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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28967
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My 6 month old bloodhound suddenly was unable to open her

Customer Question

My 6 month old bloodhound suddenly was unable to open her mouth all the way. She is constantly chewing on everything. Now it seems painful to open her mouth. When under anesthesia they could only open it 3/4 of the way.
They are saying its an autoimmune problem and needs to be treated with prednisone. Does this sound accurate?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

The autoimmune masticatory myositis is, indeed, the most likely cause of the inability to fully open the mouth. Don't hesitate to have the serum type 2M fiber antibody titer blood test performed. Antibodies against type 2M fibers are detected in serum of 81% of dogs with masticatory myositis. It's important that blood be drawn prior to instituting prednisone. Supportive evidence of the acute form of this disease includes decreased activity, lethargy, fever, regional lyphadenopathy (swollen lymph nodes), dysphagia, reluctance to eat, weight loss, drooling, change in bark (more high pitched), and pain on yawning or when grabbing toys.

There are quite a few differential diagnoses, however. They include maxillofacial trauma, temperomandibular joint disease (TMJ); bone and soft-tissue neoplasia (rare in a 6 month old), foreign body (a plant awn, e.g.) penetration caudal to the last maxillary molar, tonsillar region, pharyngeal wall, and sublingual tissues; ocular disease and space-occupying orbital/retrobulbar lesions; ear diseases, other inflammatory muscle disorders, and tetanus.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin