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Thread: Tail Chasing a secondary Symptom of SM (one neurologist maybe another no)

  1. #11
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    Here is another entity, but not all of these members are vets:

    http://www.animalbehavior.org/ABSApp...caab-directory

    Pat
    Pat B
    Atlanta, GA

  2. #12
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    Default All of this information is really helpful...

    I am like a sponge these days on reading everything I can on Cavalier health. I do think two elderly Cavvies down the street are examples of OCD without CM. When I first met them 5 years ago, one of the compulsively licked everything and the other chased his tail alot. Both have been scanned now for spinal disk issues and have no CM at all. But even at age 12 and 14, they both still show some OCD behaviors.

    When Gracie was about 7-8 months, she went through a period of licking odd things... table legs, rug, side of bathtub, etc. Has not done it for several months though. Not sure why it stopped....

  3. #13
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    On tail chasing, my first cavalier did this but it was encouraged by us. When she was bored, she would tail chase as it would always get attention. Some puppies will do this naturally and if encouraged can become a habit. I guess anything can also become OCD-ish. Think labrador and a ball. I have no idea how it relates to SM or other health issues, but I do wonder if people try to explain more behavior away than needed. Dog's behavior is learned by cause and effect. A dog will do behavior and if it is rewarded either inside (think of bladder release offering immidiate reward) or outside (praise from owner). Behavior will become habit if repeating gives reward.

  4. #14
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    So much conflicting info out there... Scarlett fly-catches quite a bit and I have had two neurologists (Clare R included) tell me that it is not related to SM, but if you read Rod's site it says this on the Fly-Catcher's page:

    "Symptoms

    The flycatcher's-affected cavalier appears to be watching imaginary flies buzzing in front of its face and then trying to bite the flies. Some affected dogs may compulsively chase their tails or act as if their ears or paws are irritated. Episodes may last for several hours, and in severe cases, constantly. Fly biting behavior also has been identified as a symptom of syringomyelia, a serious neurological disorder more common in the cavalier King Charles spaniel than in any other breed. See Syringomyelia for information about this disease."

    http://cavalierhealth.org/flycatchers.htm

    From personal experience, I know that when Scarlett is having a pain episode or bad time with her SM, she also fly-catches a lot. BUT... is it due to the stress of being in pain or is it directly related to SM?? I don't know... another mystery.

    Dr. Schubert at UF said it is a form of epilepsy and wanted to treat it with pheno-barbital, but she is already on so many meds that I didn't want to add more and the fly-catching doesn't really seem to bother her much.
    Holly, Oliver, Rosalita, and Scarlett

  5. #15
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    This makes for interesting reading and I like what Kate said about it being so so easy to attribute all these strange behaviours to SM or CM when in actuality it is just what dogs do.

    Charlie is a massive tail chaser and compulsive licker- if you let him he will sit and lick you from head to toe and then start on himself, the sofa, a cushion or sometimes Ruby. FYI (he has symptomatic CM)

    I put the tail chasing down to boredom and the fact that if given a chance he will chase ANYTHING that moves, be it a leaf/bird/plastic bag etc etc He is a very high energy little guy.

    Charlie being a rescue is quite uncomfortable with closeness and doesn't enjoy a close cuddle like many dogs do and I see the licking as his way of being close with me/anything with out being in his face and he also licks when he is nervous - it is a known Calming Signal of dogs to lick.

    But Ruby on the other hand does have a lot of little quirks that I absolutely attribute to the SM, the nibbling, bum scooting, flinching as though something has bitten her in the bum, head rubbing and occasional licking of the air (like fly catching but her tongue goes up and in to the air as though there was a nice bit of chicken hanging in the air)

    Its a tough one but I think sometimes we have to look at what else can be causing a behaviour before blaming it on the SM or CM

    Karen

    Ruby - my stunning soul mate who defies the odds every day
    Charlie- my angel at heart and devil at play


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