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This is a Skeletal condition.

Craniomandibular Osteopathy, CMO

What is CMO?

Craniomandibular Osteopathy (CMO) affects multiple bones in young dogs. The most prominent sign in affected puppies is painful jaw swelling, leading to difficulty opening the mouth. It may occasionally occur on the bones of the legs. Signs of CMO usually resolve with time, when a puppy's growth period is finished.

What are the signs & symptoms that develop in affected dogs?

Affected dogs may have a painful swelling of the jaw and consequent signs of discomfort (difficulty opening the mouth, salivation, lack of appetite, and difficulty swallowing). In addition, inflammation often results in fever during the early phase.

When do signs and symptoms develop?

Clinical signs begin around four months old and may continue up to 12 months.

How do vets diagnose this condition?

A diagnosis is made based on X-rays, clinical signs, and genetic testing. Typically, lesions occur on both sides of the skull, but asymmetric changes are possible. Computed tomography (CT) may be helpful for further evaluation.

How is this condition treated?

All clinical signs usually resolve with time when regular bone growth is complete.

What actions should I take if my dog is affected?

  • Supportive care with anti-inflammatories may improve signs of CMO and help in pain management.
  • Dietary modification (such as syringe or slurry feeding) may be needed to prevent malnutrition. Speak with your veterinarian regarding any dietary changes, especially in young puppies.
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