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Dog - mouth cramping?

(10 Posts)
mypoordoggie Mon 03-Apr-17 12:36:09

Re-posted from Chat - apologies if anyone notices duplicate thread

For the last 2 weeks or so my dog (SBT, 13 yo) has been having a problem with the right hand side of her face.

Initially we thought something was itching her as she had been sneezing/reserve sneezing more recently so thought hayfever etc, but after observing paranoid staring it seems that her lip at the side sort of cramps, as if shes doing an Elvis style lip curl, then she drags the side of her paw from her eye down to her nose, not hard and it doesnt look like she is in any real discomfort, but its obviously niggling her. Her third eyelid is also partially on show on the right hand side but her eyes appear to be fine.

This may go on for a few minutes - elvis lip - itch and so on. She also uses anything at her disposal to rub the right hand side of her face (cheek to snout) on when she has an 'attack' of whatever it is - my leg, my hand, a bag, the wall, the kids feet etc.

She lets me touch her face, her teeth, her eyes, and the vet had a good rummage around her face so she doesnt appear to be in pain or discomfort all the time, just when she gets an attack of whatever this is.

The vet has prescribed anti inflammatories, antibiotics in case its an infection and Piriton - hes basically going after the obvious things first before he does anything else.

The vet visit was on Friday and there hasnt been an improvement. Im so worried about my girl, Ive googled, you tubed and the only things that come up for similar symptoms is seizures but I am 100% sure its nothing like that - she doesnt fit in any way, the twitching is isolated to literally her lip at the one side, she's 'with it' when it occurs so Im satisfied its not that.

But what is it? Has anyone else's dog had similar? Shes eating, drinking, still likes dog treats, still comes for cuddles, loves her walks still.

The only other thing I noticed is she has the tiniest, thinnest skin tag on her snout right next to a whisker hole (whatever you call them), wondering if its possible the skin tag is irritating her? I didnt think to mention it to the vet as it seems so unlikley that a tiny skin tag could cause this but is it possible?

Sorry for the long post, Im very worried for my girl and desperately hoping someone else has experienced similar and it was all ok? Im not ready for it to be something horrid sad

I love her so much sad

mypoordoggie Mon 03-Apr-17 13:04:12


Thewolfsjustapuppy Mon 03-Apr-17 14:38:26

Could it be her TMJ ( temperomandibular joint) ? I would take her to a canine chiropractor and get her checked for possible musculoskeletal cause of this if you have ruled out Neuro and infection.

Thewolfsjustapuppy Mon 03-Apr-17 14:40:56

RAMP register of approved animal manual therapists may be a good place to start.

mypoordoggie Mon 03-Apr-17 16:13:05

Thanks TheWolf, shes back at the vets on Friday for a review so will see what he says and ask for a recommendation if hes stumped, he is pretty good though and I know from other pets/friends pets that he goes for the obvious things first and then usually goes straight in for an x-ray and/or scan so Im hoping he'll do that next and if it turns out to be musculoskeletal will get a recommendation. His main concern was if she was still eating, drinking, moving about ok and not smashing into things, did she still want to run off her lead, she isn't snapping at people when they go near her face - none of the above so he didnt seem overly concerned.

He said it could be even just be an age related problem with a nerve as that would tie in with the 3rd eyelid showing slightly (neuro?? My mum had neuralgia in her face and she said it 'attacks' and then disappears as if nothing happened)

I had come across TMJ but she has none of the symptoms listed but at the moment Im considering anything.

Im just hoping that it will turn out that yes its just an age thing, its not going to harm her, and maybe leave us with painkillers for when she has a flare up of it.

Anyone else have any experience of this?

Thewolfsjustapuppy Mon 03-Apr-17 19:31:42

Neuralgia would be very, very, painful I think, so unlikely that your dog would let you touch her. Bells palsy is possible with the droopy eyelid but very rare and i don't think it would be intermittent.
What is her tongue like during an attack?

AromatAddict Mon 03-Apr-17 19:38:26

Because common things occur commonly I would say the most likely thing is a malar abscess. This is where the big tooth at the top back on the side with three whopping roots has a root canal abscess gradually forming. The antibiotics will have stopped the pus formation for now but it will be back if that is what it is. Most owners are not as observant as you and the first sign/presenting sign at the Vet is a breakout of the abscess on the face below the eye and a trickle of pus running down. The vet removes the tooth. A week of Anti-bios and some anti inflammatory meds and all is well. Dogs seem to either feel little pain with this or are amazingly stoical. It might be worth a dental Xray or the cheaper option. Wait and see.

mypoordoggie Mon 03-Apr-17 22:20:37

She licks her lip on the rh side a little during an episode but i think that's because her lip has curled, then her licking makes it curl and so on. Apart from that her tongue is fine, doesn't loll about, unremarkable tbh, and as stinky as ever

She was a bit snappy at first when i noticed so i was very upset at the thought of her being in pain but now she lets me stroke her face while this lip twitch/cramp/curl is going on. I'm convinced that it's more annoyance/discomfort than pain.

Just to explain the lip thing -its like someone has tried to make her smile very fast iyswim, so the entire lip on the one side sort of pulls back in a line to her ears very quickly, with the lip curl happening either before or after, no chattering, trembling etc then she'll rub her sweaty jowls and face on my leg or hand. This may last 1-5 mins then it will stop.

Like i say she's fine in herself, obviously she's no spring chicken anymore but she still plays, eating, her coat is as silly as ever and her eyes are bright, the third eyelid is only partially over, sometimes you cant even notice it.

Aromat i am wondering about teeth, her breath has always been rank so it's hard to tell if it's got any worse, the vet didn't spend too long in her mouth tbh as she isn't keen on the vet and she gets a bit feisty. Was actually going to suggest he cleans her teeth if he needs to sedate her for anything

She's just mithered me for 10 mins solid for a cookie, definitely no problem with her appetite!

mypoordoggie Mon 03-Apr-17 22:27:15

Coat is as silky as ever ffs

mypoordoggie Thu 06-Apr-17 09:32:12

Sorry me again!!

Does anyone have experience of their dog having Peridontal disease? We're now thinking its her mouth (good call @AromatAddict!!) - caught her this morning clawing at her teeth, I thought she was going to cut her gums sad

I tried to give her a rawhide chew just to see how she reacted with it - she wouldn't touch it, she is still eating normal food ok but its all soft wet food and it does look like she is being a bit cautious now.

Still ok with me touching her face/jawline but I guess its the usual story of dogs being pretty resilient, especially SBTs, so if she is in pain with her teeth it might be that shes just not showing it when I touch her mouth but show sit when shes rubbing her face and then this clawing at her mouth this morning.

Anyone any ideas? Shes back at the vet tomorrow so am considering asking him to sedate her and check her mouth fully, good idea?

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