Sat, May 18, 2024

He yelps when he opens his mouth. Able to feel gums and teeth and the feel fine. He doesn't seem like he's in pain when touching them. Able to touch jaw line as well. Still eating and drinking fine

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Dr. Deliman
Dr.Tail Vet

It sounds like your dog is experiencing discomfort when opening his mouth, which can be due to a variety of reasons. Since you've checked his gums, teeth, and jawline and haven't found any obvious pain or abnormalities, and he's still eating and drinking normally, we can consider some less apparent causes.

One possibility is temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, which affect the joint connecting the jaw to the skull. These can be difficult to detect through casual examination and might not cause pain when touching the jaw directly. Another potential issue could be a muscular strain or sprain in the muscles used for chewing, which might only cause pain when the muscles are in use, such as when the mouth is opening.

Inflammation or infection in the mouth or throat that isn't immediately visible, such as in the tonsils or deep gum pockets, could also cause pain upon mouth opening. Additionally, certain types of neuralgia or nerve pain could lead to discomfort without obvious physical signs.

For now, continue to monitor his eating and drinking habits. If he's managing his meals without issue, that's a good sign. However, you should soften his food or switch to a wet diet temporarily to reduce the strain on his jaw when eating. Also, try to limit his play involving his mouth, such as tug-of-war games, to avoid exacerbating any potential injury or discomfort.

Keep an eye out for other signs of pain or discomfort, such as reluctance to chew, drooling, pawing at the mouth, or a sudden change in behavior. If you notice any of these, or if the yelping persists or worsens, it's important to seek professional help.

In the meantime, ensure that his environment remains calm to avoid any additional stress that might exacerbate the problem. If he enjoys gentle massages, you can carefully massage around his neck and jaw to provide some relief, but be cautious and stop if he shows any sign of discomfort.

If your dog starts showing additional symptoms such as swelling around the face, difficulty breathing, inability to open or close the mouth completely, or a sudden change in behavior such as increased aggression or withdrawal, these are signs that immediate veterinary attention is needed.

Remember, while these suggestions may provide some relief, they are not a substitute for professional veterinary care if the condition does not improve or worsens. If you have any additional questions, please don't hesitate to come back to us! Thank you.