Joined: Feb 13, 2013 Posts: 2 Location: Sydney Australia
Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:08 am Post subject: My girl Ruby cannot open her mouth
Hi I am a new member based in Australia. Have had pugs as pets last 25 years. Currently have 3, Ruby, Storm and Lucy.
Ruby, 3yo desexed female is a worry, about month ago noticed she was only taking small bits of food and eating mainly on one of her mouth. Her jaw seemed shut tighter than normal and we could not get her to open it. In fact could just see tip of her tongue. All else with her seemed ok. Took her to our vet. He was not sure and likewise was unable to open her jaw. He could not feel any fracture but noticed lympth glands swollen. Her temp was normal. He took some blood but that came back as ok. He gave her a needle to attempt release ( relax) jaw muscle plus antibotics for infection he felt was causing swollen Lympth glands. Despite needle ( for Tetanus...lock jaw I think) and completing course of antbotics she still cannot open her jaw and she has starting consistent dribbling of mucus / phelm out the side / back of her mouth. Her weight has dropped 1kg in 3 weeks. Vet seems a little unsure and says unable to sedate her for further tests / x-rays etc because he cannot get tube down her throat?.
In herself Ruby seems fine, eating her food although we have to soften it up a bit and it takes her a long time. She plays with Storm and Lucy ( and our 3 cats) as usual. Maybe sleeping a bit more but it has been hot here.
Has anyone had a similar problem or maybe suggest possible causes. We are obviously exploring all avenues.
Posted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:03 am Post subject: Re: My girl Ruby cannot open her mouth
Hi! I haven't been on the board for a long time. I wish I had seen your post earlier. I could have told you to have them check for Masticatory Myositis. I have a pug who has had it for years. It is very uncommon in pugs. Once on the prednisone you might see the muscles in Ruby's face give a sunken in appearance. When my Bowzer first was diagnosed his muscles were so swollen it looked like he was growing horns. Now that area is sunken in. We tried weaning him off the pred but the myositis came right back. We have him on a maintenance dose of 5 mg. once a day. As a result of being on the pred he has lost all his fur on his underside and is rather manic when it comes to food. It is painful for them. I hope the pred kicks in and works quickly. Ruby should be on the pred for at least a few months before reducing amount. Tell Ruby that Bowzer and I are thinking of her.
Joined: Sep 19, 2007 Posts: 3471 Location: Tidewater Virginia
Posted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:44 am Post subject: Re: My girl Ruby cannot open her mouth
My Tallulah and Petunia are on a lower dosage of methylpred for a hormone disorder. Ask your vet to check the thyroid too. When they are on pred, it can alter the thyroid levels too. Because of the combination of thyroxine and methylpred, mine are pretty normal. They've always been crazy about food, but they aren't rabid about it.
There's a book by Dr. Alfred Plechner called Pets at Risk that details this. It doesn't necessarily relate to this disorder, but it may help you and your vet come up with a treatment plan to use both steroids and the thyroxine to keep them as normal as possible.
Bowzer, Tallulah has suffered some hair loss as we have been trying to regulate her hormones. I started her on 1.5 mgs of melatonin and it's slowly coming back. Ask your vet about using it. It's both calmed her anxiety some and helping with the hair loss.
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