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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20928
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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My 11 year old Shizu chihuahua mix is pawing at his left

Customer Question

My 11 year old Shizu chihuahua mix is pawing at his left side of his jaw and seems to be in pain. We are hearing a clicking as if maybe he is trying to get a tooth out. Don't know what to do as clinic is closed . His tongue appears swollen.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the dog's name?
Customer: Spencer.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Spencer?
Customer: Not really. He has been in extremely good health so far.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 7 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 wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner, but can you tell me:

How long has he had these signs?

Can you see any issues with his teeth on this side of the mouth?

Any tarter, loose teeth, or anything caught in between them or the roof of the mouth?

Can he eat and drink?

Any change to his breathing or paling of his gums?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
This just started around 7:30 last night. I rubbed a tiny amount of baby ora jel on his gum and he quieted down and has been able to sleep through the night. I noticed his pawing has caused his tongue to swell. He is drinking but not eating. We are sure he did not get bitten. I think the swollen tongue is from his digging at his jaw with his paw. I do not notice a change to his breathing. He is letting us look in his mouth. Do not see any foreign objects there. He might have a bit of swelling on the gum I the back. Thank you for responding.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 7 months ago.

Thank you,

Now as you rightly noted, Spencer's signs are suggestive of oral/jaw pain. With no external changes reported, we'd be most wary of this being due to a rotten/compromised tooth, oral sores or masses, foreign body (which thankfully sounds less likely), possibly secondary to a tongue insect sting (unless you are sure he has no access), and also jaw muscle/nerve inflammation.

With these in mind, while I am glad he did settle overnight, we need to tread with care. You can only use very small amounts of the Orajel for him since high doses could potentially cause sedation. And while it would be ideal to have him seen by an urgent care vet so we can get to the root of this, if there is any delay in doing so you can try him with a low dose of buffered Aspirin (More Info/Dose HERE). Though as we don't like to give this on an empty stomach, we'd be best to offer or syringe feed watered down puppy food, meat baby food (no garlic/onion though) Hill's A/D, Royal Canin Recovery, Dogsure or Clinicare Canine/Feline Liquid Diet. All are calorie rich and can get some energy into him plus with that in his stomach we'd hope to let the aspirin reduce inflammation for him but not cause stomach upset.

Overall, Spencer's signs do raise some worries here. So, we will want him seen as soon as possible to get to the root if this and remove that focus of pain for him. Though for the moment, we an try the above to see if we can keep him comfortable and eating until you can have him seen.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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