tpvets_logo.jpg (2726 bytes)TOA PAYOH VETS   Blk 1002, Toa Payoh Lor 8, 01-1477, Singapore 319074   Tel: 6254-3326, 9668-6469, 9668-6468.  
03 September, 2015
  Focus: Small animals - dogs, cats, guinea pigs, hamsters, turtles & rabbits
Clinical Research - Dogs
Craniomandibular Osteopathy (lion jaw) in a Westie puppy
Dr Sing Kong Yuen, BVMS (Glasgow), MRCVS
First recorded: 24 May, 2012

03 September, 2015

Contents of other pages are at: Dogs
Yesterday, May 23, 2012, I answered a phone call. A lady wanted to make an appointment to consult an experienced vet (myself) at Toa Payoh Vets. She had consulted another experienced vet (Vet 1) who had apparently diagnosed her Westie as having enlarged "lymph nodes"  and prescribed antibiotics and medication. After that, the Westie puppy again had difficulty in opening her mouth, was in pain and would not eat. 

"I know my Westie is suffering from an inherited disease called 'lion jaw'," she could not pronounced craniomandibular osteopathy and told me to surf the internet for 'Westie, lion jaw'. She was not happy with the breeder but would not return the puppy.

I identified myself and told her that I had not come across the disease in my 40 years of practice. "Singaporean breeders seldom breed Westies," I said.

"This breed is not easy to breed for some reasons. This breed has a type of skin disease specific to Westies and that is probably the reason why local breeders avoid breeding Westies as they would encounter complaints to the authorities or need to pay back the money. So, you will seldom find Westie puppies locally bred for sale."

The internet is a great help and many owners know more than the vets in specific disease conditions!

The cause is said to be bone changes in the skull and mandible and is an inherited disease in Westies 3 months to 8 months. X-rays show immature bones replacing normal bone leading to a misdiagnosis of bone tumour. Painful and difficulty in eating. Steroid injections or NSAIDS are reported to be useful.    

P.S An image of a Westie with "lion jaw" is at:  Westie - lion jaw

Westie's predisposed to malassezia dermatitits,hereditary craniomandibular osteopathy, toapayohvets, singaporeA skin disease associated with the breed - Westies.

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