Issue Description Scotty Cramp is a disease in Scottish Terriers
causing spasms and hyperflexion and hyperextension of the legs.
Causes It is caused by a disorder in serotonin
metabolism that causes a deficiency of available serotonin. It is
inherited as an autosomal recessive trait.
Symptoms Scotty Cramp occurs in puppies and young dogs.
Symptoms present after exercise or excitement and last a few minutes.
A goose-stepping gait and arched spine are often seen, and the dogs
may turn somersaults as it runs. The symptoms usually resolve after
ten minutes, but they may repeat several times in a day. The condition
does progress as the dog ages.
Diagnosis Scotty cramp distinguished on basis of family
history, typical clinical signs with no loss of consciousness, and
induction of signs with serotonin antagonists.
signs may be induced with serotonin antagonist methysergide.
Treatment There are several factors which affect the
severity and frequency of hyperkinetic episodes. These include your
dog's environment, his/her general health, genetic differences, and
factors that modify your dog's behavior. If you and your veterinarian
can identify the conditions or behaviors that bring on Scotty Cramp in
your dog, you can reduce the frequency by avoiding certain situations
or stimuli, or by behavioral conditioning to reduce associated
anxiety. Behavioral and environmental modification are often
sufficient to reduce or eliminate episodes of Scotty cramp. When
necessary, diazepam is used to treat severe episodes, and it can also
be used for prevention in a situation where a dog is likely to
experience clinical signs. Vitamin E can also be used to reduce the
frequency of episodes.
Care and Prevention Administer all medication and institute
environmental changes as directed by your veterinarian. Avoid certain
medications, such as aspirin and penicillin, as they may worsen signs.
Do not breed affected animals and do not repeat breeding the sire and
dam (pair) that produced the affected offspring.