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Boney Head Becoming More Pronounced...Normal?

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Boney Head Becoming More Pronounced...Normal?
  • Our 5 year old Border Collie, Loki, has always had a rather pronounced bone right on the top of his head, near where his head meets the top of his neck. I'm not exactly sure what the name of the bone is, but I know all dogs have them; some are just more pronounced than others.

    I've noticed over the last few months that that top bone, as well as some other areas on his head are becoming slightly more boney than they were before. His eye sockets are more easily felt than they were before, as well as his jaw bone. It's not visibly noticeable unless you're really looking for it, but since I do rub his head on a daily basis, I've noticed the change. Is this normal with age, or should I be concerned? He has always been a healthy weight, so I'm a little unsure what this could be. Any ideas? Thanks!!

  • Is it the top of his head, toward the back?  I was *told* (I make no assumptions as to the truth of this) that it's called a 'knowledge knot' and that it comes from inbreeding of the parents.  My BIL's dog had it and it was very pronounced as a puppy but doesn't seem like it's there now.  Co-Co did not have it has a puppy but now does.  I've been known to refer to it has her 'cone head' b/c it makes me think of that.  I'm probably the only one who really notices it though.

  • It's so hard with some breeds to notice when they actually have lost weight but that's what it would make me think -- particularly the eyes. 

  • Yeah, it is on the top of his head, towards the back. It's become noticeable enough that my dad kept calling him "Bonehead" when we took the boys back home for Christmas....poor guy!!  

    I was wondering if it was a weight related issue, because I know that there are fatty deposits on the top/ sides of a dog's head, but truthfully, I can't see where he's lost any significant amount of weight. He's smooth coated, too, so I can get a pretty good look at his body.

     

    Guess I'll just keep an eye on it for any more changes!! Thanks!  

  • Is he chewing normally? Loss of muscle tone around the head could mean he's using his jaw muscles less and that could be an infected tooth or gums that are sore...maybe time for a dental check up? Of course if he's still chewing the heck out of stuff and his teeth look fine...lol...

  •  Ahhh, good thought! I will make him an appointment this week, for a check-up if nothing else. Hopefully, it's nothing serious!! Thanks!!

  • The bump on his head is known officially as the External Occipital Protuberance - it's the back end of the Sagittal crest, which is the sort of "seam" that holds the two halves of the head together. I don't think it's due to inbreeding per se - but it is certainly related to breed. I find that hounds generally have pretty well pronounced "idiot bumps."

    If it seems more pronounced that usual, it could mean wasting of the temporal muscle, which is a pretty thick muscle that surround the crest and the protuberance. If that is what it actually is, I would have him seen by a vet as it could indicate nerve damage.

    Good luck and I hope for the best!
  •  Wow! Thanks for the speciofics! I really appreciate it, as I was unable to find much info on the internet about it, surprisingly.

    Sheesh...I hope it's nothing serious like that. Nonetheless, he has an appointment on Saturday for it, so I guess I'll find out then. Keep him in your thoughts in the meantime that it's nothing serious!! Thanks! Wink 

  • tamoo
    officially as the External Occipital Protuberance - it's the back end of the Sagittal crest, which is the sort of "seam" that holds the two halves of the head together. I don't think it's due to inbreeding per se - but it is certainly related to breed. I find that hounds generally have pretty well pronounced "idiot bumps."

    Take a look at how different the skulls of different breeds look.  http://www.skullsunlimited.com/domestic_dog_skull.html

     

  • tamoo
    The bump on his head is known officially as the External Occipital Protuberance - it's the back end of the Sagittal crest, which is the sort of "seam" that holds the two halves of the head together. I don't think it's due to inbreeding per se - but it is certainly related to breed. I find that hounds generally have pretty well pronounced "idiot bumps."

     

     Additionally: the jaw muscles wrap around that "idiot bump" and provide extra OOMPH for hard chewing. It's why they can bite harder than we can.

     
    Our ancestors had "idiot bumps" too, for the same reason.
     

  • I have heard of dogs who were eventually diagnosed with masticatory myositis having the symptoms you describe (the bone on the top of the head becoming more prominent and changes in the way the eyes look).

  • tamoo
    I find that hounds generally have pretty well pronounced "idiot bumps."

     

    Hey now, I've always called them "smart bumps." Rupert has one, and he's no idiot. Smile 

  • janobonano

    tamoo
    I find that hounds generally have pretty well pronounced "idiot bumps."
     

    Hey now, I've always called them "smart bumps." Rupert has one, and he's no idiot. Smile 



    Hahah, well Beau has one too - and he's pretty dumb. Doesn't mean I don't love him though ;) It's all part of his charm.
  • Big Smile  I must confess, I did get a kick out of the nickname 'Idiot Bump', true or not!!

    Well, I haven't noticed Loki having any difficulty chewing or opening his jaw, but now I'm all worried that it's something a lot more serious than I originally anticipated. Hopefully not, but I'll find out this weekend.

    Thanks again for all the info! I definitely appreciate it!

  • Steve, that was a really interesting site! It looks as the the Border Collie in general has a pretty good lump back there naturally. We're not positive that Loki is full BC or not, but still. Maybe it's his ancestry shining through! Stick out tongue