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S. August Abbott, CAS
S. August Abbott, CAS, Own Animal Care/Rescue Org.
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 7532
Experience:  We rescue what others leave behind; Animal Care author; Behavior & Nutrition Consults
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My dog is chattering her teeth and licking her chops

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My dog is chatering her teeth and licking her chops constantly. I cannot find any obstruction i her teeth and/or throat? Her nose seems to be running as well.

How long ago did this start?

Has she eaten normally today? Made urine/stool?

Any signs of bloating, pacing, inability to lay down and stay laying down? Staggering or loss of balance? Any other symptoms whatsoever?


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to TheCaretaker's Post: She is eating fine, no issues with peeing etc. She is pacing a bit but is now lying down. It seems to come in waves. She has been eating alot of snow lately and I did notice that she has a reddened upper palate at the back of her throat. The chattering and licking has escalated tonight? No apparent bloating or loss of balance.

My first inclination is that she's having a seizure.

Idiopathic epilepsy has no underlying known brain lesion and no other neurological symptoms. Idiopathic epilepsy is usually genetic and the seizures tend to worsen with age. A diagnostic work-up is necessary to really determine whether or not this is the case (it cannot just be assumed).

Seizures are usually noticed between 6 months and 5 years of age. The earlier the onset, the more severe the epilepsy tends to be (and difficult to treat). Given her age, it may be associated with a thyroid disease (usually low thyroid function) which may also be causing her snow eating in excess. Of course diabetes is another consideration, but I'd look into the thyroid first.

Physical exam, neurological, funduscopic, blood profiles, urine analysis and MRI's are usually within normal limits.

Symptomatic epilepsy (secondary epilepsy) is the result of injury or other identifiable cause.

Autoimmune thyroiditis (low thyroid function) may be the underlying cause of Symptomatic epilepsy and probably should be investigated from the beginning, unless, of course, there is known injury (abuse, neglect, hit by car, etc). These injuries could have happened early in her life or recently (you didn't mention if she was a rescue. Many times this is seen in rescues from previously bad conditions).

More valuable info about epilepsy in your companion and various treatments are here:

You can see a video of various seizures here:

All this said, you could be dealing with a virus or bacterial causation giving her a sore throat and upper respiratory symptoms. This is far easier to treat and deal with.

Even though the cough suppressants aren't known to really work, some people still recommend Robitussin DM .5 to 1 mg per pound. There are eye dropper/measuring delivery systems available for baby care in most pharmacy aisles of stores. They're great to have on hand for pets.

Setting up a vaporizer (without medications in it) in the room with the dog may also prove helpful. Offering a heat source such as a heating pad set on low, beneath their bedding may make them more comfortable too; however, I prefer to avoid electric sources an animal may gnaw on. We use rice socks. Fill any clean sock ¾ of the way with uncooked rice and knot the end closed. Microwave this for 1 to 1 ½ minutes, shake it out to distribute the heat and make sure it's not too hot - tuck it in the dog's bedding - it stays warm and holds body heat for hours. It's very important to remember that these are just temporary, possible relief's - in no way a cure. These will not make the animal ‘better'.

No matter what, she should see her doc this week to be sure.

Let me know how she makes out ok?


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