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Old 01-15-2011, 04:53 PM
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Question lower jaw tremors - any advice?

it's saturday today and my bailey is showing some strange signs of lower jaw tremor. whenever he tries to open his mouth, it almost looks like it locks up, it tremors, and then he's able to open it regularly. he's been doing this constantly whenever he opens his mouth and i'm worried that this might be an early sign of seizures(?) he's only estimated to be around 2 years old (he's a rescue) and i feel like this is too young to be having seizures/epilepsy (is it?). i will be taking him to the vet next week but wanted to know if any of you had any advice for me.

should i take away his rubber balls that he likes to chew on?
should i be spreading out his meals (since i read it could be a sign of low blood sugar)?
there is also one thing i've noticed and though im' not sure if they're correlated but i've noticed that his breath has been smelling pretty foul as of late, could these be connected?


there was a time last year when he would have these muscle spasms/seizures whenever he over exerted himself, it usually happened when we'd be playing fetch out in the open field with the chuck-it and all of a sudden it looked liked his legs would freeze up and he'd fall on his side and then his legs would begin to tremor. we'd try to calm him down and after what seemed like forever (but probably was only several minutes) he'd get up and be fine. this happened 3 times and it never happened again.


i'm really worried this might be the onset of something greater/worse. are there any tests i should ask to be had when i go to the vet next week? i hope i'm not over reacting i'm just so worried sick!

thanks in advance everyone!
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Old 01-15-2011, 07:30 PM
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Buckskin did this too and it did turn out to be a type of seizure, but fortunately, it did not progress to the grand mal type. He had them on and off for many years and he lived to be 13. I would try to have a vet witness this (camcorder maybe) and get an evaluation. It might be something very simple and benign.
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Old 01-15-2011, 07:34 PM
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The first thing I would do until his vet visit is to limit his exercise. Just to be on the safe side. It might be seizure related or something else. Seizures can happen at any age but dont let that scare you. Dogs can live for years with management with meds if needed with seizures.
I would request a full blood panel done on him including a thyroid panel. Make sure they do a full panel. Sometimes with a low thyroid it can cause issues with seizures or the beginning of them. Have them do a checkup from head to tail, listen to his heart making sure he doesnt have any type of a murmur. If he does ask for a referral to a cardiologist. A regular vet cannot give you any solid information on heart issues.
You can have a MRI done but those are very expensive like $2500 and if they do find something in his brain most tumors are not treatable. I am not saying that is what he has, so dont panic. Just throwing ideas out there. But you would know what it could be and options.

This website has some good information on it that might help you.
Canine epilepsy and diseases that cause seizures in dogs
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Old 01-15-2011, 07:35 PM
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On occasion Mack used to flicker his lower jaw when he yawned, particularly if it was a large yawn. A Standard Poodle I used to babysit would "chatter" his lower jaw whenever he was excited, particularly around attractive females. So it could be nothing.

But I would definitely ask for a full thyroid panel (to rule out hypothyroidism as a cause of seizures) and full blood panel (to rule out infections). I would also make sure the vet does a thorough check of Bailey's mouth, tongue, and throat in case he has a rotten tooth or other injury that's causing the trembling and bad breath.

Good luck.

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Old 01-15-2011, 07:43 PM
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I think the video tape idea is a very good one. Often times, when we bring our dogs to the vet for various reasons, they dont show the same symptoms as when they are home.
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Old 01-15-2011, 08:04 PM
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I hope that I'm wrong, but what you describe sounds like it could be a "focal seizure." That's something to discuss with your vet. If so, there are meds that are especially effective for that type of seizure, one of them being zonisamide. Zonisamide is horrifically expensive (over $400 a month) if bought at the most drugstores, but it's much more affordable at Costco, where I paid $56.

I have learned this because of my own seizure dog, Charlie. You can find his story and most of what I learned about canine seizures in this thread: http://www.goldenretrieverforum.com/...years-old.html.

I hope your vet has a happier explanation for you.
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Old 01-16-2011, 11:54 AM
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We had a lab mix years ago that had a similiar thing. Her jaw would lock up and she would yelp when this would happen. She suffered from AIHA and I don't know if this was somehow related to her condition. I would have to increase her Prednisone and this would help her to unlock her jaw. Check out Masticatory Myositis and see if this is what your pup is experiencing.
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Old 01-18-2011, 02:46 PM
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thank you all for the wonderful advice and suggestions you offered!

to update you all on his condition, his tremors have slowly gone away, they're more frequent in the morning and late at night but for the most part he's not doing it as much as he was during the weekend. thanks to the advice of everyone here, i did record this on video (which i can share with you all if you'd like) to take to the vet. i did notice a bit of lethargy on his part though, he doesn't seem as energetic as he usually is nor does he squish his rubber balls as much as he usually does (i think he likes the squishy sound it makes) but am under the impression that it causes discomfort.

i was able to take him to the vet yesterday (Monday) and we got a bunch of tests done... she told me he looks great physically. i just received the results and honestly it's been a little frustrating. the vet said everything looks fine, his T4 is 1.6 (though i have to say i'm a bit annoyed bc when i asked the vet if it we were doing a full panel test she told me yes >_<) which she tells me is normal and that i shouldn't worry about... but from what i read here, isn't that too low for a golden?

and the absolutely unexpected news is that they found some chloride and phosphate crystals in his urine!!! she says it's not an infection right now but she'd like a first pee of the day urine sample and she suggested that we should change his food to one of their prescription foods for preventive measures. what!?!?

i'm wondering if i should get a second opinion. this was so unexpected on so many levels. she said for now all she can suggest for me as far as the tremors goes is that i should just log them down on a calendar and check for unusual factors that might've occurred that day.


honestly i feel a bit frustrated by all this

Last edited by potatoe; 01-18-2011 at 02:52 PM.
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Old 01-18-2011, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by potatoe View Post
i'm wondering if i should get a second opinion. this was so unexpected on so many levels. she said for now all she can suggest for me as far as the tremors goes is that i should just log them down on a calendar and check for unusual factors that might've occurred that day.

honestly i feel a bit frustrated by all this
Your frustration is understandable.

The tremors you describe sound like a neurological condition. Since your vet can't offer a diagnosis, perhaps she can refer you to a qualified veterinary neurologist who might do better.

Please keep us posted. We care.
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Old 01-18-2011, 11:06 PM
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Yes, by all means get a second opinion, and a third, if that's what it takes. Our dogs depend on us to advocate for them and no one knows your dog like you do. Is there a good veterinary college in your area?

- Tania
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