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NancyH
NancyH, Dog Expert:Rescue, Train,Breed,Care
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 31957
Experience:  30+ yrs dog home vet care & nursing, rescue, behavior&training, responsible show breeding, genetics
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Why is my dogs jaw shaking He is acting totally normal otherwise

Resolved Question:

Why is my dogs jaw shaking? He is acting totally normal otherwise .. eating and drinking .. but every once in awhile he moves his tongue around and his jaw shakes like something is bothering him. I have looked in his mouth and cant see anything ... any idea what this could be? I am really worried .. thanks for your help.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  NancyH replied 5 years ago.

Take a look in his mouth to see if there are any teeth that look dark or might be cracked as you are right a dental problem can be one cause of this.

Look under his tongue to see if there are any lumps there too if you can.

If you happen to have a female in heat nearby he may be vibrating his jaw in response to the pheromones. Dogs have an organ on the roof of the mouth that helps them 'taste' pheromones and will chatter their jaws to get the scent up to the organ.

The nerves that work the muscles in the head including the jaw are run from the neck around the head. Any pinching of those nerves can cause muscle tremoring and may lead to a problem such as mascitory myositis which you can read about here

http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_masticatory_myositis.html

A splinter from the mouth that is driven up into the roof of the mouth or the eye area can lead to infection behind the eye and tremoring like you see.

And there is also the possibility that this is a seizure as focal or partial seizures, unlike the grand mal type episode, can show as a twitching in the face area and the dog stays totally alert as it happens.

You can read about seizures here

http://www.canine-epilepsy.net/basics/basics_index.html

I'd plan a vet visit for an exam and if you can get video of the episodes to show to your vet this may help in diagnosis.

Hope this helps you!

NancyH, Dog Expert:Rescue, Train,Breed,Care
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 31957
Experience: 30+ yrs dog home vet care & nursing, rescue, behavior&training, responsible show breeding, genetics
NancyH and 4 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you so much ... what do you think the chances are this is a seizure and if it is can i wait to take him to the vet until tomorrow? Would seizures happen for hours?
Expert:  NancyH replied 5 years ago.

Small seizures can repeat for hours. Its the grand mal seizures repeating that are particularly dangerous for dogs.

Sometimes this can be a side effect of low blood sugar too so you might consider giving him a spoonful of vanilla icecream or yogurt or some Karo or pancake syrup on his tongue to see if that stops the motions. If it does then feed him a small meal to keep the blood sugar up.

I do think seeing your vet is a good idea as there is such a wide variety of possible issues.

If he gets worse you can always choose to see an emergency vet at that time.

This site may help you locate an emergency vet if you need one

http://www.vetlocator.com/hotline.php

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you ... also he stops if i say who's here? or cookie? he stops and looks at me with his ears perked up .. hopefully that is a sign this isnt a seizure?
Expert:  NancyH replied 5 years ago.

Yes hopefully you will find the whole thing is something as simple as a broken tooth causing some pain!

But it will take an in person vet exam to see.

Thanks for the above accept!

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
NO thank you so much you have no idea how worried I am ... I will take him to the vet tomorrow ... I really appreciate your help!
Expert:  NancyH replied 5 years ago.
You can come back and let me know what your vet finds if you like. I'm pulling for a happy ending for you myself!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Will do ... by the way he loved the ice cream .. no change yet ... but he scarfed it down : )
Expert:  NancyH replied 5 years ago.

Mostly they don't mind it :)

Just don't overdo - a little is good but more isn't better as dairy can be a bit of a laxative in adult dogs.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I wont I made sure to finish it!! ... thanks again... he is chasing the cat. Fingers crossed!
Expert:  NancyH replied 5 years ago.

If he can still play chase the cat he's probably not too sick!

Nice 'meeting' another dog lover!

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
same here .. thank you so much again!
Expert:  NancyH replied 5 years ago.
any time - off to go run my dogs before the sun goes down!

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