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Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
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Experience:  15 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian
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My dog is having muscle spasms on his head and then his teeth

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My dog is having muscle spasms on his head and then his teeth grind. Then he wimpers in pain. It keeps happening over and over again. What should I do?

Welcome to Just Answer. Can you help me with a few questions?
1) How old is your dog and what breed?
2) How often are these events occuring?
3) Is he responsive to you when he's having one?
4) Have you ever seen a seizure in a dog?

Dr. Bruce
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Hello Dr. Bruce,


Chucho (our dog) is 5 years old and a cheasapeake Bay retreiver.


This has been going off and on every 10 mins. or so for the last 15 hours. He gets a muscle spasm around the top of his head (chewing muscle) and then his teeth grind. (We don't know if it occurred all night while we were sleeping...he seemed better when we went to bed)


He woke me up this morning because he was looking for a place to "hide" in the closet and other corners in the house.


He is reponsive when his teeth grind, he wimpers and looks at us. His teeth seem to keep grinding involuntarily. Also he just was put on 3 X500mg X 2 daily cephalexin daily for a skin rash and 1 x 20mg of prednisone for the same thing.


Finally he just got a lepto shot. When he was 1 years old he also got a lepto shot, but had an allergic reaction, and had to get prednisone for the swelling.


Thanks for all your help!!!




Matt and Laura

Is it possible for you to record this event on a video camera and post it on you tube for me to watch it? I'm really wanting to see the actual event if it is occuring that frequently.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Hi Dr. Bruce, I don't know if you just got my last didn't seem to go through. We don't have a webcam...sorry.


Basically what happens is the muscle spasm begins on the top of his head and then his head turns to the side slightly and his teeth clench. Then he begins to wimper for 2 to 3 seconds and then it is over.


It has faded since I first talked to you about 20 mins. ago. He is just laying down outside in his favorite spot.

Darn on the webcam. This is one that has me curious in the sense that these events that you are seeing could very likely be focal seizures. Not all seizures have to be displayed with the dog laying on the side paddling, shaking, and loosing control of the bladder. That is a grand mal event. Could the muscle spasm be a focal seizure controling that muscle group? That is something that definitely has to be considered.

I'm glad that this has faded, but I would say that my best recommendation would be to have him checked out here as soon as possible so that a veterinarian can witness this event. If it is a seizure, then some blood work can be tested to try and find a cause. If none is found, it could be an epileptic event. Depending on the severity (which if he's been having these all night), oral medication can be started to minimize future events in duration and length.

Could this event be some sort of odd muscle discomfort? I don't know. Some bigger dogs can have degeneration of the muscles responsible for chewing and that can cause pain. An exam would help to determine this. Could he have something cuaght in his mouth? That too is a possibility.

Here is a good link on seizure disorders.

Dr. Bruce

Dr. Bruce and other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thanks for your help! We will take him in shortly. Matt and Laura and chucho
Please let me know what the veterinarian finds out. I'm always wanting to see what the real answer is.

Best of luck!
Dr. Bruce

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