Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

My dog can't close his mouth

deannalynn
December 6th, 2010, 01:18 AM
Hi there,

My 1.5 year old american bulldog cross was healthy and normal until last saturday when he seemed to have eaten something that made him lethargic and wobbly. I immediatly thought he ate something poisonous so I took him to the vet to induce vomiting. There were lots of plants and grass in his stomach, so we thought perhaps he ate a toxic plant. They put him on fluids for a few hours and we took him home. He seemed to be feeling better when about three days later we noticed that he was a bit lethargic, his mouth was hanging open a little bit and he had difficulty chewing and swallowing his food. He was also drinking excessively. We took him back to the vet and they kept him for almost 3 days. With x-rays they ruled out any bone or tissue abnormalities. A blood test revealed high white blood cell count so they put him on antibiotics. Yesterday he had his energy and appetite back but still could not close his mouth. Since he seemed healthy and more comfortable, the doctor sent him home with us without a diagnosis (we cannot afford a bunch of tests to rule out all the possibilities at this point). He advised us to watch him closely for five days and if he stays the same or gets worse the vet will refer us to a specialist to test for neurological problems. We still don't know if he was poisoned, nor do we know if the first incident and the jaw issue are linked. He seems happy and energetic, but he still can't close his mouth and has difficulty chewing and swallowing. I hope he shows improvement in the next five days. Has anyone experienced anything like this with a dog before? Any insight is appreciated!

rg_girlca
December 6th, 2010, 01:31 AM
Hi Deannalyn;

I was just wondering if you had your dogs teeth checked because I had a cat that couldn't close her mouth. It was like her jaw was locked and had trouble eating her dry food and swallowing. I put her on wet food after that. Apparently it was to do with her teeth. The vet said he had never seen anything like it before. She had surgery done and the vet said that when they were able to open her mouth, two of her back teeth fell out. She was fine after that. From the sounds of it though, I don't think this is the same as what your dog has, but it is a thought.

I am sending you prayers and positive thoughts that your bulldog has a full and speedy recovery.

deannalynn
December 6th, 2010, 01:55 AM
When the vet sedated him for xrays he also examined the mouth and top portion of this throat and he said everything looked normal

MaxaLisa
December 6th, 2010, 02:03 AM
My dog had this, most likely either lyme-vaccine associated or from actual lyme. We have a dog on the GSD board that is having jaw problems, just tested positive for Lyme. Another GSD on a different board, had something lodged in the jaw, and a fungal infection. It could also be Masticatory Myositis (sp?), rarely tetanus.

With the high WBC, certainly sounds infections. I would make sure I used an antibiotic that worked for something like lyme and tetanus.

Rgeurts
December 6th, 2010, 11:56 AM
It could also be Masticatory Myositis (sp?), rarely tetanus.



That's a definite possibility. Here's a link:

http://www.ehow.com/list_6308965_canine-masticatory-myositis-symptoms.html

There's often other symptoms which can accompany it such as vomiting water/food directly after eating/drinking, but not always. The trouble swallowing and slack jaw are the 2 most prominent symptoms. Another is the wasting of muscle in the jaw and around the eyes (they have a sunken look). One of the vets we saw thought our puppy had it and wanted to do a muscle biopsy on his skull to confirm. Thankfully, we waited for the specialist to get back to us before we allowed anything to be done. His turned out to be muscle damage from prednisone use (pred head). I don't know that the white cell count would be raised, but I could be wrong :shrug:


Good luck :)

deannalynn
December 6th, 2010, 01:19 PM
The vet did not mention masticory myositis. Perhaps he ruled it out already? The weird thing is that the only symptom my dog has is an open mouth and difficulty chewing and swallowing. Otherwise he looks normal and he's happy and energetic. So strange!

BenMax
December 6th, 2010, 01:31 PM
That's a definite possibility. Here's a link:

http://www.ehow.com/list_6308965_canine-masticatory-myositis-symptoms.html

There's often other symptoms which can accompany it such as vomiting water/food directly after eating/drinking, but not always. The trouble swallowing and slack jaw are the 2 most prominent symptoms. Another is the wasting of muscle in the jaw and around the eyes (they have a sunken look). One of the vets we saw thought our puppy had it and wanted to do a muscle biopsy on his skull to confirm. Thankfully, we waited for the specialist to get back to us before we allowed anything to be done. His turned out to be muscle damage from prednisone use (pred head). I don't know that the white cell count would be raised, but I could be wrong :shrug:


Good luck :)

I thought of this immediately. We had one in rescue. The outcome was not good but is not the norm.

Please bring this up with your vet. It can be missed as this condition is not a common one.

deannalynn
December 6th, 2010, 01:54 PM
I will call the vet to ask if he check for MMM. Here is some info I found on a website about MMM, and my dog does not seem to have most of the symptoms at this point:

"Symptoms of the acute form involve the the swollen, firm and painful temporalis and masseter muscles. The dog's head often appears swollen and larger than normal. The dog will be reluctant or unable to open his mouth. Opening the mouth more than 1 inch or so elicits an extremely painful response. This results in difficulty in eating and often the owner notices increased drooling as well. This swelling may even cause exophthalmia or the eyes to "bug out". Usually a fever is present and the lymph nodes in the head and neck region are enlarged. The tonsils are often enlarged as well, but it is difficult to visualize them due to the inability to open the mouth. The patient is often depressed and may resent palpation of the head musculature. "

Rgeurts
December 6th, 2010, 02:41 PM
I will call the vet to ask if he check for MMM. Here is some info I found on a website about MMM, and my dog does not seem to have most of the symptoms at this point:

"Symptoms of the acute form involve the the swollen, firm and painful temporalis and masseter muscles. The dog's head often appears swollen and larger than normal. The dog will be reluctant or unable to open his mouth. Opening the mouth more than 1 inch or so elicits an extremely painful response. This results in difficulty in eating and often the owner notices increased drooling as well. This swelling may even cause exophthalmia or the eyes to "bug out". Usually a fever is present and the lymph nodes in the head and neck region are enlarged. The tonsils are often enlarged as well, but it is difficult to visualize them due to the inability to open the mouth. The patient is often depressed and may resent palpation of the head musculature. "

Just an FYI... alot of dogs do not display these symptoms either. The open mouth, the trouble chewing and swallowing are the main symptoms involved with MMM. Your vet cannot rule it out without either a blood test (which is not always accurate) or a muscle biopsy which is extremely accurate.

deannalynn
December 6th, 2010, 03:21 PM
I did some more research and I think my dog could have a condition known as
"drop jaw" or trigeminal neuritis. I posted the link below. Has anyone else had a dog with this condition?


http://www.petplace.com/dogs/trigemi...ogs/page1.aspx

Marty11
December 6th, 2010, 04:18 PM
I cannot remember the diagnose but my doberman suffered a blood disorder that at first affected her jaw and later in life affected her legs. It was treated with steroids and it went into remission for awhile. I can't for the life of me remember what it was. Sorry.

deannalynn
December 6th, 2010, 09:46 PM
Hi Marty,

Did you remember how your dog was diagnosed with the blood disorder? Did he have any other symptoms? The vet did a blood test and only found a high white blood cell count. Other than that he seemed healthy.

Marty11
December 7th, 2010, 10:32 AM
I believe it was blood work, but this dog has been dead for 10 yrs now. Wander if the vet will remember. I recall her jaw getting all stiff and she couldn't eat for a while. Then got better and vet said it could return in another form? Then she couldn't stand at the age of 9 on her legs anymore, so her quaility of life was not very good, now dobies live till 10 at the best of times so she did very well.

chico2
December 7th, 2010, 05:19 PM
I don't know if anyone here remember Lukka and his mom,Lukka had something where he was unable to close his mouth,but I cannot remember what it was called:shrug:can anyone else?

hazelrunpack
December 9th, 2010, 10:31 AM
Lukka had masticatory myositis, chico.

How is your dog doing, deannalynn?

chico2
December 9th, 2010, 11:58 AM
Thank's Hazel,I knew I could count on you,but it is probably something different from what this pup has.

deannalynn
December 9th, 2010, 02:15 PM
Yes my vet mentioned masticatory myositis, but did not run the test because it costs $300 and Nacho's symptoms were not exactly like that condition. My vet suggested that I monitor him and then if he does not improve we could see a neurologist and then he or she would be able to properly diagnose him.

Nacho still can't close his mouth all the way but he has tons of energy and a great appetite- it just takes him a bit longer to eat and drink.

So I am thinking he has a mild case of some type of jaw paralysis, that hopefully will go away on it's own. If it's "drop jaw", then there is no treatment, and it usually goes away on it's own in 2-4 weeks. So I am praying!

hazelrunpack
December 9th, 2010, 04:17 PM
Prayers and :goodvibes: winging your way from this end, too, deannalynn!

hotdok
June 13th, 2012, 08:16 PM
Our dog cannot drink due to his trigeminal neuritis, his jaw does not close etc. The condition may last 6+ weeks.

Any suggestions how to get water in him?

We are trying yello blocks and a turkey baster.