet next week for a final round of vaccines. Is this something I should bring up to her? Should I raise it in the context of SM?
Do you have insurance on Bailey? I wouldn't say anything until you have insurance, and you've pasted the waiting period.
I'm so sorry you are noticing things that are leading you to think SM.
Thanks MommytoClaire. We have PetPlan insurance for Bailey and the waiting period has expired. So, at least that is not a concern.
5 months is very young to be showing symptoms although not an impossibility.
Its hard to say as SM is becoming more and more known and understood- when I think back to when Ruby was a puppy (she is 5 now and diagnosed at 2) she did show signs from a very early age, but I didn't know it at the time.
The scratching was definitely a big one, but also the refusal to play tug of war - yelping when we did- which at the tine I put down to teething ( so this must have been at a very early stage) and also screaming of a night (at the time she slept in a crate in the kitchen (only up to the age of 1) so again an early sign that we put down to a nightmare,
And I think we have to settle to the fact that SM and CM is a lot more prevalent than most believe and to own a Cavalier carries a big risk.
If you are really worried then do bring it up but they will most probably suggest fleas, ear infection, or coat change, change in weather can bring dry skin.
But with out meaning to worry you I think any Cavalier owner should keep the possibility at the front of their mind.
Another, non-SM, possibility, which is quite common in Cavaliers, is a disc problem. In other breeds bunny-hopping while running is the most common sign of hip dysplasia. So while you wouldn't want your puppy to have either of these conditions, there are other things besides SM that could be causing these possible symptoms. Slipping patellas is another one. But if your youngster is not in any visible pain, don't even mention them to your vet until your insurance is 2 weeks old! Otherwise anything wrong will count as a 'pre-existent' condition and be excluded.
Kate, Oliver and Aled
Thanks for all your input. Upon closer observation, I've since noticed that what I'm calling a bunny-hop is not the air scratching that I've seen in videos with cavs who have SM. He is making contact and it seems he's trying to reach that spot on his back he's been scratching at. So, I'm hoping it's something more localized to that one spot.
We've had Bailey's insurance for a couple of months now. So, since I don't have to worry about that, I plan to bring it up to our vet next Wednesday. However, I won't raise it in the context of SM since he is still so young and I've read on here that it's not worth getting MRIs until around 1 year old anyway. Instead, I'll see what she has to say and keep hoping that it is something minor.