PetMD Seal

Muscle Cramps in Scottish Terriers

2 min read

Noninflammatory Hereditary Scotty Cramp in Scottish Terrier


“Scotty Cramp” is a hereditary neuromuscular disorder characterized by periodic cramps. It is seen in Scottish Terriers, especially those less than one year of age.


Symptoms and Types


Symptoms do not typically arise until the dog exercises or becomes overly excited. The episode(s) may continue for up to 30 minutes and include such signs as:


  • Gasping, shortness of breath; the dog may even stop breathing for a short time
  • Contraction of facial muscles
  • Arching of lumbar spine
  • Stiffening of hind limbs
  • Sudden collapse




Although it is inherited, some experts believe Scotty Cramp to be the result of a disorder in serotonin metabolism within the dog's central nervous system.




You will need to give a thorough history of your dog’s health to your veterinarian, including the onset and nature of the symptoms. He or she will then perform a complete physical examination as well as a complete blood count, biochemistry profile, and urinalysis -- the results of which are typically within normal ranges.


For testing purposes, your veterinarian may also give the dog serotonin antagonists to induce symptoms associated with the disorder. If cramping starts within two hours (continuing up to eight hours after initial dosage), it is a good indicator of hereditary Scotty Cramp.




Related Articles

Metabolic Muscle Disease without Inflammation in Dogs

Noninflammatory metabolic myopathy is a rare muscle disease associated with metabolic disorders like various enzyme defects or storage of abnormal...