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Your dog questions answered
Jack Russell Terrier and a Lab

Q. I have an 11 year old mix of black lab and I think pointer. Every now and then it appears that her mouth is chattering and the sound is like she is chattering.

She has been healthy all her life without any medical problems. Someone said it may be epilepsy, if yes, what are the epileptic symptoms. Thank you

A. Chattering teeth may be a symptom of "petit mal" or focal or psychomotor seizures.

Sometimes the dog looks like it is chewing gum and usually there is a glazed look in the eye. Have your veterinarian do a thorough physical exam and lab work to rule out diseases of the liver or kidneys that might contribute to the signs.

Keep records of when and how long they occur and what she was doing when it started.

If all is normal and episodes are mild and infrequent no treatment may be necessary but if they are increasing in duration frequency or severity, your veterinarian may recommend anti-seizure medications.

Q. Our Jack Russell Terrier has 2 hard lumps just in front of her rear hips on both sides of her back. Is this her kidneys? They are very hard and pronounced.

What could this be and does it need treatment? Please help. Thank you

A. The lumps you describe sound like fat deposits. Typically these "saddle bags" are equal in size and located in exactly the same position on both sides.

If your dog is overweight now or was in the past, fat may have been deposited there and is often difficult to get rid of without a well controlled lower calorie diet. Certainly have your veterinarian check these out and also ask about body weight and diet.

Dogs should have a visible waistline just behind the last rib and the ribcage should be easy to feel but not visible.

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