- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Scottie Cramp

March 31st, 2005, 05:54 AM
Hi - Just joined this forum in the hope of learning a bit more about my Scottie's hereditary condition. Basically when he gets very excited or exerts himself he starts to cramp in the hind quarters. Not so badly that he cant move, just enough to slow him down and ruin his fun in chasing squirrels and other dogs! I've seen that ant-depressants and Vitamin E can help what is a brain chemistry problem. An interesting observation we have made is that if we go away on holiday with Bryn, he often spends the whole time in a state of high excitement, hunting and rampaging thru the bush like a demonic furball. He does not cramp at all. Even more strangely, when we get home and walk him, he is able to gallop around for the whole walk at superdog speed without cramping at all. Sadly, this "effect" wears off after a few days and its back to normal which is cramp setting in after 10 mins or so. Anyone have any ideas or experience with Vitamin E thereapy or can explain why the holiday seems to cure it for a while?

March 31st, 2005, 06:27 AM
Maybe the excess of exercise when you are on holiday corrects his brain chemistry temporarily - if it is a neurological problem. Does he eat differently when he is away? Is there something in the house that is affecting him (sprays, cleaners, etc.)? Have you tried any of the alternative therapies - acupuncture is good not only for skeletal problems but 'organic' ones, but you have to find a licensed practitioner.

I'm just savouring 'rampaging thru the bush like a demonic furball'...
Can we have a picture?

March 31st, 2005, 06:40 AM
Hi thanks for the reply. We suspect that he uses up a lot of adrenalin down at the farm - he tries to hunt things non stop and sits and stares into the bush totally ignoring us when he's not actually running around. Perhaps this reduces the effect somehow altho the stuff I have read says its caused by a serotonin problem - can only be a lack as the anti depro pills like prozac are SSRI's ie they inhibit serotonin reuptake causing the available amount to increase. I know too little about the machnaics of this at the moment unfortunately but maybe all the adrenalin replaces the serotonin or is itself reduced resulting in a greater serotonin effect in the dog. Its just amazing to see what a different animal he is for those few days he is cramp free! Sorry, no digital images as yet - still using good old film...

Lucky Rescue
March 31st, 2005, 10:18 AM
state of high excitement, hunting and rampaging thru the bush like a demonic furball.

This is totally normal for a Scottish Terrier, and many other terriers, to do. They are high energy dogs with high prey drive.

Have you seen a vet about this "cramping" or did you diagnose it yourself?

If you did, you must see a vet, since your dog could have a luxating patella, hip or elbow displaysia or something else.

Terriers are tough little dogs, and he may be ignoring his pain when in a state of high excitement in the woods. That may why the holiday seems to "cure" it.

You can take all the guesswork out by having him thoroughly examined and x-rayed.

April 1st, 2005, 04:38 AM
Hi - He's been examined. The cramp is a known genetic problem with the breed and is mentioned in all books and websites dealing with Scotties. If both parents carry it, the pups usually have the problem. Its excitement/exertion related and has something to do with the nervous system rather than a more physical abnormality.

On the holliday, he's in a permanent state of high excitement and spends most of the time hunting and exploring. He's usually very tired after that and the drive home. For the next few days he doent cramp on his usaul walk in the forest but is extremely active and runs around non-stop without cramping. Its amazing and made us realise how much he (and us) miss out on when he cramps up. We are certain its got nothing to do with bones joints and muscles.

April 1st, 2005, 04:36 PM
My Scottie had this condition when he was a puppy. The vet didn't give me anything for it (which surprised me) and told me that he expected he would grow out of it, which he did.

April 5th, 2005, 09:53 AM
I think in some cases they do learn to deal with it better and in mild cases may grow out of it. Ours is an uncommonly "busy" little beast and the most active Scottie I have ever seen, which probably makes it worse.