Temporomandibular Joint Disorders in Dogs


What are Temporomandibular Joint Disorders?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is important to your pet dog’s capability to bite or chew since it is this joint (the hinge) that makes the jaw open and close properly. Any kind of condition in the TMJ location can avoid your pet dog from opening or closing his mouth. There are a number of factors that your pet dog might have gotten a TMJ condition, such as injury, dislocation, and persistent swelling due to oral or other issues. Dogs that have a long muzzle or a short muzzle are more vulnerable to TMJ disorders.

The earlier you get treatment for your pet dog the simpler and more effective the treatment will be. Waiting on it to disappear or improve will make it more difficult to deal with since it will simply keep becoming worse with time.

Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ) will result in your pet dog not having the ability to completely open or close its mouth. Dislocation can occur with or with no fractures in the bones. A partial or total dislocation (rostral or caudal), injury (with or without damaged bones), or persistent swelling might be the reason for the TMJ. The condition generally presents as either the failure to close the mouth or being not able to open the mouth.

Signs of Temporomandibular Joint Disorders in Dogs

  • Not able to open or close mouth
  • Clicking sound when opening or closing mouth
  • Swelling or swelling on side of face (lost mandible bone)
  • Drooling
  • Deformed mouth or face
  • Whimpering when consuming
  • Failure to consume
  • Noticeable discomfort when opening mouth
  • Hunger loss
  • Severe loss of weight


  • Dislocation
  • Distressing (with or without fractures)
  • Inflammatory

Reasons For Temporomandibular Joint Disorders in Dogs

  • Injury to the jaw from injury whether there are fractures or not
  • Joint tension from bring products that are too heavy in their mouth, which triggers persistent swelling
  • Some dogs are inclined to particular TMJ disorders. Dogs with longer muzzles (i.e. collie, greyhound) and those with incredibly short muzzles (i.e. pug, chihuahua) are more vulnerable even if of the length of the jaws; to be particular, a pet dog with a longer muzzle has a longer lower jaw, which results in more interdental area in the jaw, those with much shorter muzzles have a much shorter upper jaw and smaller sized interdental areas.

Medical Diagnosis of Temporomandibular Joint Disorders in Dogs

The vet will require to learn about your pet dog’s total case history, such as any current health problem or injury, vaccination records, modifications in diet plan or habits, what signs you have actually observed, when the signs began, and whether they have actually gotten any even worse. Make sure to let the vet understand if your pet dog has actually been at any pet dog parks, doggie daycare, or other locations where your pet dog might have had a run-in with another pet dog. They will do a comprehensive health examination of your pet dog, consisting of high blood pressure, body temperature level, and heart rate. The vet will analyze your pet dog’s jaw and attempt to control it and he might need to utilize sedation if the assessment is too unpleasant or if your pet dog is withstanding.

The vet will require to run some tests too. These tests consist of urinalysis, blood chemistry panel, total blood count (CBC), and digital radiographs of the head and mouth. It might likewise be essential to do an MRI and CT scan to get some more detailed views of the issue. If the vet sees any oral concerns, he might send you to see a veterinary dental professional for more treatment.

Treatment of Temporomandibular Joint Disorders in Dogs

The treatment your vet selects will depend upon what kind of TMJ condition your pet dog has. He might wait to see what the dental professional needs to state prior to any treatment is selected simply in case oral work requires to be done initially. Some things the vet might do in each kind of condition are:


In many cases, the vet can control the joint back into location and after that place a bite plate or simply position a wrap on your pet dog’s muzzle to keep him from opening it. Your vet will reveal you how to feed your pet dog with a feeding tube up until the plate or wrap can be gotten rid of (which might just be 24 to 48 hours. If the joint does not remain in location after a number of shots, your vet will recommend surgical treatment to fix the joint. This might consist of getting rid of a part of the jaw that is triggering the issue or utilizing wires to hold the position of the jaw.

Distressing (with fracture)

Depending upon the level of the damage, the vet might have the ability to fix the jaw with adjustment under anesthesia. The fracture might have the ability to be supported if it is small, however generally it is essential for the vet to surgically fix the fracture with wires or metal plates. Your pet dog will require to be kept in the medical facility for a couple of nights and after that enabled to go house with cage rest and a feeding tube. It might use up to 3 months to recover.

Distressing (without fracture)

When there is no fracture, the damage is generally not major and the vet can control the joint back into location with your pet dog under anesthesia.


IV fluids, anti-inflammatory medication, and steroids will be provided to alleviate the swelling and discomfort. When the swelling decreases, you will have the ability to take your pet dog house with a prescription for anti-inflammatory medication.


Healing of Temporomandibular Joint Disorders in Dogs

In all cases, the vet will offer you medication for your pet dog for swelling and discomfort in addition to an antibiotic for possible infection. You will be advised to utilize ice for the discomfort and swelling and heat for relaxation and blood circulation. He might likewise offer you some workouts to do with your pet dog and motivate you to attempt massage treatment. It is essential to follow the vet’s guidelines and to come back for a follow-up check out. Call your vet if you observe more discomfort or swelling in your pet dog or if your pet dog will not consume or consume. Opportunities of healing are exceptional if you capture the condition immediately and get treatment as quickly as possible.

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