It could happen that one day, out of nowhere you start noticing that your dog's jaw is quivering. Since you have never seen your dog do this before, you are rightfully concerned. Jaw quivering in dogs can be due to medical conditions, and your best approach is visiting your vet so to determine the underlying cause. Following are some potential causes of jaw quivering in dogs by veterinarian Dr. Jennifer Coates.
My Dog’s Jaw is Quivering, What Can Cause This?
Answered by Dr. Jennifer Coates
A dog’s jaw may quiver for a number of reasons. One of the most common is oral pain. Conditions such as periodontal disease or a broken tooth are often to blame, but other possibilities include an oral tumor, a fractured jaw, problems with the temporomandibular joint, or a foreign object stuck in the mouth.
Neurologic disorders such as brain infections (bacterial or viral), partial seizures, nerve irritation, neuromuscular conditions, metabolic diseases, and idiopathic “shaker disease” can also be to blame.
Finally, jaw quivering may be related to normal behavior and physiology including nervousness, cold, or submission to a dominant “pack member.”
To determine the underlying cause of a dog’s jaw quivering, a veterinarian will first start with a thorough health history and a complete physical exam looking for other clinical signs that may help point in one direction or another. The veterinarian will also likely want to closely examine your dog’s mouth, which may require sedation. X-rays of the teeth and jaws or even a CT scan or MRI may also be needed to reach a definitive diagnosis.
About the Author
Dr. Jennifer Coates attended McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada for her undergraduate training in biology. She then worked for several years in the fields of conservation and animal welfare before returning to her first love, veterinary medicine. She was valedictorian of her graduating class at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine and has worked as an Associate Veterinarian and Chief of Staff in several practices in Virginia, Wyoming and Colorado.
Dr. Coates is also a veterinary advisor for several companies and the author of numerous articles, short stories and books, including the Dictionary of Veterinary Terms, Vet-Speak Deciphered for the Non-Veterinarian. She lives in Fort Collins, Colorado with her husband, children and pets.