CMO in dogs has no known cause, no treatment, and can be mild or so severe your dog will have to be euthanized.
It is also referred to as a sore mouth disease, but it much more entailed than just a sore mouth.
It can also cause a tremendous amount of pain in your dog’s jaw, excessive drooling, as well as so much pain they cannot open their mouth.
In the vast majority of cases, this disease will eventually go away as your dog outgrows it; but if it does not or they cannot make it to this stage, they may not survive.
CMO in dogs is better known by two other names; sore mouth disease as well as Craniomandibular osteopathy.
It is a bone disease, although some in the medical community refer to it as a skeletal disease that can affect any breed of growing dogs.
However, unlike some other diseases that affect growth in dogs, CMO in dogs is not specific to large breeds. In fact, it is much more common in mid-size and some smaller breeds.
It also affects both sexes equally, and there is some evidence that is developing that dogs that are neutered or spayed are much less likely to be affected.
It affects the bones of your dog’s skull in several different places.
It can affect their mandible, which is better known as the lower jaw, or their tympanic bullae, which is the bone that surrounds the middle ear in your dog.
However, it can also affect their entire temporal region if it is severe enough, which is the bone of your dog’s skull that forms a joint with the lower ear.
This joint is referred to as the temporomandibular point.
The lesions that develop with this disease are bilateral in nature, and as a result, they cause irregular enlargements of your dogs affected bones.
There is another oddity with CMO in dogs in that is unlike most diseases that affect growing dogs; large breeds that are affected seem to be in much less pain than the smaller breeds.
The disease was first discovered and identified in England in 1958, and will start to surface in dogs between the ages of three and eight months of age.
However, it can affect puppy’s as early as four weeks old.
There have also been a few reported cases of dogs being affected between eleven and twelve months, although this is very rare.
It also has a few other oddities; it is not cancerous or is it believed to be the result of any type of inflammation.
To put it quite bluntly, the medical community is still not sure what causes it.
CMO in dogs can and does affect all breeds, but it is much more common in just a handful of breeds.
By far and away the most affected breed is the West Highland white terrier, where is it held that it is an inherited condition that causes the disease.
However, it can also affect other terrier breeds including Scottish, Boston, as well as Cairn terriers.
There have also been reported cases affecting Boxers, Doberman Pincher, Great Danes, and Labrador Retrievers.
CMO in dogs has some very distinctive symptoms that will start to show up when your dog reaches three to four months old.
The first signs that you will see with this disease is a very slow, or a sudden swelling of your dog’s jaw. In some cases, it will seem like this swelling comes literally out of nowhere.
Once this occurs, you will also see your dog start to drool excessively.
Drooling in dogs, contrary to a lot of misconception, is never normal unless they are breeds that have short jaws to begin with; but excessive drooling is anything but normal.
Once this drooling starts, you will than notice your dog having a lot of difficulty in picking up any type of food.
This can easily lead to a weight loss as well as a condition known as Atrophy, which is shrinking of the muscles over both the head as well as the jaw areas.
If this situation does develop, it is considered to be very severe, and your dog may not survive the disease.
It is held in the medical community that it is this development that causes so much pain that your dog can literally not open their mouth to eat or drink.
In the mild and severe cases of COM in dogs, a fever may also develop, but this will also be a very strange occurrence as it will come in stages or phases.
The fever will come every ten days to two weeks, go away, and then return again. Again, the reason this happens is still not fully understood.
CMO in dogs has absolutely no form of effective treatment as the medical community still does not understand the cause or what underlying condition to treat.
However, there are some very effective supportive measures that can be done to help you dog.
The first form of therapy with CMO in dogs is to make sure your dog is getting the proper amounts of nutrition as well as water.
You may have to literally help you dog eat for a few months until the disease resides and goes away.
If it is severe enough, your dog will have to be fed by a tube in their stomach, which is referred to as gastronomy.
Glucocorticoids maybe used in some cases and the doses will be the same as if they were being treated for an inflammatory disease, even though this is not believed to be the result of any type of inflammation.
This will help reduce the pain and the discomfort in some cases, but it will have absolutely no effect of the bone changes that may be occurring in their jaw.
This may sound confusing, but there is nothing that can help this from occurring; if there was, it would be considered a treatment.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may also be used for treating CMO in dogs, also referred to as NSAIDs.
In this case it is usually small amounts of aspirin, but this can only be done by your veterinarian, and only in very small dosages.
Aspirin can be toxic to dogs and should never be given without the direction of your professional and only in the dosages that they instruct.
CMO in dogs is has no known cause or treatments and it is considered to a self-limiting disease, meaning that is generally goes away on its own as your dog outgrows it.
However, if there is extensive bone damage and any type of a fusion that occurs and causes a permanent restriction of jaw movement, sadly, there is very little hope.
If this is the case, the best thing you can do for your dog is to put them down.