Ask a Vet and Get Your Veterinary Questions Answered.
My 4 year old Chihuahua wouldn't eat today and when she got up to go to bed, she was holding her mouth open partially. I noticed it first yesterday, but she closed it after a few seconds each time. She has only eaten a little food. Should I take her to a vet tonight? Or is it ok to wait until tomorrow? What might it be? I just remembered.....we also found diarrhea on the carpet this morning. I am 99% sure it was caused by our Chihuahua (who weighs 5-6 lbs rather than one of our other dogs (we have a Min Pin who weighs about 12 lbs and a very over weight Border Collie, who is definitely no the culprit).
Hello, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with Nika today.
Can you tell me if Nika could have been chewing on anything or perhaps rough housing with the other dogs prior to this starting?
Can you examine inside her mouth (make sure to check the roof of the mouth to make sure nothing is stuck)? Anything abnormal?
Has she had any coughing, retching, vomiting or rubbing her face (on her paws or floor)?
Does she seem keen to eat (perhaps begs) then turns away?
Or does she smack her lips, swallow hard, or appear nauseous when food is offered?
Could she have eaten something she should not have (ie non-edible items, bones, trash, etc)?
Hi. Thank you so much.
She is not a chewer at all, but it is possible that she was playing with our Min Pin. I didn't notice them playing, but it could have started the day before. We tried examining her mouth (first thought was teeth....she is definitely due for a surgical cleaning) but she either couldn't or wouldn't let me open her mouth very far. When it continued tonight, I had my 16 year old try to gently open her mouth and examine it (bc her hands are much smaller, and oddly enough, she has a little experience with it.....she wants to be a vet and has shadowed our vet on many days, even into surgery). She mentioned the same thing....that her teeth look bad. But she wasn't able to open her mouth very wide. She, like most small dogs, has always had bad teeth that need attention, and she has had surgical cleaning twice in her life. She did not act this way either time.
I don't know if this counts as smacking lips, but I did notice her licking her lips (or what appeared to be licking). I believe she does have an appetite, as she came to her bowl when we fed everyone, sniffed it, and immediately turned and ran back to her kennel.
I really, really don't believe that she ate anything or swallowed anything. It's possible (perhaps something in the yard?) but since she isn't a chewer (small, bad teeth don't lend to a dog who likes to chew, those she is - normally - playful).
No coughing or retching. And actually, she normally scratches the left side of her face with her paw (she has lots of allergies and is on the best of the best dog food bc of it. She will sometimes get dry skin patches - treated with Animax, but hasn't needed for a very long time - a red, watery left eye - which we treat with Refresh Tears and if needed, Benadryl - and constant scratching of her left lip/teeth, which I have not seen her doing for at least the past few days, now that you mention it.
I cannot bear the thought of her being in pain. We have a vet appointment scheduled for Wednesday morning, but I don't want to wait another day if she is in any pain or danger.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
Remember that if you have any lingering questions or concerns, please reply so that we may continue our conversation. I will be happy to work with your further and do everything I can to provide you with the service you seek. Please remember to rate my answer when you are satisfied (with 4-5 stars or a happy face) so that I may receive credit for my assistance. Thank you & have a great day. : )
Hi. Nika ended up having dental surgery with 10 extractions. She had her last dental (surgical) cleaning less than a year ago, so I was shocked at the extent of her gum disease and infections (teeth and gums). It has been 7 days now since her surgery, and I am dumbstruck at her recovery. She is visibly 100% better. She is happy and playful. She has a veracious appetite and 0% bad breath (I don't think I've EVER encountered a dog that doesn't have even a little bit of bad breath). I appreciate your help last week, and I know what to look for in the future.