Why Does Focal Motor Seizure Dog Teeth Chattering Occur?

The chattering of a dog’s teeth can be caused by various factors. Although some reasons for teeth chattering are not problematic, other causes can indicate severe and perhaps life-threatening disorders (including Focal Motor Seizure Dog Teeth Chattering). This article will discuss the many reasons why Focal Motor Seizure Teeth Chattering occurs as well as the steps you should take if you observe this condition in your canine companion.

Focal Motor Seizure Dog Teeth Chattering arise from the neurons firing in the motor portion of a brain hemisphere and often presents as involuntary jerking of limb muscles or repeated motions of face muscles. It’s possible that your pup’s consciousness may or may not be affected.

Let’s look at what it means when a dog’s teeth clatter.

dog teeth chattering

Canine General Chattering Behavior

The chattering of teeth can be brought on by various factors, most of which are behavioral rather than any form of medical illness. Your pups can communicate their emotions in a variety of ways that are difficult to regulate. Therefore, you should study your dog’s overall behavior to see if his teeth chattering indicates a bigger behavioral pattern.

What Is a Focal Motor Seizure?

An abnormal increase in the amount of electrical activity within the brain causes a seizure. Constant transmission of electrical impulses along and between neurons in the brain is what controls both conscious and unconscious cognition, movement, and every other function of the brain. These neurons become hyperactive and begin firing in an irregular pattern when an animal is having a seizure, resulting in many outwardly manifesting impacts on the body. This strange behavior generally occurs without a cause and resolves on its own.

A focal motor seizure is a localized spike of aberrant electrical activity in a single brain region. A focal motor seizure affects a small part of the brain and has limited consequences on the body, apart from a generalized seizure, which affects the whole brain and body. The severity of these effects can change considerably depending on where part of the brain is impacted.

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All Causes of Dogs’ Chattering Teeth (One Major Cause Is Focal Motor Dog Teeth Chattering)

Stress and Anxiety

Dogs can be heard tightening and grinding their teeth when they are sometimes worried or stressed out. Canines can have a natural, automatic response to adrenaline that involves their teeth chattering. Just like us, when dogs receive an excessive amount of adrenaline, they might experience uncontrollable shaking. When your canine companion shakes its body or grinds its teeth in response to anxiety or stress, it is just displaying its anxiety in a way that is considered to be healthy.

Typically, you can determine whether a dog’s teeth are chattering due to worry by attempting to soothe them. If your dog’s chattering ceases after a few scratches and strokes, it’s a healthy stress reaction.


As a side effect, several drugs might induce teeth chattering. Teeth chattering has been linked to several medications, including antidepressants and antipsychotics.

Sertraline (Zoloft) interacts with brain neurons that react to high serotonin and low dopamine, causing bruxism and teeth chattering. Other medications, such as fluoxetine (Prozac) and paroxetine, have produced teeth chattering (Paxil).

Happiness and Excitement

Your pup’s teeth chattering might indicate that he is genuinely eager about something, which is certainly something to be happy about. When they enter through the door for the first time or bring out one of their dog’s favorite toys, many people who own dogs hear this sound. If so, the dog is experiencing an involuntary excitation reaction.


A dog’s teeth may chatter for various reasons, but one of those causes might be because the canine companion is becoming more chilled. This is frequent in short-haired dogs and dogs not bred for cold weather. Investing in a pup sweater for your pet is something you should consider doing if you notice that your pet’s teeth are chattering due to the chilly weather.

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Focal Motor Seizure

This seizure is localized to the jaw region, causing it to stiffen and frequently resulting in teeth chattering quickly. It is not very dangerous, but a correct diagnosis might help eliminate the possibility of another illness.

Epilepsy and Tremors

Dogs can chatter their teeth for a number of different reasons, including epilepsy, shaker syndrome, and other neurological problems. Seizures can be localized to one part of the body. The chattering of teeth is a common symptom of epileptic seizures and tremors, which often exclusively affect the jaw.

To determine if your dog’s teeth chattering is caused by a neurological disorder, attempt to gain his attention during an outbreak. 


Unfortunately, chattering may also indicate that your four-legged buddy is beginning to show signs of old age. It is normal for dogs to chatter more as they age, so you shouldn’t be very concerned if you start to see this behavior in an elderly dog. It happens as your dog ages and affects practically every breed. Only close attention to be sure your dog’s chattering is related to age and not one of the other issues we’ve covered.

If you act immediately, this behavior might indicate that your dog requires health care. Even while it is not a particularly entertaining activity to observe, it may be tolerated by your dog.

Should I Worry About My Dog’s Chattering Teeth?

You’ve observed that your dog’s teeth are making a grinding sound.  The way you respond ought to be determined by the circumstances.

You probably know your pup’s behavior is due to excessive cold, aggressive dogs, or excitement. There’s perhaps nothing medically wrong, but call the vet if you’re worried. Nevertheless, if your dog is shivering because they are cold, you should bring them inside as soon as possible.

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If your canine companion chatters its teeth when it storms or when you leave, it’s likely anxious. Talk to your dog’s veterinarian about ways to make your pet more comfortable. You may need many solutions all working together. Some nervous dogs respond positively to being offered a chew toy, while others are more likely to benefit from taking medicine or vitamins. 

Dogs diagnosed with a neurological condition such as epilepsy or shaker syndrome will likely require anticonvulsant medicine and lifestyle changes. These changes may include supervised playing, a regular sleep schedule, and a home setting that is free of stress.

How to Control Teeth Chattering

Visit your family veterinarian as soon as possible if you notice that your dog’s teeth are chattering. Your vet can assist you in figuring out the underlying source of the problem and evaluate whether or not the medication is necessary. If possible, record your pup during a teeth-chattering episode so your doctor can see what he’s doing if he doesn’t do it during the checkup.

What to expect while seeing your veterinarian:

  • They will probably take your dog’s temperature to assess if he is chilly or has a fever.
  • In addition, your veterinarian will probably conduct a neurological check to look for warning symptoms of illness, such as paralysis of the facial nerve.
  • Your vet will likely do a thorough dental exam to detect dental disease and mouth discomfort indicators. Oral discomfort and chattering of the dog’s teeth might be caused by broken teeth and unprotected nerves in the mouth.