I am new to this site. Please tell me what SM is?
Bentley and Chloe both bite at their sides and tummies, no lesions so far. I have heard that it is helpful to wash their feet everyday because they pick up allergens and chemicals outdoors and this helps prevent allergic reactions.
It is a neurological condition which is unfortunately, fairly widespread in the breed (though thankfully, many with it have few to no symptoms). There's lots of information in the Health library section, and also on www.smcavaliers.com, www.cavalierhealth.org, and at Dr Clare Rusbridge's website's SM pages, http://www.veterinary-neurologist.co.uk/Syringomyelia/.
One goal of this board is to provide information and support for those with cavaliers with SM. In one large research project with over 500 cavaliers, it was estimated that 70+ will likely have the condition eventually. It is generally a progressive condition. It is often misdiagnosed by vets as allergies.
It's a good idea for every cavalier owner should make sure they are familiar with the signs of the condition, and also to be aware of signs of heart disease in the breed, as this is also very widespread, with most cavaliers eventually having it.
We hope by raising awareness amongst pet owners, especially in how to pick a health-focused, health-testing breeder, that it will help to eventually lower the incidence of these and other conditions. :thmbsup: And also, that greater awareness amongst owners will help ensure our dogs do not go without any needed medical care, as (too) often vets know little about proper diagnosis or care for these two main breed health conditions.