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  • Jun 16, 2008, 04:45 PM
    Why can't my dog open it's mouth
    My 10 year old Golden Retreiver can hardly open her mouth. She is having trouble eating even when I feed can moist soft food. We can only take her outside for short periods when it's hot because she almost has her mouth closed when trying to pant. We had her to the vet couple days ago and was told she has last stages of kidney failure and probably would not last much more than 6 months. The vet did not have any thing to offer about the mouth. I hate to have my Susie put down before it's time... she seems to be enjoying life still... so I'm wondering if there is anything I can do for her.
    Thanks much
  • Jun 16, 2008, 05:09 PM
    Maybe it is her teeth. My sisters old daschshund had swelling in his mouth and turns out it was some bad teeth. Vet removed and problem solved.
  • Jun 17, 2008, 09:21 AM
    I wonder if she could have damaged her jaw somehow. Maybe a hairline fracture somewhere? I also thought about a tooth issue. My persian cat had bad teeth issues that caused him 3 major abscesses (it kept coming back) under his mouth (under his jaw). Dental problems can have serious side effects.

    This is a shot in the dark, but if it were my dog I would want to rule out lock-jaw from tetnus. I don't know much about it, but it might be worth ruling out. Link:

    Tetanus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  • Jun 17, 2008, 11:16 AM
    The vet did a quick check of the dogs teeth... also did blood work to discover the Kedney problem... I would think tetnus would have showed up then... maybe not. All the vet would say about it was that she thought the jaw muscles in the upper head area had atrophying (wasting away)
  • Jun 17, 2008, 11:36 AM
    I don't know if I'm picking up on something the right way or not, but it sounds like you're not totally convinced by your vet's way of handling things. Since it is such a serious situation, I would recommend getting a second opinion. This way you can also rest assured...
  • Jun 17, 2008, 02:36 PM
    It's not so much I don't trust the vet... it's more that I know so little about these things. I had even given some thought to a second opinion. The dog does not act as if anything hurts on her. Even rubbing her jaws pretty hard does not bother her. The only outward sign is that she is not as peppy as she has been. She does manage to eat... makes a lot of noise when eating but she gets it down. Maybe I will get a second opinion.
  • Jun 17, 2008, 02:54 PM
    This is off the topic but I've been told that when people die from kidney failure, they fall peacefully asleep, without pain or suffering.
  • Jun 17, 2008, 02:56 PM
    I cant imagine that being so, as you body is not getting rid of waste and toxins are building up.
  • Jun 17, 2008, 08:30 PM
    Dogs do get tetanus, but it's not common. It's usually found in dogs that live around horse barns.
    Can you open the dog's mouth? Does she resist or cry, or are you unable to pry the mouth open?
    Dental disease is the first thing I would consider. There can be problems with abscessed roots or broken teeth that are not easily found by looking. She is probably not a great candidate for anaesthesia, but if there is a bad tooth, I would take the chance rather than her living in pain. Dental disease is actually one of the leading causes of kidney problems, and can also damage the heart valves.
    Look in her mouth and at her tongue for any irritated areas or ulcers, they are common in advanced kidney failure and very painful.
    If she cries out when her mouth is opened, there could be an abscess or a tumor behind one of her eyes--the back part of the jaw can put pressure on these when it is open.
    I know this is a lot of speculation, but this condition sounds very odd.
  • Jun 18, 2008, 06:21 AM
    When the Vet tried to open her mouth... I made the comment when it would not open much that the dog was resisting... but the Vet said No that's probably all the wider she can open it... which wasn't very wide. She is managing to eat. Actually she appears to be doing pretty good. As far as the toxin build up... according to the blood test... almost everything was elevated beyond normal ranges... based on the readings the Vet said she probably has only about 6 months to live. She still is enjoying life so I've adopted a wait and see policy. We do have horses (two) but Susie never goes out into the pasture... I think she's afraid of the horses. The Vet has Susie on an antibioctic of some kind... but I'm not real sure what the Vet is hoping to treat with it. Anyway... for all who have replied to this... thanks... just want you to know that Susie does not appear to be in any pain... yet anyway... I gave her a bath yesterday and then set out on the swing with her. She loves to sit in the swing with me... she acted as if she was in 7th heaven.

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