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Extreme chattering.

Species: Dog
Breed: Mutt (chow/dashund m
Age: 11-15 years
Hello my senior dog/male neutered/mutt (not sure how old..in the teens) has a history of vascular incidents and over the past few months has very violent shaking of the head where he seems to wanting
to dislodge something from his nose..during bad fits some clear fluid comes out...it could be severe acid reflux when it goes up into his nose and is followed by rapid head shaking and snorting? he does have a loud stomache and belches as well. Then a few days ago he was anxiously and quickly. excitedly picking up some crumbs of a treat where his head was down and toward his body and all of a sudden his jaw went into a rapid spasm...chattering....it looked like a seizure but when I put my hand under his jaw and stood him up it stopped. it continued every time he put his head down so I continued to lift his head and it stopped. the next morning he was licking his legs and it started again so I stood him up and it stopped. Hes on an antacid and keppra since he has had some twitching issues and is a nervous dog which makes his vascular incident risk high ....any ideas on what this is ? also my fears of leaving his alone which of course i must do is that this violent head shaking will break his neck or his spasming of his jaw wont stop since I wont be there to lift him up and he will suffocate or break his neck.

UPDATE from yesterday: Hello, took him in for a neuro consult with the city neurologist and it was said that he is a "risky" in hospital patient as he has had two vascular incidents from stress (once he had his blood drawn and couldnt walk for half an hour after) he shakes uncontrolably and his blood pressure goes off the charts....so he gave me antarobe antibiotic (which he has vomited up) to keep any mouth pain at bay and then talked about pulse dosing anti biotics if it helps. Last night what happened was he was laying down on his side resting then started pawing at his face, mouth and then went into what APPEARED to be a jaw chattering seizure or spasm, head cocked to the left, ..when I lifted him up it stopped and then continued on if he wasnt lifted up for about four minutes. Im terrified to leave him alone which of course i must...
Thank you.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

What an unusual case.

My first piece of advice I would give you is to trust the advice your neurologist is giving you. These vets are absolutely brilliant and this is your best chance at sorting out the problem. I'll give you some of my thoughts, but keep in mind that it is difficult for me to comment without actually being able to examine poor Cassidy.

What you are describing with the chattering does not sound like a seizure to me. The most common reason for chattering like this is some sort of pain. It could be a dental problem, or it could be pain in the TMJ (temporal mandibular joint).

The purpose of the antirobe is likely to see if we can determine if there is a dental infection that is causing this problem. If this were my case, if we were not seeing an improvement after a couple of days of this medication I would likely be trying him on some pain medication as well.

I had a cat with similar symptoms. I did a dental procedure under anesthetic and removed a few suspect teeth and this solved the problem for him.

I know you are afraid to leave him alone, but I think he should be ok to be without you if you need to do that.

Let me know if I can answer more questions for you. I don't feel that I have been that helpful...but it is a difficult case to comment on!

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.