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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30398
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My dog started chattering her teeth last night, all of a

Customer Question

My dog started chattering her teeth last night, all of a sudden. She is 9 1/2 years old and is otherwise healthy
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
She is doing the behavior in short bursts, and seems to click her teeth 3-5 times during each episode. It is happening frequently, several times per hour that I have observed. Otherwise she responds normally and does not appear in distress. She does seem self-conscious about it, though, and she goes to another room when I try to hold her or watch her closely while it's happening.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.

Oral pain is the most common cause of such chattering. A careful exam of her oral cavity for dental disease, ulcers, and neoplasia is indicated. Tremors and simple partial seizures will also cause such "chattering" but isn't as commonly found as is oral pain. Please have her vet look into her mouth. It's important to recognize that significant pathology can exist under the gumline and so it's important that her vet has the availability of dental X-rays.

Are you seeing any difficulty in prehending food or toys? Excessive salivation (ptyalism)? Favoring one side or the other when she eats?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No I haven noticed any of the difficulties you mentioned. She eats normally. No changes except for the chattering. She has always been A high strong, nervous dog, and I wonder if she could be overly excited ?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for the additional information. Yes, tremors can be induced by excitement or particular head positions. These tremors, however, usually cause a characteristic "yes" or "no" movement of the head (idiopathic head tremors). Simple partial seizures can be induced by any number of stressors including becoming overly excited. See if you can video one of these events. Her vet (and I) would appreciate it. This is a case where a picture is really worth a 1000 words. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok. Thank you. I will try to obtain a video. There was no distinct yes or no motion about her tremors.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.

Thank you. You can upload a video to an external site such as YouTube and then give me the link to it. Be sure not to mark it as private. I can't set a follow-up in this venue and so would appreciate your returning to our conversation with an update - even after rating - at a time of your choosing.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Is thee anyway I could send it to you through we ?
This would require your email address.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.

Yes, it can be sent to***@******.*** who will then send it to me. This can take up to 24 hours.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for the video! Her behavior is most consistent with simple partial seizures which were once called petit mal. More than her teeth appear to be involved although I had only a view from the back of her head. Please share the video with her vet as well. She may be referred to a specialist veterinary neurologist for more advanced testing such as MRI.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin