Shih Tzu Teeth Chattering: Is it a problem?

Even of dogs belong to different breeds, they are also like us – very much diverse when it comes to individual whims, personality and behavior. A pet owner needs to recognize his or her dog’s likes and dislikes not only to get to know their pet but also to know how to properly manage and control their dogs. One of the common Shih Tzu behavioral issues is teeth chattering – where the lower jaw constantly hits the upper jaw in a constant and fast paced manner. This can be clearly seen in undershot jaw-ed Shih Tzu because the jaw is more pronounced. If you observe this in your Shih Tzu, there may be some reasons that you need to consider.

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First, do not panic. Teeth chattering can both be a behavioral and physiological in nature. However, the most common cause is cold environment. Especially now that it is already winter, it is but normal to see this in a Shih Tzu. However, it needs to be controlled. Teeth chattering is a signal that your pet is in extreme cold and needs to be placed in a warmer environment. You can wrap him in towel and carry him near the fireplace. Another cause is excitement. When you come home from work, when you play with him in the park or when you simply acknowledge your pet, teeth chattering can happen. It only shows you that he is so looking forward to seeing you that he cannot control it. Physiological reasons include neurological problems. There are a lot of reasons why this can happen – it can be genetic defect or a viral infection (rabies, distemper). If the chattering persists and you observe that your pooch is already in a state of discomfort, then it is time to see the veterinarian. The persistence can be a prelude to seizures or stroke that’s why it is important that it is monitored. Toxins that can cause paralysis can also lead to endless jaw movements which are usually accompanied by jerking leg actions. The most important thing to keep in mind when you see your Shih Tzu chatters his teeth is to note down and observe the duration and other physical signs that might indicate that it is not a normal occurrence but already causing discomfort to your pet.