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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28930
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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He cannot close his mouth. He is holding it slightly open

Customer Question

He cannot close his mouth. He is holding it slightly open and his tongue is slightly out.
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What is the matter with the dog?
Customer: He cannot close his mouth. He is holding it slightly open and his tongue is slightly out.
JA: Where does the dog seem to hurt?
Customer: He does not seem to be hurt. He is not having any other issues. Just that he cannot fully close his mouth. We noticed it this morning.
JA: OK. No obvious pain. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Grumpy. He is 7 years old. He has had issues with seizures all of his life.
JA: Seizures always look scary. Let's get you talking to the Veterinarian. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Grumpy?
Customer: No that is the only thing that I can think of.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 8 months ago.

You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Thank you.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 8 months ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Grumpy. Inability to close the mouth may indicate that it's painful to do so and so a thorough exam of Grumpy's oral cavity is important. I look for dental disease as well as trauma, a foreign body lodged in the teeth, a general inflammation in the oral cavity (stomatitis), and oral cancers. If there's no evidence of a painful lesion in the mouth, a trigeminal nerve (cranial nerve V) deficit may exist. In this case, there's no resistance to opening the mouth, there may be atrophy or lack of tone in the jaw and/or facial muscles on the affected side, and there may be no response to the palpebral reflex ("threatening" the eye and watching for a blink). A "dropped jaw" is most often the result of a trigeminal nerve neuritis.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.