Chattering of teeth in canines can be a sign of a myriad of different things, anywhere from a bad mood to potential dental issues. If you notice that your dog’s teeth are chattering, pay some attention to the things that are happening around it to determine the cause. If, however, you are unable to do it yourself, do not hesitate to contact the vet who may be able to find out what the underlying cause of this chattering is.
Listed below are the possible reasons and explanations of why your dog may be clacking his teeth. Ranging from behavioral reasons to the atmospheric ones, there is a number of possible causes and interpretations, and one of them should give you the answer you are seeking for.
Behavioral reasons take the first place on our list since they are the most common ones for tooth chattering. He may be excited for a number of reasons, starting with something quite simple such as you coming home from work or school, or just your dog trying to overcome his excitement during his playtime or cuddling sessions with you. So if you notice that your dog starts chattering his teeth while you are playing with him or being affectionate, there is no need to worry since he’s just enjoying the quality time he’s spending with you.
On the other hand, the chattering can be a sign of your dog’s preparation for a threat. He may be sensing immediate danger coming his way, or just being protective over the person he loves when they are in danger. You will most probably notice that your dog does this around other dogs or cats.
Also, a scent of another dog may lead your dog to chatter his teeth, especially if your dog is a male and is near a female dog in heat. Additionally, a dog may clack his teeth when smelling another dog’s urine, but this is not a sign of anything serious or dangerous. The dog may simply be assessing the odor of the urine by using his Jacobson organ, which is a structure found in your dog’s nose that has a special duct known as incisive papilla, located between its front teeth. The chattering, in this case, is a sign of a dog sending scent molecules to the incisive papilla in order for them to reach the Jacobson organ.
He May Be Cold
One of the most obvious reasons for the chattering of your dog’s teeth is simply the possibility of him being cold. If you live in the cold climate and own a dog which was not bread for such conditions, such as a short-haired breed, this may be the reason why. If you suspect this, simply get your dog somewhere warm, and invest in a dog sweater which you can put on him when you’re going for a walk to shelter him from harsh winters.
In some cases, the chattering of your puppy’s teeth can be a sign of an ailment that demands medical attention. One of such conditions can be a periodontal disease, and you should be able to look for signs while you are cleaning your dog’s teeth.
If your dog is chattering its teeth it can be a sign of gum problems or pain in his teeth or jaws. Sometimes you won’t be able to notice the dental issues straight away, and an x-ray would be needed.
Chattering can also be a sign of epilepsy. Epilepsy is quite common in canines and could be caused by a number of reasons that can range from food allergies to serious issues such as cancer. Make sure you feed your dog a healthy diet and take him to the vet if he starts having seizures. In this case, a seizure may only be partial, otherwise known as focal, so detecting this problem as soon as possible is essential for the health of your dog.
One way of checking is to determine the responsiveness of your dog. When you notice that he is chattering his teeth, try talking to him and capturing his attention. If he fails to respond, that is the sign of a seizure, and you should take him to the vet as soon as the seizure is over. Also, take a video of the whole situation so you can show it to the vet, as he or she will be able to assess the situation better with physical evidence, rather than just your explanation.
Some of the ailments can be linked to your dog’s breed and heredity, for example, breeds such as Maltese, Bichon Frieses, and Cocker Spaniels can suffer from a multisystem degeneration. Therefore, teeth chattering can be a sign of this, followed by muscle tremors and issues with balance. Also, smaller breeds such as Chihuahuas are more prone to chattering their teeth when they are nervous.