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Rabies!?

Caesar, a three year old male mastiff mix, presented with anorexia (loss of appetite), ptyalism (excess of saliva), dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) and inability to fully close his mouth for three days. He was having difficulty drinking water. The owner thought he was choking. We were worried he could have rabies. The exam revealed Caesar did have a neural disorder. But it was trigeminal neuritis, an acute bilateral inflammation and degeneration of cranial nerve 5 which innervates the muscles of mastication (chewing). With appropriate medication, Caesar made a full recovery.