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Thread: When do I start worrying?

  1. #11

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    I have several dogs who do this: some more than others. One is NOT a Cavalier: she is a Rhodesian Ridgeback! As she is now 11, and two of the Cavaliers who rub are not far off their 14th birthday, I don't think it anything significant.

    Think about it: do dogs like to be rubbed around the ears? Do cats like to be rubbed around the ears? Do we like it? There are nerve endings in the neck and head that are pleasurable. All mine do it hard after a bath, head on the carpet or towel and scoot round the room, and so has every dog I’ve know! My mother’s German Shepherd used to do it after he’d swum in the sea: it never deterred him that he got a face full of sand. Her several terrier type mongrels after him all did it too: usually along the cushions of the sofa. Tchi, the Ridgeback, sticks her nose between my legs to rub her head – well, she tries to! She still has not learnt that it is not, for humans, acceptable behaviour; either that or the pleasure outweighs me telling her off.

    The sound a dog makes when in pain is quite unmistakable, and if any of mine did it when head rubbing then I’d certainly look for a cause. I think it’s easier when you have several to decide what is “normal” and what isn’t: when there’s only one you have nothing to compare with.

    I have another thought concerning fleas and the little gunk in her ear: it could just be that she has picked up a mite of one type or another, especially with the sort of weather there has been this year. There are spot-on products that clear up things like that: Stronghold or Advocate is one, but talk to your vet abut a suitable treatment and a week or so AFTER you have used Thornit. I'll also warn you that mites are very difficult to detect: skin scrapings can miss them entirely.

    Jane

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Murton, Co Durham
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    1,775

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    My two are also face rubbers, but they don't stop there.. It's followed by a full back rub.. and tail wags and grunts - almost the full length of the carpet. It's a pleasure thing, normally before or after feeding or before or after walkies

    CM2 SM0a Mri'd - no SM aged 3 and a half... Syd, Grade D Bertie, Mri'd but but no symptoms... aged 6
    Julie, Peter,
    Sydney & Harvey - Jake 21.02.11 - Bertie 21.11.16

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Essex
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    23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mary Cunningham View Post
    My ' face rubber' is nearly 11 and scanned SM free at 5 years.

    She has done it all her life, always after dinner or a big drink and runs along on her head and shoulder one way...then back down the other...wagging her tail all the way.
    NO other symptoms at all.
    Please remember that the condition SM is categorised as presenting with pain...

    Try not to worry, difficult I know .... I had one bitch scanned early because of of the nagging worry, squeaked every time I picked her up, combed a single hair!...she too was clear of SM and still symptom free at 8.

    Chin up, be positive.

    Mary
    Oh wow again thank you so much!

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Essex
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    23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Janelise View Post
    I have several dogs who do this: some more than others. One is NOT a Cavalier: she is a Rhodesian Ridgeback! As she is now 11, and two of the Cavaliers who rub are not far off their 14th birthday, I don't think it anything significant.

    Think about it: do dogs like to be rubbed around the ears? Do cats like to be rubbed around the ears? Do we like it? There are nerve endings in the neck and head that are pleasurable. All mine do it hard after a bath, head on the carpet or towel and scoot round the room, and so has every dog I’ve know! My mother’s German Shepherd used to do it after he’d swum in the sea: it never deterred him that he got a face full of sand. Her several terrier type mongrels after him all did it too: usually along the cushions of the sofa. Tchi, the Ridgeback, sticks her nose between my legs to rub her head – well, she tries to! She still has not learnt that it is not, for humans, acceptable behaviour; either that or the pleasure outweighs me telling her off.

    The sound a dog makes when in pain is quite unmistakable, and if any of mine did it when head rubbing then I’d certainly look for a cause. I think it’s easier when you have several to decide what is “normal” and what isn’t: when there’s only one you have nothing to compare with.

    I have another thought concerning fleas and the little gunk in her ear: it could just be that she has picked up a mite of one type or another, especially with the sort of weather there has been this year. There are spot-on products that clear up things like that: Stronghold or Advocate is one, but talk to your vet abut a suitable treatment and a week or so AFTER you have used Thornit. I'll also warn you that mites are very difficult to detect: skin scrapings can miss them entirely.

    Jane
    We used Frontline...does this not protect against this? (I genuinely don't know!)

    Quote Originally Posted by julieb7 View Post
    My two are also face rubbers, but they don't stop there.. It's followed by a full back rub.. and tail wags and grunts - almost the full length of the carpet. It's a pleasure thing, normally before or after feeding or before or after walkies

    CM2 SM0a Mri'd - no SM aged 3 and a half... Syd, Grade D Bertie, Mri'd but but no symptoms... aged 6
    Thank you! Seriously!!!!

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Murton, Co Durham
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    It's not all doom and gloom.. I fully understand your gut reaction when seeing this happen... We have also done this "watching" mainly because our first cavalier had Sm and had the symptoms (Jake). Bertie has been diagnosed by MRI with SM at the age of 2 and a half, but is still symptom free at 6! .... and long may it last.


    It's only natural when you read all about this condition to think that every scratch or face rub is a symptom... but do still continue to watch and take note... You will soon see and hear the differences if these actions are not signalling "happiness"
    Julie, Peter,
    Sydney & Harvey - Jake 21.02.11 - Bertie 21.11.16

  6. #16

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    No, Frontline protects against ticks and fleas, but only some mites. If you've used Frontline, though, I'd wait three months before using any other product!

    The only product to contain selamectin, which I know from bitter experience kills sarcoptic mange and harvest mites, is REVOLUTION or STRONGHOLD, depending on which country you live in. It's made by Pfizer and available for dogs and cats. Selamectin is effective against a few tick species, adult fleas and certain lice and mite species, as well as against roundworms, including heartworms. It has a systemic mode of action, i.e., it is first absorbed through the skin into blood and then distributed through the whole body of the pet.

    Jane

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Essex
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    Quote Originally Posted by julieb7 View Post
    It's not all doom and gloom.. I fully understand your gut reaction when seeing this happen... We have also done this "watching" mainly because our first cavalier had Sm and had the symptoms (Jake). Bertie has been diagnosed by MRI with SM at the age of 2 and a half, but is still symptom free at 6! .... and long may it last.


    It's only natural when you read all about this condition to think that every scratch or face rub is a symptom... but do still continue to watch and take note... You will soon see and hear the differences if these actions are not signalling "happiness"
    Thanks for this...will just keep an eye on that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Janelise View Post
    No, Frontline protects against ticks and fleas, but only some mites. If you've used Frontline, though, I'd wait three months before using any other product!

    The only product to contain selamectin, which I know from bitter experience kills sarcoptic mange and harvest mites, is REVOLUTION or STRONGHOLD, depending on which country you live in. It's made by Pfizer and available for dogs and cats. Selamectin is effective against a few tick species, adult fleas and certain lice and mite species, as well as against roundworms, including heartworms. It has a systemic mode of action, i.e., it is first absorbed through the skin into blood and then distributed through the whole body of the pet.

    Jane
    Never heard of either of those but will look into them! Thanks for the information!

  8. #18
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    Jun 2014
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    Northamptonshire
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    Hello there, I am very new to this forum and haven't kept Cavaliers for decades but I do have one with SM (diagnosed at just over two with an MRI). She too did this but as an awful lot of people have said, this is also a very normal behaviour. So many of the numerous symptoms for SM are very "normal".

    If it puts your mind at rest, my little one used to yelp with pain when picked up a lot of the time (not by me, I hasten to add) and also when people came to the house and greeted her. I suspect they were ruffling her ears and just patting her rather roughly. However, the biggest thing was that she really seemed down in the dumps. She lost all her va va voom and used to hide herself away in corners and not want attention. I'm happy to say that thanks to the care of a brilliant specialist and medication, she is full of beans again.

    Unless your dog seems to be in pain, try not to worry. As our neurologist explained to me, even if an MRI reveals "SM" it really is the clinical signs (pain) that matter.


    Hope that puts your mind to rest a wee bit. I do understand worrying though. If it was an Olympic sport, I'd be as famous as Steve Redgrave!

  9. #19
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    Oct 2008
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    Bowers Gifford, Essex, UK.
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlottem View Post
    If it was an Olympic sport, I'd be as famous as Steve Redgrave!
    I rather fear you would be standing there with the Silver Medal Charlotte.... because I would be the one with Gold around my neck


    Kind regards,
    Veronica

  10. #20
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    Morris Twp, NJ USA (NYC area)
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    One idea why the dog is rubbing the face and scratching that nobody mentioned here - it may be the food. Most of the kibble contain so much fillers that dogs can't digest. In fact they don't have much enzymes to digest most of the carbs and the best kibble contains 50% of carbs on the dry basis (the best such as Orijen, the regular one will be more like 70-80%). Then also the "protein" the kibble may contain not only animal protein but also protein from veggies which is not really appropriate for the kidneys to break down. Not mention that animal protein in the kibble may be some parts such hooves and peaks. That all is very hard for the dog system to deal with it. Some do okay but some don't at all. First symptoms are tear stains, red stains around the mouth and red staining on the paws. The dog starts itching - they may lick their paws, bite the paws and tail and they try to rub their faces because they itch. Unfortunately most vets do not connect bad foods with the health but if you do research, there is a lot of scientific materials on it. Just recently one of the friends had that issue with her 12 months old rescue. She did go to the neurologist and did MRI under the anesthesia and paid $2850 (we are in the US). The scan didn't show anything, not even chiari malformation. Turned it out it was a food sensitivity.
    Greetings from Joanna & Maxi, Zoe & Arabella (Kissabella)

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