Scotty Cramp

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Scotty Cramp is a disease in Scottish Terriers causing spasms and hyperflexion and hyperextension of the legs. It is caused by a disorder in serotonin metabolism that causes a deficiency of available serotonin.[1] It is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait.[2]

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 dog may turn somersaults as it runs. The symptoms usually resolve after ten minutes, but they may repeat several times in a day.[3] If the diagnosis is unsure, a dose of methysergide can be given. In affected dogs, this will block serotonin and increase the frequence and severity of the symptoms.[1] Diazepam or acepromazine is used to control the symptoms of Scotty Cramp. Vitamin E may also be of some benefit.[4] Because Scotty Cramp is inherited, affected dogs and their parents and siblings should not be bred.


  1. ^ a b Ettinger, Stephen J.; Feldman, Edward C. (1995). Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine (4th ed.). W.B. Saunders Company. ISBN 0-7216-6795-3. 
  2. ^ "Peripheral Nerve and Muscle Disorders: Small Animals". The Merck Veterinary Manual. 2006. Retrieved 2007-02-11. 
  3. ^ Braund, K.G. (2003). "Paroxysmal Disorders". Braund's Clinical Neurology in Small Animals: Localization, Diagnosis and Treatment. Retrieved 2007-01-28. 
  4. ^ Chrisman, Cheryl; Clemmons, Roger; Mariani, Christopher; Platt, Simon (2003). Neurology for the Small Animal Practitioner (1st ed.). Teton New Media. ISBN 1-893441-82-2.