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Rosie_MRCVS
Rosie_MRCVS, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1065
Experience:  BVetMed MRCVS, Qualified veterinarian of ten years in small animal practice in England
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I have had my dog looked at by the vet and she told

Customer Question

Hello , I have had my dog looked at by the vet and she told me nothing was wrong with him but several times through the day if not more he is rubbing his face not his head on the ground by his nostrils and screaming, he even did it in front of her and she couldn't tell me anything. This morning he did it and froze up , something has to be wrong for him to keep doing it all the time, I have tried giving him baby asprin if he was having tooth pain because she did tell me his face was deformed and his teeth were messed up. He is a shin tzu and she told me they often have teeth problem I just don't think it's his teeth he starts curving his body to the side also when this happens. Can you please help or give me advice. Thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Rosie_MRCVS replied 1 year ago.
Hi I'm Rosie one of the vets and I'd like to try and help you. There are a few things which could be going on here. Firstly, it could well be his teeth. Personally, I am amazed that your vet told you his teeth were 'messed up' and didn't suggest anything to treat them. If he has bad teeth, and is showing signs of facial pain, then the first place to start is with those. I mean no disrespect to your vet - obviously I wasn't in the consultation and I may be misreading things. If he has tooth pain then he will need a dental (dental surgery) to treat this. This needs an anaesthetic, and if any teeth are truly dreadful in there the only way to treat them is to remove them - for him to undergo extractions. This sounds drastic, but with some patients of mine who presented for tooth pain they almost have a complete personality change after the surgery as the dental pain was really affecting them. I believe that treating teeth is well worth doing, as left untreated it can even affect their quality of life and cause a welfare issue. It might also be a problem with his neck, or the joint where his jawbone connects with his head (technically the temperomandibular joint). Both of these can cause quite a lot of pain. Another possibility is he has something going with his actual jawbone (the mandible) - I don't mean to scare you, but some bone cancers (and bone infections, for that matter) can make patients extremely sore. Finally, sometimes changes in the calcium levels in the body can cause intense itching around the face, and with some of my patients that have presented rubbing their faces on the carpet have ended up being treated for conditions that affect calcium levels. The list of potential causes is extremely long, but I think it would be well worthwhile checking his levels - most vets can check these in-house, and if I saw him in my clinic I could let you know his levels within five minutes of taking 2mls of blood - it really is a simple test. I am a firm believer of finding out the root cause of things. If you don't know what is causing something you are never going to be able to successfully treat it. If I saw him in my clinic and nothing was obvious as a cause of his signs I would check his calcium and electrolyte levels. If that was normal I would want to get him in for an anaesthetic to check his face, mouth and neck properly. Sometimes you can see things inside the mouth when they are asleep that you just cannot find when they are awake. Once he is asleep I would want to have a really good look inside his mouth for signs of infection, inflammation or injury. If that was normal then I would move on to x-rays of his head, TMJ (the jawbone joint), jawbone and his neck (most of these can be assessed in the same x-ray). If those were ok then I would move onto the dental and sort his teeth out. I would want to do it in that order because if you remove teeth from a weakened jawbone then you can end up with a fractured jaw, and the last thing you want to be doing is to make things worse. I know that I have suggested going back to your vets for further tests, but like I said you really need to find out what is going on so you can treat him. It is up to you, but it may be worthwhile going to see a different vet for a second opinion - this happens all the time and it shouldn't upset your original vet. I hope I've helped - if you have any questions or need clarification on anything then just get back to me. Otherwise, if you have found this useful, please leave a positive rating so that I may be compensated for my time. Thank you, ***** ***** luck, Rosie.