Did her vet check her ears really well? My SM dog does the whole body shake a lot, every day, but it's her whole body not just her head like Laci. That's what made me think about her ears. Maybe she could have PSOM? Maybe in addition to SM? None of mine have ever had it so I don't really know what the symptoms are.
Both of my male dogs love to rub their heads on the carpets and both of them have been MRI'd and are SM free. That in itself is not worrisome to me. Oliver rubs his head against the sofa also. The yelping is the more worrisome symptom.
Hi Christi, I watched the video and the head shaking and rubbing can be a symptom of SM but a lot of other things as well. Also, don't think that because her tail is wagging that she's fine. It's a reflex with the breed and doesn't necessarily mean she's pain free. Without seeing a neurologist, it's really hard to say what's going on, but if I were you, I'd run (not walk) to the best neuro in your state immediately and pay whatever you have to pay to get an evaluation and get your dog a trial of gabapentin. It's a cheap medication and can really make a difference.
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There is not enough evidence to say your cavalier has SM.
Your breeders think that perhaps she doesn't,it's great that they seem so supportive and that you have a good relationship with them.
I believe there may be low cost breeder scans available in your area.Rod Russell may be able to help locate one for you.
My feelings are that your breeder should be able to help you get one of those scans done and it would also be good for their breeding program to have some information on a young bitch who had originally been destined for life as a brood bitch.
Based on my own experience with medication side effects,I'm not in favour of medicating a cavalier unless there's a very good reason.All medications have side effects and having an unaffected dog on longterm medication to me is not the right thing to do, just *in case* she has SM.
You really do need to know what underlying condition she has in order to medicate effectively and for the correct length of time.It may be SM,it could be something entirely different.
Initially a good thorough examination by your vet is a reasonable starting point,for example has she any joint problems,patella or any post spay complications or abdominal issues.
Welcome to the site.
Good morning everyone. Your comments helped me make up my mind. I have an appointment with Dr. Alistair McVey at the University of Minnesota on Monday September 10 at 9:00. I will keep everyone posted. I really want to talk to him about switching from the demamaxx to gabapentin.
Thanks again for all of your input. If you have any other suggestions for things I should tell the neuro or watch for, please let me know.
Couple side notes--Diane--thanks for you comments about her tail wagging. As I watch her and the video I just keep thinking--there is nothing wrong with her! She is wagging her tail! But I know there is something wrong. Thank you for validating that for me.
There were actually two yelping incidents yesterday. I didn't know at the time of my last post that my husband lifted her out of the car and she yelped as he picked her up. He didn't pick her up under the arms but he said he did hold her by her chest. I reminded him that if he has to pick her up, hold from the bottom. I try my best not to pick her up at all. I do like to scoot her on to my lap though--I can't give that up.
One more very personal note--as I mentioned I haven't had a dog in 20 years. My husband is not a dog lover and it was only after many years of pressure from me and my daughter that he agreed to get Laci. Now that I have her, I have to keep her alive and healthy. I love her so much and I'm pretty sure there isn't another one in my future if (god forbid) something happens to her.
The best advice I got before my appointment, was write everything down. All her strange behaviour, yelping(what triggered it) and any questions or concerns you have. It's very easy to forget something as it can be overwhelming.
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