Dog can't open mouth well, chewing is painful
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Thread: Dog can't open mouth well, chewing is painful

  1. #1
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    Dog can't open mouth well, chewing is painful

    Please advise if you have ever came across something like this.. We will be very grateful.

    Male, Alabai breed, 1.5 y.o., weight 80kilo/180pounds.

    1.5 month ago something happened in the fields during the walk (we didn't see what, but he looked like it was something serious/painful). We tried to give him food and then to open his mouth but he whined loud with pain. On the evening we tried to give him his usual bone - the same; after that he almost stopped to take the food from hands. He opens mouth a little (can drink, carefully eat, bite the cloth). Ever since, it was sometimes better sometimes worse but he never could open mouth well.
    At the same time, he is almost always jolly, playful, eats well.

    There was increased amound of saliva for about 2 weeks.

    We made an x-ray in the clinics - doctor found no violations, damages, cracks. He says that the jaw is positioned properly, not shifted. He couldn't however open completely his jaw (under anasthetic), maybe half the way only.

    Doctor suspects eozinofil miositis (not sure for the spelling), even analysis shows that seemingly - but there was obviously one-time damage (hit, snake?) and all happened very fast, that day (while this disease has other sympthoms according to our inet investigation, and builds slowly).

    What can this be, and what to do?

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  3. #2
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    Re: Dog can't open mouth well, chewing is painful

    My dog has TMJ but now I'm wondering if maybe his problem might be the same as your dog. I think the condition you are talking about is called Masticatory Myositis also known as Eosinophilic Myositis. I have no experience with this condition but hopefully other members do. I'll be watching right along with you for responses.

    http://marvistavet.com/html/body_mas..._myositis.html

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    Re: Dog can't open mouth well, chewing is painful

    Thank you a lot. I am still wondering how is it possible that myositis appeared instantly.. Before he bit and ate well it seems.. Maybe it was building but he suddenly damaged it so it progressed instantly?
    How is it exactly with your dog? How it happened?

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    Re: Dog can't open mouth well, chewing is painful

    I don't know what happened to my dog. He was a shelter rescue that I fostered and eventually adopted. In addition to a multitude of other medical problems, the vet diagnosed him with temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ) about a month after I adopted him. I noticed that he would sometimes yelp when eating his kibble. He didn't seem to be in pain every time he ate, it was sporadic. The vet manipulated his jaw joints, made the diagnosis and said "no more kibble." He was terribly neglected and obviously abused so I thought that he was probably kicked in the face at some point which damaged the jaw joint.

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    Re: Dog can't open mouth well, chewing is painful

    I had a dog who stopped yawning and his mouth was not opening right..everyone thought I was nut's what do youmean he can't yawn???? I kept saying something is wrong....well we took hi to the vet and he had a shard of bone deep in his throat...he had surgery and was just fine after that. Have you noticed if your dog is yawning? Just a possible thought maybe he ate a stick or something and it cut him inside??? I hope you find out what it is. Oh how we love our dog's....I wish you the best.

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    Re: Dog can't open mouth well, chewing is painful

    Quote Originally Posted by backachedp View Post
    Have you noticed if your dog is yawning? Just a possible thought maybe he ate a stick or something and it cut him inside???
    It is possible, but neither visually nor by x-rays we could detect anything. We didn't see him yawn since, I think it is too painful for him.. (my own jaw is not well too, and when it hurts sometimes I hardly yawn as well..) We will try to see deeper into his throat if he doesn't improve. There is a suspicion also for the nerve jammed (pinchnipped) and inflammed.. We give medicines that may help if it's true.

    Thank you again!

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    Re: Dog can't open mouth well, chewing is painful


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    Re: Dog can't open mouth well, chewing is painful

    So inspiring story.. Patience and courage. I am happy for Mac (who looks so great too)
    It seems we have reverse problem while there are things in common (as I read in the article on myositis). We will try to find more.. and not let Nasar eat anything hard..

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    Re: Dog can't open mouth well, chewing is painful

    Quote Originally Posted by Nasar View Post
    So inspiring story.. Patience and courage. I am happy for Mac (who looks so great too)
    It seems we have reverse problem while there are things in common (as I read in the article on myositis). We will try to find more.. and not let Nasar eat anything hard..
    Hey Nasar! I did a lot of research and saw some things about dogs that cannot OPEN the mouth...there was one in particular that a memeber (or old member) Shalva had mentioned to me. I'll see if I can track that one down for you, I don't think it is in my thread.

    I with the best for you and your journey with this. Luckily, Mac's condition went away in about 2 1/2 weeks...I hope the same for you!

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    Re: Dog can't open mouth well, chewing is painful

    Thank you ) We went to one of the best clinics around here today, and we were confirmed it may be myositis, something to do with "autoimmunity"; in fact what they recomended is very similar to what I saw in the article recomended to me here (thank you Lulusmom). If you find similar case you mentioned we will be very grateful.
    So far his condition is better but he doesn't open mouth much; he does yawn for example but very carefully, preventing jaws to open. We will have new results of analyses on Monday, maybe they reveal something also..

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    Senior Member sizzledog's Avatar
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    Re: Dog can't open mouth well, chewing is painful

    My oldest dog was just diagmosed with MMM (masticatory muscle myositis) this weekend. She is on prednisone for 4-6 months, but might have to be on it for life if she doesn't get better. Her case was acute, it developed over about a week and a half.

    More thoughts... Nasar, Alabai's problem sounds an awful lot like MMM.
    Your vet can pull blood, and have a M2 Antibody test done. If he couldn't open the jaw all the way even under anesthesia, that's not good - I'm surprised Alabai isn't on steroids by now.

    Ilsa's symptoms were:
    - not yawning all the way
    - no more chewing on her favorite toys
    - swollen lymph nodes
    - "sunken" appearance. Her cheekbones and temples are pronounced and hollowed out.
    - slight fever

    I wish you luck, if caught early MMM can usually be fixed with steroids and physical therapy (i.e. chewing yummy stuff!)
    Last edited by sizzledog; 12-07-2008 at 08:53 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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    Re: Dog can't open mouth well, chewing is painful

    Quote Originally Posted by sizzledog View Post
    My oldest dog was just diagmosed with MMM (masticatory muscle myositis) this weekend. She is on prednisone for 4-6 months, but might have to be on it for life if she doesn't get better. Her case was acute, it developed over about a week and a half.

    More thoughts... Nasar, Alabai's problem sounds an awful lot like MMM.
    Your vet can pull blood, and have a M2 Antibody test done. If he couldn't open the jaw all the way even under anesthesia, that's not good - I'm surprised Alabai isn't on steroids by now.

    Ilsa's symptoms were:
    - not yawning all the way
    - no more chewing on her favorite toys
    - swollen lymph nodes
    - "sunken" appearance. Her cheekbones and temples are pronounced and hollowed out.
    - slight fever

    I wish you luck, if caught early MMM can usually be fixed with steroids and physical therapy (i.e. chewing yummy stuff!)
    I hope Ilsa will get over it enough to have a happy life. Nasar's face doesn't yet look different from before - or at least we don't notice, his appearance is normal and we didn't find anything swollen. We took a blood test (second already) and wait for results, and we were told to go through a course which seems to give him relief at least (though his mouth is still partly jammed). And we are still surprised by how fast it happened that day.. just within a minute Before, that same day, he played with his rubberball biting it rather fiersely..

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    Unhappy Re: Dog can't open mouth

    I've been fostering a Queensland healer/mix for 2 months now. The pup was only about 8 weeks old when surrendered and she weighed 3 lbs. Three weeks ago I noticed she can't open her mouth even a 1/4".

    I soak her food or grind it to make sure she gets enough nutrition. I have read nothing about Masticatory Myositis affecting puppies. The rescue I'm fostering for has very limited funds. They were hoping to have her jaw x-rayed when she's spayed but that could be months away..

    Any advice?

    Mz Patti

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    Senior Member sizzledog's Avatar
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    Re: Dog can't open mouth well, chewing is painful

    mzpatti - if it's MMM, you want to catch it quickly - if left to its own devices, it can get very severe and the dog may have to be on prednisone for life.

    But there are a lot of other things it could be. IMO, anything dealing with the jaw should be looked at ASAP, not whenever it's convenient.

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    Re: Dog can't open mouth well, chewing is painful

    Mz Patti, have to talked to the rescue organization about the dire nature of this puppy's condition? If so and they cannot do anything for the poor thing, I'm not sure they should be in the rescue business. I do rescue work and rescuing dogs without the means to provide needed medical treatment is just not right. If the rescue org doesn't have the money, then perhaps they can reliquish the poor thing to another rescue that can get the medical care needed. I work in small senior and special needs rescue and I know that adoptions are down, the shelters are overflowing, the rescues are overwhelmed, everybody is running out of foster parents and donations are down which requires careful financial planning if you are going to continue to pull from shelters or accept from individuals.

    I am very concerned about any organization that is rescuing dogs without the means to get them proper medical care. Unfortunately, big hearts sometimes overshadow common sense and it sounds like this may be the case with your little one. How awful that she may be suffering with an undiagnosed condition that could prove to be catastrophic if not treated. Please be a squeaky wheel and harp on the rescue org to get this baby into the vet asap.

  17. #16
    Senior Member sizzledog's Avatar
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    Re: Dog can't open mouth well, chewing is painful

    Quote Originally Posted by lulusmom View Post
    I am very concerned about any organization that is rescuing dogs without the means to get them proper medical care. Unfortunately, big hearts sometimes overshadow common sense and it sounds like this may be the case with your little one. How awful that she may be suffering with an undiagnosed condition that could prove to be catastrophic if not treated. Please be a squeaky wheel and harp on the rescue org to get this baby into the vet asap.
    I totally agree. It may or may not be MMM, it could be something else entirely... just understand that MMM (and many other afflictions of the jaw and mouth) can be terribly painful.

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