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Kelly, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 117
Experience:  small animal private practice
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My dog's jaw/ teeth started to shake or chatter.

Resolved Question:

My dog's jaw/ teeth just started to shake or chatter today. Other then that he seems fine and is as responsive as normal. The rest of his body is normal but this chattering has been off and on all afternoon. Early today he had a great time swimming and besides this new jaw chattering he is the same dog as normal. Is there a cause for this, should I contact my vet?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Kelly replied 8 years ago.
Hi there! I just have a few questions for you so that i can give you the best possible answer!

1. How old is your dog?
2. What breed is your dog?
3. Is he on any medications?
4. Has he had a history of seizures?
5. Does the chattering stop if you talk to him or touch him?
6. Does he have any trouble eating?
7. Does he have alot of tarter on his teeth?


Dr. Kelly
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
He just turned two in May. He is a mutt but we were told he has some rottweiler in him. He is not on any medications and does not have a history of seizures. He loves to chew on bones and his teeth have always been strong and healthy each time we have been to the vet. His appetite seems the same and he does not seem to have trouble eating. The chattering goes on for 15 - 30 seconds and then stops. I have not tried to touch him as it was going on.
Expert:  Kelly replied 8 years ago.
Chattering can be 'normal' or can be due to a physical illness. By 'normal' i mean a behavior issue that can come about with stress or anxiety. A physical cause could be a neurological disorder (partial or focal seizures) or a problem with the teeth.

Stress and anxiety would something to rule in/out with an exam. If no abnormalities are found on the exam then this could be the cause. It's nothing that you can physically diagnose, but it would be the most likely cause if all other causes are ruled out.

Sometimes if a dog has dental disease, a tooth fracture or any problem with the tooth under the gums they will chatter their teeth due to pain. It may not be enough pain to keep them from eating, they will just chew on the other side. If you start to notice that he is having trouble eating (dropping food) or is eating slowly and carefully this would indicate a problem with a tooth so you should get him seen.

A seizure disorder is hard to diagnose, especially if the physical exam and neurologic exam show no significant findings. This is sometimes the case without expensive testing and those tests may not even be diagnostic. It may help to try to touch him or talk to him during these chattering episodes to see if he responds to you and stops chattering. If he stops and responds this could mean he has control over the chattering and this could point to pain as a cause and not seizures.

If your dog doesn't seem to be bothered by it, you can just watch him and see if the episodes change (more severe or full onset seizure) or increase in frequency. It wouldn't be a bad idea to have your vet do a good exam with an oral exam and neurologic exam to see if there are any other physical signs that can point to where the problem is.

I hope this answer was helpful! If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to ask!

Dr. kelly
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