It is hard for me to describe this, but my 4 y/o Rusty seems to "click" his lower jaw much more frequently recently. It used to be when he just woke up, his jaw would "seize" for a few seconds, now it is happening more frequently. We tried to explain this to the vet who said that it wasn't a problem but maybe we didn't explain it properly. It is almost like when someone is double jointed and they can "click" and the lower jaw just shakes. It is so frustrating that I can't explain it. If no one has ever seen this before, perhaps I will take a video and bring it to the vet.
Does this sound familiar to anyone? Thanks in advance.
Is it a seizing or just a long yawn? Some of mine do a yawn where their lower jaw would vibrate as they hold their mouth open.
I'd video what he does, maybe a couple of times (eg on a mobile phone) then take that to your vets. If it is a kind of seizing up I would be a little worried. There is a condition where they get facial paralysis and their jaws lock -- was told by a sepcialist vet practice that cavaliers are the only breed in which they have seen this in puppies under a year as well as in older dogs. It can be treated with steroids and the sooner the better.
The main concern would be that you are seeing this more frequently now so I'd think it worth getting a video and investigating.
Also PSOM seems fairly common in the breed (equivalent of glue ear). This can cause dogs to yawn and seem to try and clear their ears. Maybe this is a cause?
It does not sound like anything I have seen or heard of in cavaliers.
Originally Posted by gadgetfreak
Are you thinking he is having trouble with his jaw bone? It is certainly possible for humans to experience subluxation ( partial dislocation) of their jaw. This occasionally happened to my Father when he yawned, sometimes it stuck for hours and it was dreadfully painful until it clicked back into place.
I hope you manage to video it so your vet can see what happens.
I apologize for the delayed response and thank you for your replies - the instant notification option on these boards didn't work for me. The first time we took him to our vet, he yelped when they tried to open his mouth so they needed to sedate him to look around. The also did an x-ray and didn't find any foreign object. They did find tonsillitis and gave him an RX for that. After a few days, however, he was getting sicker and not eating (not sure which came first though), his eyes were red and he was very depressed.
We were away when it got really bad so took him to an out of town vet. They did an x-ray as well and found nothing. They think he has an inflammatory infection in his mouth which was causing all the pain. That could account for the "clicking", lack of eating and ultimate dehydration and sickness.
They gave him pain meds, steroid shot and fluid under the skin instead of an IV (he looked like a camel for a while :)) but, in 24 hours, he was back to his playful self. We are following up with our vet today or tomorrow. I hope there is an easy "fix" for this.
For those who are keeping track, I thought I would share recent developments. Rusty was diagnosed with Masticatory Myositis (MMM) today. Now that I know what it is, I found a few threads on this site relating to it. The jaw clicking, pain in opening and thick drooling are all signs of this condition. The vet thinks we caught this early enough. Rusty is being treated aggressively with steroids starting at a high dose and gradually lowering it over the next 6 months. Hopefully, there is no permanent damage and I am optimistic as such.
With the "booster" steroid injection he got 72 hours ago, he has not had one symptom and is back to his usual playful self. I hope I don't have to keep him on steroids for the rest of his life but that would be a small price to pay for his continued happiness.
This is actually a serious issue that is prevalent in CKCS and I am surprised it is not discussed more on this site. It can cause permanent damage if not caught early.
I will try to keep you updated. Thanks for all the feedback.