Did you know that excessive head scratching is the first sign of a paralyzing disorder for Cavalier King Charles Spaniels? The condition is called Syringomyelia and often the main symptom pet owners notice is “head scratching” or “air scratching” where a dog raises a rear leg and wildly attempts to soothe an itch near the head or neck. Syringomyelia (SM) is a serious condition of the brain and spinal cord that can lead to paralysis. SM is rare in most dog breeds, but Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are predisposed to the disorder.
SM is painful and can cause an array of issues such as :facial paralysis, head shaking, hearing loss, head tilt, leg weakness and paralysis. Cavaliers begin to show symptoms between the ages of 6 months to 3 years-old. [Read more…]