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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29822
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My Staffie one day had the left side of s mouth drop, s left

Customer Question

My Staffie one day had the left side of his mouth drop, his left ear and eye also effected, we took him to the local vet who had no idea what caused it. He has no other symptoms and it doesn't seem to bother him, it got slightly better thou when ever he is hot especially running in the park it droops again. Any idea what it is?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Jake. You've described idiopathic (unknown cause) facial nerve paralysis - the symptoms of which may include a rapid onset of drooling from one side of the mouth, inability to blink, apparent ear droop and occasional deviation of the nose away from the affected side, and food may collect in the affected commissure of the lips which results in halitosis. Jake's menace and palpebral reflex (tests of facial nerve function) may be absent and ptosis (eyelid droop) is possible.

The main goal of treatment is to prevent corneal ulceration (the ophthalmic ointment he was prescribed). No special therapy is indicated for the remaining manifestations of facial paralysis. The prognosis for recovery is guarded. Some dogs will regain variable levels of function to the facial nerve but many have some degree or residual deficit. It's important that Jake's vet (or a specialist veterinary neurologist performs a neurologic evaluation to rule out other common causes of facial nerve paralysis such as otitis media/interna (middle/inner ear infection), hypothyroidism, ear polyps, and polyneuropathies. When they cause facial paralysis, diseases of the central nervous system such as neoplasia (cancer), encephalitis, congenital malformations, and trauma are usually accompanied by additional neurologic signs.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.