Re: my dogs lower jaw is not functioning properly
I posted on another link about my German Shepard. He was diagnosed with MMM. That link suggested that I post here. I'm glad I was given that advice.
My dog was diagnosed with MMM 2 months ago. I'm a wordy person, so bear with me.
About 2 and a half months ago, my dog started rubbing a side of his face, constantly. I thought it was a bug bite or something, so I just felt his face to see if there was swelling or a puncture, or something! I couldn't find anything. I watched him daily, and the rubbing continued, and then I started to notice half of his face receeding. I took him to the vet, because something wasn't right. That was obvious. My vet diagnosed him with MMM. He was immediately put on a low dose of prednesone (10mg per day). I wish that was all he needed. My dog got worse. We doubled the dose, and then my vet said to get to UF in Gainesville ASAP. I did that. They confirmed the MMM. My dog went to a neurologist, as well as, the internal medicine specialist there. They quadrupled the prednesone to 80mg's daily. It's only been 2 days since this has happened, so I don't know much yet, about if this drastic dosage is working.
The one thing that the vet(s) are happy about is he has not yet had chewing problems........no fibrosis yet. That is the true danger of the condition.
However, what is racking my brain is the aggressiveness of this disease! 3 months ago, he could have been a show dog. Today he looks like a creature from 'Tales of the Crypt'. I may be exaggerating a little, but not much.
No case I have read about shows how fast this thing normally progresses. The vet(s) do not expect for the lost atrophied muscles to regenerate, they hope only to stop progression. I can live with that, and so can my Zeus Man (since he really isn't suffering much other than occasional whining when he rubs his face).
The hardest part about this diagnosis, for me, is understanding what we are up against. I've been told at UF, if his condition isn't stabilized, I have only months with him. I've also been told by the same people, that if he is stabilized, he can be fine, and just look bad.
No one really knows enough about this, even the best of the best. It's scary for me. I'm only glad that my dog has no clue about how critical his situation is. His behavior is fine (though a tad lethargic due to the steroids - a relative thing, since he's a jumper and a licker and an 'in your face' kind of 80lb love bug, even after 2 years of training with the CHP canine program).
So any advice is not only welcomed, but needed. If there are specific questions about my dog that I haven't addressed, please ask!
I'm trying to understand!
Thank you for dealing with my long post! Wendy