Monday, October 01, 2007

Pixie has 'Trismus' - Dog can't open mouth

Pixie, the Great Pyrennes we got from the flea market in April - has a condition (which in humans is called 'trismus'), which basically means she can't open her mouth more than a little way, about a quarter of normal. Masticatory muscle myositis or another neurologic condition is possible, as well. We didn't notice it until yesterday when she couldn't take a biscuit. She has been eating through the side of her mouth and drinking water -- and didn't seem unhappy until the biscuit was offered and she couldn't take it.

She is at the vet right now, they will sedate and x-ray her trying to figure out what it is. Our first thought was tetanus / lockjaw, but she doesn't seem sick any other way. Even this morning she was playing with the puppies and running around the yard without any other symptoms.

UPDATE: The vet found no answers. They did an x-ray, they gave her some antibiotics and anti-inflammatory, and tested for tetanus. She is too young for it to be arthritis and the x-ray didn't show any sign of that either. They sedated her and tried to pry open her mouth with their hands, no luck. They said just keep giving her an antibiotic and slurried wet food and hope it doesn't get any worse. It doesn't look like a good prognosis for her. Their only guess is some neurological issue, which can't be easily tested for.

We also called the man who sold her to us, wondering if it was genetic. She is a purebreed and purebreeds can have lots of problems. Luckily Mark remembered Pixie's mother's name, 'Telladaga', so we knew it was the same breeder when we called. He has never had a dog with a problem like this.


Update 2 years later: Our dog still has a mostly locked jaw. They never could get it any better. She has lost a lot of weight but she learned how to eat through the bit of space she does have -- and does pretty well when the other dogs leave her alone with the dish to herself. My husband still gives her bits of fat and good pieces of meat sometimes to make sure she is getting calories. She seems to be okay with things as they are - plays some, wrestles the puppy some, never exuberantly but at least she isn't always acting like she is in pain. She still tries to bark at the deer and squirrels - but it sounds like somebody has a bag over her nose. We wish luck to all those who have commented with ill pups - hope your story is at least as happy or happier than this one.

Final Update 3 years, 2 months from original posting date: Our girl passed away today - we did as much as we could for her, for so long... She didn't even let us know she was bad off at the end. She was being herself. I think her cheerful 'what now?' attitude was a large part of her surviving this long. Still will wish hope for others who have had this happen to their animals -- take care of the while you can and let them enjoy what they can while they are here.

21 comments:

Chris said...

Poor doggy! :(

mrspao said...

Poor Pixie! I hope that the vet gets to the bottom of it.

Jeanne said...

Well, that's worrying. I hope she gets better soon.

RheLynn said...

No luck at the vet. They had no idea what could be causing it - and it definitely isn't tetanus that they can see (she would have other symptoms).

They said we could try a specialist or just make sure she eats wet food and hope it doesn't get any worse than it is. :(

Jennifer said...

Oh no! I hope it resolves...

Lynn said...

I know this means money, but you may want to ask a chiropractor to have a look at her.
If she subluxated the jaw playing the problems caused by that may not show up in the xray and can still cause problems in manipulation of the jaw.
Up here there are a lot of chiropractors that have animal experience too. We have lots of dog and horse breeders around here so the chiropractors bone up on animals too.

stuffed said...

Poor pup. I'm sorry. :0(

Anonymous said...

It happened the same to our dog. The vet said it was a disease named MYISITIS of the jaw. The dog got through 24 hours after the first shot. Now can open the mouth again.
Don't loose any time, go to your vet imediately, it is very common in some dog breeds

Anonymous said...

I just got back from the vet and our little pug Sydney has the same condition. She seems happy with no pain but she can't open her jaw to eat and this dog loves to eat. she is frustrated but otherwise her normal self. Did you ever get a diagonosis and what kind of shot did that one person get for his dog? Thanks for your help.

Allison

Anonymous said...

my puppy has the same problem. i'm scared. i've taken her to the vet. they gave her antibiotics. and i'm down to the last pill. it seems like it didn't even work. plus...her face is swollen. are you dogs face's swollen too along with them not being able to open their mouth to eat.
has anyone's dog gotten better yet???

Anonymous said...

has any one of your poor doggies gotten better yet? my dog has the exact same problem. i'm really really scared for her. plus...her face is swollen.

RheLynn said...

Allison and Anonymous (same person?) : No she never did get 'better' - but she is still in relatively good health, albeit thinner than the other dogs. She learned how to eat through the small amount of leverage she still has - and doesn't let it get her down. She still plays and runs with the other dogs but we had to be forceful for them to give her extra time to get her food at the food dish - they were chasing her away because she took too long sometimes. I think they thought she was eating it all because she was there so long and of course she was just taking longer to eat the same amount.

Anonymous said...

my dog has the same thing. She is a puggle. It is a jaw disease and she is on steroids. She is doing fine now. In six months they will do a blood test again to see if her levels for the disease have gone down. If so she can come off of the steriod.

Anonymous said...

My doberman is having the same problem. Now he is extremely dehydrated and has lost weight fast. I feed him with a syringe. Everything happens on the weekends while everything is closed. I'm beside myself. I pray he makes it!!

shraz said...

wow.........im so sorry i know wat ur going through da sams with my dog!:o!he eats by da side and slurps his food!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!now its worse !if we dont take him 2 da doc. he will die!:(we dont hav $and now he vomets and 1 leg dosent work and soon all wont work:(

Anonymous said...

I have Fila Brasiliero..purebred..anyhow, we went on vacation to Arkansas with her..about two weeks afer we got home she got a huge head (swelling)her left eye huge she was also having some ear problems..ear mites the vet put her on antibiotics simplef and treated the ear mites with an antibiotic cleanser and drops .now she can't open her mouth even a little..she still drinks water and eats,from the side..this is too strange for me..i want her to be normal.. but its like her jaw is locked..she does not seem to be inpain, but sleeps alot more..this breed is usually quiet at home so can't tell if she is just being normal or extra sleepy....we will take her to the vet again asap tommorrow..its the weekend..so i will post more about her recovery/findings..i know how it feels..she is just 11 months old! She is an expensive breed..such a sad sad feeling to see her this way at such a young age..oh, how i wish i could help all the suffering and sick animals in the world..more later...

Anonymous said...

we have an English Springer Spaniel (Molly) her jaw "locked" November 08, while also experiencing a severe ear infection and on antibiotic treatment. All this was preceded by her third eyelid covering more than half her eye. When finally diagnosed, the diagnosis was "Masticatory Myositis" she was put on high dose on prednisone, and gradually weaned down. She was n the steroids for a total of 4 months. After having been off only 6 weeks the condition reoccurred, she went back on steroids, for 6 months, now once more after only having been off for a few weeks her symptoms have started back up, always beginning with a bad ear infection. She can only open her mouth a little, drools alot, overheats as she cannot pant. She is a happy high energy very playful dog, but it is so sad to see her unable to open her mouth to get the ball. I don't know what to do if her jaw locks up completely again, she can't live on steroids!

Darren said...

I have a Golden Ret. that is almost two years old. Jaw is locked. Otherwise is her self very happy and loving. Took her to the vet Fri. they ran several test. Took x-rays (no trama) did bllod work. Was told I should go to a speacialist in Phoenix. Went and got a second opinion Mon. that vet is testing for Anti-Masticatory Muscle AB. We wont know anything for a week. He does want to start her on Steroids Fri. just in case the test comes back positive. Sure hop all of our pups get better.

kgonzales said...

i have a 8 month old great dane.. same thing.. he has been thru a lot. he is a pure breed blue dane and has been going through severe growing pains and we have spent i dont know how much on vet bills well, that finally is starting to improve and about a week ago.. bam.. he cant open his mouth. he has to suck water and he is very thin. i water down his food to make it soft for him to eat. i appreciate all of the advice everyone posted...

kgonzales said...

Well, just got back from the vet.. Same as the rest of you.. No reason and no answer.. Said I could try predizone but it would realy just stall the inevitable.. He recommended putting him down.. If it were his dog that's what he would do.. A feeding tube would be the only other option ..and even though he doesn't show pain and seems happy and playful, he said that's bc it's all he know and he grew up with this... We decided that it's not fair to let him live like this and are going to euthanize him tomorro at 9! To everyone else I wish you allthe best of luck...rip edge.

Eleanor said...

I have a puggle. She is 8 1/2 years old. She has had this problem for over 4 years. For the last 4 years I have been make home made food for her out of mixed veggies and high protein dog food and mix it in a blender. She plays in our yard and can actually pick up a toy if it has a little bit of a grip to it. She has gained weight and she also has thyroid problems and ear and eye problems. I take car of this at least tow times a day and she will never be healed but she is the sweetest dog and it makes all this worth it.
:(