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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have not been here for awhile...

But here's a long story (done as short as I can) that dog owners may want to be aware of...

* Last Friday, my 2.5 year old female Yellow Lab was fine, no problems.
* Saturday AM early, she was "licking her chops", woke us up.
* Saturday she sneezed way more than ever, seemed out of sorts, was licking her chops.
* Sunday same things, low energy, sneezing, seemed like something was up, but ???
* By Monday, her jaw was noticeably open all the time -- and drooling a lot.
* Tuesday AM, she could not eat at all -- what she normally would devour in under 3 minutes (wet kibble, soaked 10 minutes), took her 15 minutes to eat and she made a HUGE MESS! Kibbles and bits of kibbles were everywhere!
* My wife took her to the Vets and they did a 4DX (Lyme and other tick-borne diseases), Heartworm, CBC (blood count), Chem 10 diagnostics, plus knocked her out and checked her teeth and throat. Nothing was found, and she was put on an anti-nausea pill.
* Wednesday AM, her jaw was dropped even more, drool was heavy and she couldn't seem to keep any food or water in her mouth. I gave her a blueberry, which she loves, and it kept rolling off her tongue. We were all getting frustrated...
* Back to the Vet we went; various options and possibilities discussed, including X-rays of the jaw and more scope work down into stomach and up into nasal passages, or just an antibiotic. Just to be safe, we said "go for it" to find out what it was she had... Again, NOTHING was found, and an antibiotic was prescribed. All of us, Vet & dog too, were very frustrated... And we were $900.00 poorer.....................
* Wednesday PM, my wife the medical assistant Googles "Canine Tongue Paralysis" and the very first hit showed the above syndrome -- with a picture of a dog with a "dropped jaw" that looked just like ours!!! Open mouth, ears down/flat (like she had a headache or something) or was on Novacaine after having teeth removed (you know how it feels...). Just as she says "Hey, look at this!" the phone rings -- this is after 7:30 PM -- and it's the Vet saying she'd just done more research -- and she now suspects the same thing!

Anyway, the article said to put an elastic band around the dog's jaw to help her eat, so we tried it (dog ate late, as she was sleeping off the anesthesia) -- and IT WORKED!!!

NO mess and she was done in 4 minutes! And she could now drink easily too! She still had the "drop jaw" and low energy, but at least we had something to chase. So here's what they say about this damn thing...

Trigeminal Neuritis is characterized by paralysis of the chewing muscles. The cause is unknown, but the paralysis occurs secondary to inflammation of the trigeminal nerves, which supply the chewing muscles. TM occurs in both dogs and cats, but is much more common in dogs. No breed, age, or sex predispositions exist.

What to Watch For:
- Paralysis of the muscles causes an inability to close the mouth, or "drop jaw"
- Affected animals cannot eat or drink normally, with excessive drooling
Diagnosis:
- History and physical exam
- Neurologic exam to exclude other nerve deficits
- X-rays of the jaw to rule out traumatic injury
Treatment:
- Treatment consists of supportive care, mainly consisting of assisting the animal to eat and drink. In some cases, this may require tube feeding.
Home Care and Prevention:
- Most animals recover in 2 to 3 weeks. During the recovery period, owners must ensure their pet is getting adequate food and water. This can usually be achieved by syringe feeding, as instructed by your veterinarian, or feeding via a tube.
Cause:
There is no means of preventing trigeminal neuritis, since its cause is unknown.


Other sources suggest a steroid treatment, so we started that on Thursday morning. A Vet at work (my company makes the 4Dx test) said it was "ideopathic" (no known cause) and it should clear up in 2 to 3 weeks -- unless an underlying cause like a tumor or something is putting pressure on the nerve -- but that is very rare he said. Other sources consulted say the same thing -- usually clears up in a few weeks, and serious root causes are very rare. (Fingers crossed, prayers said...)

Well, after 1 day, already we have observed 1/2 hour times when her jaw is closed normally. Her energy level is still low, but we are sure she's getting enough food and water -- thanks to the neat trick with the elastic band! Sources suggest the energy level could lag 2 - 3 weeks after the jaw clears up, so we should be all better by the end of May.

So, what did I learn? A lot... Do I regret spending the $900 bucks? No, would probably do it all again... At least we ruled out a lot of other things, and the test results and X-rays give us a baseline (just in case for the course of this thing, or for the future).

Thought you all may be interested in this... Sure is a weird syndrome, but I am grateful to see some signs of improvement.

(I will be over in Europe for a week and I am quite sure that ShotGUNworld would get blocked by my Co's web security, so sorry -- I will not be able to reply to this for awhile...)

Wondering if anyone else has ever dealt with this TM???

Hug your dogs. And remember, Google is your friend!!!

Old No7
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Update...

My dog is doing better these days... We used the elastic band to help her eat for a week, and we started Prednisone about the same time. The pills are done now, and she's been eating "elastic free" since Friday of last week -- with no problems.

She is regaining strength weekly, now has an interest in chasing a ball or chewing on a bone, but there's some way to go yet. Biggest concern now is her head has a "skullular" or "skeleton" look to it, due to the nerve's impact on the chewing muscles and atrophy of those. (Good thing we'd read that could happen...) Reports we've read suggest those could take another month or so to bulk back up, and to also get all her old energy back.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

What is sorta disappointing though.................. :?

I posted about this on a GUN forum and got 17 replies...

But here on a Sporting DOGS forum -- got only 1???????????

Was really hoping that some folks here could have: (a) Lent some moral support or (b) Offered some sage advise from those familiar with this malady...


Sigh... Anyway... Rant Over. (Sorry, just had to vent...)


= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Well, in the event your dogs may ever get this, now you'll know all about it. I hope this info may help someone here, some day.

But I also sincerely hope that does not happen to any of you guys or your dogs.

Old No7
 

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Hi. My 4 year old shepherd was just diagnosed yesterday with TN. My vet was very quick to diagnose her. She's not getting any...or very little...water down so I am using a syringe. Food was a problem until I got her a more solid canned food (Science Diet) and put a little kibble in it.

I'm going to try the elastic band idea in the morning. Did you use it just for eating or drinking too.

Sure hope she recoups soon. She's not herself at all.

Glad I found your post through Google.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
dakotasgram said:
"Hi. My 4 year old shepherd was just diagnosed yesterday with TN. My vet was very quick to diagnose her. She's not getting any...or very little...water down so I am using a syringe. Food was a problem until I got her a more solid canned food (Science Diet) and put a little kibble in it.

I'm going to try the elastic band idea in the morning. Did you use it just for eating or drinking too. Sure hope she recoups soon. She's not herself at all. Glad I found your post through Google."
Sorry, I have not been to this forum for quite awhile........................

Sorry to hear about your shepherd too -- hope she's doing better these days. From my experience though, you will need to be patient...

The elastic band trick worked GREAT for us during feeding times, for water or food. Hopefully, it has helped your dog some.

It's now been almost 1.5 years since my Lab got the TN and I'm pleased to report that she made a full and complete recovery. It took awhile (4 or 5 months maybe?), but the muscles on her head filled back in and the "skull-like" look gradually went away -- and has not come back.

We're grateful for her recovery, and I hope my story gives others some helpful ideas -- and most of all some hope.

Tight groups,

Old No7
 

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Old No 7 et al,

Saturday Morning 14 June 2013,

Evie...the dog in my avatar a 4 yo small munsterlander presented with extreme fatigue, a red left eye, and 'slack jaw' ie is her lower jaw (mandible was open ca. 2 cm). She ate very messily and snorted a little. We put some ophthalmic antimicrobial ointment in her left eye after thoroughly examining it for scratches or foreign objects and gave her a baby aspirin.

Later, I took her for a very short walk to see i she would pep up and had to nearly drag her around the block; her fatigue seemed to get much worse and she drank water with a messy splashing effort.

We took her to the 24 hour ER Vet here since our vet was already closed for the weekend and I wasn't sure she would last until Monday. They sedated her and performed radiographs to r/o fractures. There were no fractures abscesses nor other obvious signs of trauma. After returning home, we were very worried about here and started googling every darn thing we could find.

I stayed up all night watching her as she, slept the anesthesia off in her kennel. She woke up day #2 and still seemed very tired. She refused to drink from her bowl. But she would lick the water from my fingers. So after a few hours of finger licking she had finally downed ca. 500 cc's of water. This pepped her up quite a bit. We fed her soft dog food which she licked down because she couldn't chew. Her left eye would not close with reflex, but her eomi were intact. She swallowed normally and would lick a plate clean. I gave her 10mg of prednisone from and old rx (she weighs 40 lbs) and closd her eye every few minutes for her throughout the day.

On day #3, she acted her old self: with the exception of not being able to chew or close her left eye. We took her to our vet who examined her and consulted a neurologist in Auburn. They explained to my wife (I was at work) that it was indeed a facial nerve paralysis and should get better with time. There was no further need for steroids. We purchased some gel drops and put it in her left eye (the redness resolved after day #1).

I had all but forgotten this post...and it is right on.

Hopefully my dog responds to our gel tears in her eyes and puried fingerlicking food. We are using the blender to make her some shakes from canned food, dried dog food, and water.

L.W.
 

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I'd never heard of this condition before, so thanks for the heads up. Forewarned is forearmed.

It must be very distressing for both the dog and the owner when it first presents itself and no one knows what's going on; a bit like canine epileptic fits in which I'm an unwilling expert.

Jay, Nil Illigitimum Carborundum. (Don't let the b******s grind you down!) This is still a great resource and we thank you for it.

Eug
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Glad to hear that LW's dog is better now.

3+ years since my dog's initial problem with that, and -- knock on wood -- she is doing JUST FINE and this has not come back.

<< KNOCK ON WOOD LOUDLY ! ! >>

I agree with Eug that there is some great info to be learned on this site. Thanks all!

Old No7
 

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Ah! Treatment with corticoid steroids, which are immunosuppressants, suggest/implicate an autoimmune disorder. The most likely culprit is whatever dog food you're feeding.

Is everyone feeding a commercial dog food? Or, perhaps the better question is; "Is anyone NOT feeding a commercial dog food"?
 

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Just an update, Evie has her total energy back and can eat and swim and retrieve. She does have some asymmetry on the affected part of her face due to the muscle atrophy. Hopefully, that will recover with time. She'll be in the field later this month for some light training/hunting.

She's an awesome dog and family member...even more affectionate (as if that could even happen) after her special attention from the illness. We still mix a little caned food in with her dry food to coax her to eat it...otherwise she just looks at you like 'I'm supposed to hear and electronic can opener before I eat'. She has us trained well.
 

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Two of my corgis have been diagnosed with TN. Zack has been on a feeding tube since August. Zia started showing signs a couple of weeks ago. She is on cyclosporine in hopes of slowing down the inflammation. We had an MRI done last week. No tumors, just inflammation. They said this condition could just go away as fast as it came on. I hope so!
 

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Our dog , a golden retriever had drop jaw , so I'm an expert at how to make it through with out major troubles.
Not an expert on why or how this happens, but I know how to sort it.
So sit back and read , number one your dog can't drink water by itself so you will do this by giving it a big drink in the morning a big drink at lunch time and a big drink at 4 in the arvo at the latest and after meals and couple of hrs before bed. And if you can do the in between these times all the better.
So there's other ways to do this but best effective way is get a bucket of water get dog to come to it , then cup your hand and poor the water into its mouth, because although your dogs jaw doesn't work it's throat does so all the water has to do is fall down the mouth and in. Easy eh! But you'll spill heaps but who cares as long as it gets down the hole. If you pour to fast they'll get a bit choked and cough a bit so just slow it down. Sorted. We tryed a few ways and the syringe is a joke.
Now to food ... Dog can't pick it up , can't chew it and putting it in a blender and syringing it definitely doesn't work. So go to your butcher get some meat chopped up , a bit of cow or what ever is looking yummy.
Now feed your dog ruffly the same proportions as you'd normally do.
Now just get your doggy to sit and pretend your feeding a crocodile it's that simple gravity will drop it to the throat the throat swallows and bang dog is happy and it's real meat not the usual dry stuff ... Choice!
So that's it really, your dog will be a bit quite for the first week or so as it takes it out of them. The other people who've written before me have said all the other stuff like it takes a month or so and then there's the physical head muscle waste but it goes as well. You've just got to keep the water and food up to them and let them rest , if they want to. It's a real bugger of a thing but I've searched the web and the only dogs that don't recover from this are suffering from other hinderences. So if your dogs a normal sortve hound then it'll be sweet as. So look after your dog, and breath through it. All will be well.
 

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This forum is like going back in time, but I'm so thankful it's here!!

My 4 year old Golden Retriever was diagnosed with Trigeminal Neuritis 6 days ago and I've been worried sick about him&#8230; until I read all of your amazing stories about your dogs recoveries. It's given me such peace of mind, much more than what I got from our vet (who of course is just very matter of fact). The vet never mentioned the sunken eye, or the skull like look, or the elastic band trick, or how low his energy will be, but now I know, it's all part of it and he can fully recover from this.

Thanks again! I hope everyone is well after all this time (a decade since OG post)

- Amanda (and Doogan the Goldie)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hello Amanda and Doogan.

It gladdens my heart to know that my old post -- Wow, 11 years! -- is still helping people and their pets today...

Yes, the elastic band trick was a Godsend for sure -- and it was my wife who found that.

Sadly, our yellow is gone; but we've got a Black Lab now (appropriately named "Jack Daniels", to go along with my nickname and avatar) and we're hoping to avoid that with him.

Good luck.

Old No7 & Jack
 

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An old post but one hunting dog owners should be aware of and keep alive. TN is a horrendous disease and will be fatal if not addressed quickly. We had a 2 year old spayed yellow lab come down with it. Initially the vets tried steroids to treat it with some response, but not much. We elevated her feed and water bowls, which helped a bit. Even found a drip waterer that she could lick and get some water down as we could mount it above her head. As has been noted, hand feeding and watering may quickly become necessary. Reading through this thread, I didn't see the treatment that worked on our dog and has lasted for 8 years (she's 10 now). One of our local vets also does canine acupuncture. If I remember correctly, it took something like 10 treatments over a couple of weeks, but at the end, she was 100% normal. Seems to make sense as it is neural and acupuncture addresses neural issues. It also had 0 side affects, unlike the steroids. Hopefully this adds another tool to the toolbox in treating TN for those that have it show up in their dogs.
 
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