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Thread: New puppy and signs of SM?

  1. #1
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    Default New puppy and signs of SM?

    Hi everybody,
    it has been awhile since last time I visited here. We were going back and forth when buying new puppy. Then with some encouragement from vets and some breeders that we just had terrible bad luck, we decided to get another cavalier. God I feels so stupid! I wanted this dog to be our new family member, new friend for my kids. We found a breeder, traveled to different country to get her. Chose a breeder who is testing for SM, the parents are SM free, the mom just had her second scan…SM 0. We got the puppy on the beginning of the month. Very energetic young girl. It was hard at first as the only dog I wanted was my Nairin who just recently died on SM. Then she gave me the puppy/cav look and I just couldn't help myself. Not her fault.

    So the puppy we have is scratching, mainly around her head. Took her to the vets (3) and one found flea eggs. So we gave her frontline as the vet suggested. She had her vaccination on 12.11, frontline 12.17 and we dewormed her on 12.23
    Still scratching though. One vet checked her heart and she said that it sounds different. Not like a murmur, but just different. she said that we will check on that in two weeks and will see.
    Then the puppy started have yelping episodes on 12.24. It happened 4 times that day and twice yesterday. She will yelp out of the sudden and then look to her bottom. Yesterday she was outside playing with my kids on the backyard happily and then again…yelped, look at me all puzzled and then looked to her bottom/tail. It only takes few seconds and then she acts normally.

    I'm frighten! This can't be it! Not again. I can't go thru the same again. I'm trying to figure out our next step. Normal vet? Dermatologist? Neurologist? I was going to take the kids on holiday tomorrow, now what?
    We can see the dermatologist on Monday, dermatologist tomorrow and vet obviously anytime.
    anybody has an idea what this could be? I'm obviously paranoid and have too much information as my vet said.

  2. #2
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    Oh man! I'm sorry but I relax I know you lived through a very hard time with your last cavalier but don't panic yet. You did what many of us have found extremely hard to do: you found a breeder who has good scans for BOTH parents (if the mother has a second scan I assume she is 5 years old?) Did you see the actual paperwork, heck if I was a breeder who has such good scan results I would wallpaper my house with them and offer copies to strangers on the streets What about puppies grandparents?
    I am assuming this pup is what 15 weeks old???? Just a guess, I seriously would venture to say you are NOT seeing SM signs. Scratching is normal puppy behavior too. Fleas maybe still be the issue. The summer we got Fletcher it was a very buggy year here in Virginia and fleas where very hard to control. We treated the yard, the house (I know I hate using chemicals like that around the house too but...) and my vet gave us a pill for Fletcher to take that really worked. Also my best advice about anal glands is leave them alone-however has the vet checked them out? A yelp here and there would get my attention to what's wrong but unless its happening as several yelps in a row several times a day for days, I personally would not suspect SM right away. When Fletcher was a young pup he would yelp when a soft nerf ball bumped him, mostly because it scared him.
    If she was my dog I would want to rule out fleas first, so check with the regular vet. Again Frontline doesn't work 100% for all dogs and because you just treated ask for the pills (I cannot remember the name). I do think as some point soon you should get to her to a cardo, what the heck does a heart "sounds different" mean??? Not a murmur? Also contact your breeder, if he/she is really that good (and it sounds like it) there may be some good advice there.
    Take a very deep breathe, there are many many cavalier owners who are balancing enjoying our dogs and nonstop worry about about their health. It can be very hard. In my opinion, educating yourself and keeping up to date of current info and treatments, being very mindful of the symptoms, and having a list of specialist in the area I would and will use if the issues ever arise is very helpful to me.
    I really took a risk in adopting Fletcher, he's a rescue and more than likely came for a puppy mill. I have zero info in his father and very little on his mother, not even a def age. He has seen a cardo and so far his heart is working fine no murmur. I know at any minute he can start slowing signs of pain. I thought we had knee problem develop earlier this year however it was a shoulder injury! My vet has sees lots of cavaliers and she is very aware, and is great about helping me decide what testing we should do. Either way I own a timebomb! Fletcher will be 2 in Feb. and I really make a huge effort to enjoy EVERY healthy day I get with him. I am starting to get puppy fever again, I would love to get another cavalier and I will either through rescue or a really good breeder. To me personally, its worth the risk however I have made that decision with my head first heart second.

    Were you planning in taking for cavalier with you on your trip? Can you get in to see your regular vet before you go to rule out fleas? I would do that and go away and have fun. It might make you feel better to look up an emergency vet clinic where you are going just in case. I always do that when we take Fletcher away with us. You just never know accidents can happen anywhere.
    Melissa
    "If you don't own a dog, at least one, there is not necessarily anything wrong with you, but there may be something wrong with your life."
    -Roger Caras

  3. #3
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    Thank you Melissa, I hope that you're right. I wonder if the flea bite can actually make her yelp like that. I truly hope so. I contacted the breeder and she mentioned the same thing, along with constipation. So, I'k going to take her to a vet to see if she has fleas (our cat is going out) and wait and see.
    With the heart problem. I honestly don't understand, she said that it could be nothing or some birth defect. She's going to check on that in couple of weeks. But, I know some vets are like that. give you the worse scenario in order to treat your pet. I have an old cat with issues and vet is pushing me to do an endoscopy. I'm not sure about that as he's nearly 16, but they keep calling me if I made my mind yet.
    The puppy was born on the beginning of October, she's cute and vital. Biting like crazy. So different from our sweet and cuddly Nairin. but we love her.

  4. #4
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    You must look at this with your head and not your heart Marcela to make a reasoned decision on what you should or should not do next.

    You say the dog's mother has had 2 clear scans.
    1. As Melissa says, have you seen or been given a copy of her scan results.
    2. How old was she when scanned the second time?
    3. What information were you given about the stud dog, i.e. scan results and at what age?
    4. Did you see your puppy with her mother?
    5. Which country did you travel to to get your puppy?
    6. Were you shown or given a copy of a letter or certificate from the family vet as to the health of the puppy?

    There are more effective flea treatments on the market than Front Line. Advantage and Sentinel are very good, but you will need to wait to retreat until it has been at least four weeks since you used the Front Line.
    A. Did you treat spray your entire home for fleas at the same time and 5 days later to eradicate any fleas living and breeding among your furnishings and bedding?
    B. Cats are known and frequent carriers of fleas so have you treated the cat against them?

    Did your vet check puppy's anal glands for any sign of infection or irritation?
    Did the breeder give you a full history of the worming treatment given before you took puppy home with instructions on follow up treatment from you?
    Did the breeder give you a diet sheet to tell you what puppy has been reared on and did she give you a small suppy of it to take home?
    Have you changed puppy's brand of food too quickly and caused a stomach upset as a result? Sorry to say this but it's very common.

    So far as the heart sounds are concerned, I have heard of many strange sounds of young puppy's hearts being heard through the stethoscope which usually clear spontaneously by the time puppy hits his first birthday. If nothing specific has been suggested, as you say, then there is probably nothing to worry about at this stage. Should puppy become breathless, have a persistent cough or show undue signs of fatigue on exertion, then you might need to see a cardiologist, but this is seldom necessary in a dog of this age.

    I can fully appreciate why you are feeling anxious about your lovely new pup after what you have gone through in the past, but please try not to worry unless and until there is something specific to worry about. Meanwhile, run through the list of things I have made for you to think about and for goodness sake enjoy your puppy and your holidays.
    Warmest wishes
    Flo & the ByFloSin Cavaliers
    Winston Alexander,Little Joe & Holly Poppet
    Birmingham, UK

  5. #5
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    Flo, thank you!

    The mom's second scan was at age of five. She came from Netherlands where everybody must test for SM. Reputable breeder, but still…we know that even SM0 parents can produce affected puppy.
    She's eating meat and I actually got the same frozen meat from Holland for her. So no changes at all.
    Fleas…nope, I didn't do anything else, but gave frontline to the puppy and my cats. I guess I should do it then. But I probably shouldn't give anything for fleas to my pets this early, right?
    I have some anti-parasites shampoo at home, but not sure if I can use that this early.

    I'll try to do better and enjoy her and stop being paranoid. But the scratching and yelping just freaked me out the other day!

  6. #6
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    Hi Marcela,

    There's no way you are being paranoid. You have been through so much so of course it's natural that you should be anxious about the new puppy. Since Rebel became symptomatic I was so worried that I had 2 of my other dogs MRI scanned, even though they were not to be used for breeding and showed no symptoms whatsoever. I was so relieved that they were clear.

    So far as I remember it's quite allright to use flea prevention or elimination products on puppies of six weeks and over so I think it's a case of needing a more effective product than Front Line seems to be these days. Advocate and Stronghold are very good. Stronghold eliminates roundworm too. Advocate doesn't include a wormer, but it does protect and treat for any heartworm, which I think is quite common your side of the pond.

    I checked my pack of Advocate and find that it can safely be used on a monthly basis, so I would wait to apply anything until that month has expired since you used Front Line. What you definitely should do right now though is to purchase a large can of household flea spray from the vet which you should use to treat soft furnishing, bedding and rugs throughout the house that puppy has had contact with. Then I think you will see from the instructions on the can that you need to retreat when any eggs will have hatched out. My failing memory says after five days, but do check.I would not be inclined to use any insecticidal baths or shampoos, because you will be exposing the little one to too much harmful chemical. A flea comb from either the pet store or the vet will help you find and remove any fleas on puppy's coat. It's a long and tiresome job, but if you concentrate on the neck and shoulder area, plus the base of the tail you are likely to catch any that may be there.

    A vet friend who saw your original posting has now told me she thinks the answer is impacted anal glands. She confirms what I thought about it being unlikely that puppy has SM, so now you have yet another reason to go off and enjoy that much needed vacation.
    Warmest wishes
    Flo & the ByFloSin Cavaliers
    Winston Alexander,Little Joe & Holly Poppet
    Birmingham, UK

  7. #7
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    Hi Marcela,
    I would enjoy my vacation time with my family and stop worrying about SM.
    Most young puppies will scratch and it's perfectly normal as they adjust to their environment.
    If you consider the low humidity,central heating, and that puppies cannot properly regulate oil production very well,they can have itchy dry skin.
    Flo has given very good advice on flea treatment,all bedding must be done and a fine tooth comb is a good investment and go through the coat to remove any surviving fleas.
    The risk of symptomatic SM is extremely low in any 15/16 week old,especially one from such a well screened background.
    Of course they are no guarantees,but it seems to be that your puppy has a problem with it's environment and not caused by any underlying health issue like SM.
    You can give your puppy a wash in a mild puppy shampoo,but not an insecticidal one.
    Sins
    Sharing my sofa with Holly, Ivy,Lilly and Hazy.. and never forgetting our beautiful Daisy who reached the bridge too soon.

  8. #8
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    Hi

    It might be worth asking your vet to check her patellas (knees) I had a similar situation when Molly was a pup, we couldn't work out why she was yelping for no apparent reason. This can be quite painful and would almost certainly make her yelp.
    Tania and The Three Cavaliers!
    Dotty!- A Sweet Little Tri
    Molly - Pretty Tri Dougall - Gorgeous Blenheim

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  10. #9
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    Thank you all for your support. I can breathe better now! She's not yelping anymore so far, only scratching like crazy. As I'm paying more attention, I noticed my cat (the indoor one) is scratching as well. I'm going to focus on the fleas for now. I'm really puzzled. The breeder suggested parasites shampoo (as I'm also seeing white pieces on her black coat). But you all (and also the vet) saying to stay away from that. He suggest treat the cats with frontline combo after two weeks and give the puppy advantix drop. He told me to just wash all the linens and vacuum everything that could be vacuum, saying to stay away from any spray in the household.
    I'm also wonder what's next since I've demoed her (12.23) and she had vaccination on 12/11 and next is 1/2. Isn't it too much for young puppy?
    I'll let them to check the patellas and everything else you suggested.
    I hope that this is just the fleas that my dear cat's bringing home. I was so so scared as I saw our Nairin and her yelping and then dying again in front of me. And as I'm obviously trying to deal with her sudden death and missing her so much I see the worse scenario in everything. I'll try to be more positive and enjoy the new puppy. Going to get some training harness (she hates her puppia one) and take her on the trip today.

  11. #10
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    This might be a silly question but have you changed what you wash clothes/sheets with at all recently? I've been watching my two young ones scratch a bit recently and realised that with my boy, he'd only started scratching so much after I'd changed my washing powder. My older cat has always had a sensitive gut and he was itching too, and has lost a lot of hair on his legs!

    Also you say you're feeding frozen meat, but have you tried different meats? One of mine gets mad itchy fits if she eats chicken - be it fresh, cooked, frozen or in dry food. We're going to take her for an additional allergen screening but the process of elimination is so far pointing towards those evil chickens.

    Just a couple of extra thoughts I guess, though of course treating thoroughly for parasites is a good course of action. I felt the same way as you re: is it too much for a young pup. When I took my young two to have their vaccinations they were merrily eating freeze-dried liver whilst screaming like they were being tortured when the vet stuck them with the needle. They've always been a rather cowardly pair and many things set them off yelping - a surprising pat from a cat to a door being slammed. It improved with age and they don't do it so much now.

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