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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20876
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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Rescued from a puppy mill at approx. 5 years of age, she had

Customer Question

Rescued from a puppy mill at approx. 5 years of age, she had a dental removing 10 teeth. No problems at first but she has been having increased sensitivity to being touched or rubbed on one side of her jaw. She has been examined by our vet (including x-rays) but he is baffled. Her discomfort seems to be increasing but we can find no cause. She will sometimes rub the side of her face against whatever she can until she cries, trying to scratch at it with her hind feet (she can't reach it yet because of muscle atrophy developed during her captivity.) Could it be nerve damage? Any idea of where we can turn to for further advice?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. The noise must be worrying. I'll connect you to the Veterinarian. What is the dog's name?
Customer: Maggie. There's not much noise but seeing her worry at it more and more and not being able to figure it out is frustrating all of us.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Maggie?
Customer: She had a terrible chronic ear infection that required months of treatment with cortisone drops and then a minor surgery to remove the calcified growths that had nearly closed off her eardrum but it's on the other side of her head so don't think it's related but hey, who knows. Her ears are fine now and have been so for nearly 8 months.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your situation, and wanted to help.

Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner. If you would still like assistance, can you tell me:

How long has she had these signs?

Did it start after the dental?

What treatments have her vets tried?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Maggie started showing these sign of irritation in her jaw about 6 months ago. Her dental was in early December of last year. At first it was only once in a while, maybe once or twice every 3-4 days but it has slowly and steadily increased to every day; we have learned not to touch that side of her face or we set off a pawing session whereby she uses her front paw to rub hard at her jaw and also thumps her back leg at the same time (if she could reach it with her back leg, I'm sure she'd scratch it raw.) She will rub her face (hard!) against furniture, us, blankets, whatever's handy, until she makes herself cry and then she stops and usually retreats to her bed. Note: it does not affect her eating at all. Our own vet is baffled, has taken xrays and can't find anything. He said that if it's neurological, there's not much we can do. I'm wondering if maybe there are new/other ideas? Acupuncture? Massage therapy? At a loss and hate seeing her in such distress. She is a shihtzu cross and still has almost all her very front teeth and a few back teeth...the ones missing are in between.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.
Hi again,
Now based on your history, this does sound nerve based. Specifically we can see this with local nerve inflammation, damage, or compression ( ie from an abscess or mass in the tissue). As well, we could also see this potentially related to an inner ear issues.
With this in mind, we rarely can diagnose these cases with xray. Often MRI or CT would be needed. And that would be ideal here sk we know what is present and ensure we address this properly. That said, if your vet hasn't already, we'd want to think about a trial on anti-inflammatories ( ie steroids) to reduce any nerve inflammation here. As well, Gabapentin can also be used to reduce any nerve pain from this. Acupuncture could also be an option but again we'd want to use the above diagnostic tests if possible to ensure we address this as effectively as possible for her.
Best regards,
Dr. B
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Okay! we will talk to our vet about getting her the MRI or CT scan asap and ask him about the anti-inflammatories. Thank you!!!
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.

You are very welcome, my dear.

That sounds like a good plan of action and hopefully this is just nerve inflammation that we can nip in the bud for Maggie.

Best wishes,

Dr. B.


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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. B.