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Old 08-26-2008, 07:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Masticatory Myositis

I saw a post about Masticatory Myositis, and a dog owner that has questions and confusion. I joined this site so I can learn too.

My German Shepard, Zeus, was diagnosed with masticatory myositis 2 months ago. What I thought was a bug bite, turned out to be a horrific tale of the unknown.

Zeus is 3 years old. He always has been a frequent visitor with his normal vet, and specialists at University hospitals. The University hospital experience started when I and my vet knew he had allergies and couldn't pinpoint the problem (he was 9months old). The only thing the university hospital could determine was that it was 'environmental, not dietary'. This was after a period of almost 2 years. I moved to another state, and changed vets. The vet was well aware of the allergy issues since I brought along about 30 pages of diagnostic history.

Then 2 months ago, I thought my dog was bitten by a spider or some bug. He was scratching one side of his head and whining. I couldn't see any inflamation or blood, or bite mark. So I thought I'd observe for a few days and see if there was a problem. In those few days I noticed no change in behavior. I noticed no change in bowel activity, nor appetite or general love of life that he has. But I did notice that the left side of his skull was shrinking. It didn't make sense to me. About 3 days after that observation, I saw it getting worse. I called my vet. The assistants didn't think it was too important and gave me a date for 5 days hence.
Once the vet saw him, he was at a loss as what to say. He said that Zeus appears to have Masticatory Myositis. He apologized to me, saying that he had only seen 2 cases in his career. It obviously upset him. Zeus was immediately put on a low dose of 10mg's of prednesone and tons of blood work was done. He said he wanted to see us in 2 weeks to see if Zeus was stable = no worsening of the atrophy.

I was able to get back into the vet about 2 and a half weeks later, and the deterioration was significant. His eye was receeding into the eye socket. He suggested going to UF in Gainseville, ASAP, and he upped the prednesone immediately to 20mg's.
Four days later, I was able to see a vet at UF, and they upped his prednesone to 80mg's a day. They said, with their tests, that the disease was spreading to the other side of his face.

Now here is where I'm completely freaking out. So far, he has no fibrosis. So he can chew to his heart's content for now. But, here is what I can't seem to find answers to: Is it usual for masticatory mysositis to be THIS aggressive? Every site I've looked at, and asked questions about, seem to concur is that they don't know. They say the primary reason they don't know is, that they get the patient when the fibrosis has already set in. So that means that the dog will have to be put down within months.

For me, in the span of 2 months betweem noticing my 3 year old german shepard scratching the side of his face, being diagnosed with masticatory myositis, confirmed with a research vet hospital, and being treated with major steriods, does this disease generally work this fast?????

Please, someone help me understand!

Sincerely,
Wendy wendy@citrus4u.com
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Old 08-26-2008, 07:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Masticatory Myositis

hi i dont know if it was my post you seen but my dog was diagnosed with mmm 10 days ago.her symptoms were a lot less obvious than your dog ,mainly just jaw not functioning right . if you look on my post theres a lot of people that seemed to know a lot about it .my dog got prednesolone from my vet and within a week she was eating and functioning fine albeit she goes back to vet thurs.please look at my post and hopefully someone can answer your questions.cheers jasper
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Old 08-26-2008, 09:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Masticatory Myositis

Thank you for your response! I soooo appreciate it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My dog has not yet experienced problems with eating or drinking. In fact he is defying the condition considering the advancement of the disease. His face is disintegrating via atrophy, day by day! He looks like a 'tale from the cript', but there is no fibrosis yet. The vet(s) have summarily ruled out cancer and paralysis. The testing shows that it is MMM. But Zeus seems to be odd in the symptomatic approach. Usually, the jaw muscles collapse first. With him, it's the upper skull. Also, with him, the degeneration is happening really, really, quickly.
I'm scared for him, and I want to understand it. UF wants to take him off of prednesone so they can decide if it's 'unilateral' or 'bilateral'. The problem, is they will give him a death sentence if they do that!
I don't understand the speed that this is working at. This is alot to deal with on it's own, let along life in general.

I thank you soooooo much for your response!

I'll check in tomorrow!

Wendy
The only thing the vet(s) are happy with, is that there is no fibrosis. His jaw function is still fine. However, his physical appearance has gotten sooo bad in 2 months, that I'm scared to death! Now that he is on 80mg's of prednezone he is having diahreah and is lethargic too!
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Old 08-26-2008, 10:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Masticatory Myositis

I'm so sorry to hear about your dog--that sounds just awful.

Here is the thread the other person is referencing: http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/ubb...true#Post765339

I hope that the steroids help. I know there is someone else on here whose dog also had this. I think they posted in the thread above.
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Old 08-27-2008, 04:12 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Masticatory Myositis

Once the steroids were started, did he get better at all?

Any chance of a tick disease?
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Old 08-27-2008, 11:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Masticatory Myositis

I just started the massive steroid attack with my dog. So far, all I've seen is the expected increase in thirst and appetite. He seems to be a little more lethargic, but considering how hyper he generally is, it is relative. But I did notice, the day the new steroid prescription was given, he started rubbing both sides of his face. I think it's fair to say, that 24 hours might be too soon to see if the steroid plan is working.
I'm just worried sick though. To watch your beloved pet, detriorate each day has been horrible. Even though I know I reacted quickly when I noticed signs, the aggressivity of this is tearing me up. I have not read about any case as aggressive as this.

Tick disease has been ruled out. So has cancer. The only other thing they thought it might be was a paralysis (I don't remember the type....it began with tri). But the neurologist ruled that out too.

I will look up that other thread offered. I need all of the support and help I can get.

Thank you all! Please keep writing! I'll give as much information as I can too!

Wendy
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Old 08-27-2008, 11:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Masticatory Myositis

Oh, I should have added, why ticks were ruled out. First of all, Zeus is on Advantix. That in itself helps. However, when Zeus was a year old, he was having horrific allergy problems and I went to another University vet facility in California. The first thing they did was to change the Advantix dosage. They said that even though Advantix works, his skin is sensitive so he feels every bite, even though they won't stay on him. He has to take it every three weeks, not once a month. Also, I haven't found a tick on him EVER. So unless mosquitos carry lime disease, there was no reason to ever think that a tick borne disease got to him. If you have information to the contrary, I'd LOVE to know about it!
Wendy
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Old 08-27-2008, 01:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Masticatory Myositis

Ruth,

I added myself to the other thread as well. Thank you. However, that thread made me cry too! Primarily because one of the writers had to put down their dog down 3 weeks after diagnosis! That is what is killing my heart now! Some dogs seem to recover, others do not. I know that is a reality check, but my true point is to understand WHAT MMM realy is!
Diagnostically, I understand. Possible outcomes are sooooo varied that I'm freaking out! MMM is like lupus in humans. There is a huge difference, but it's the only reference I can make that makes sense to me (my sister in law has had lupus for 15 years). MMM turns the masticatory muscles and enzymes on itself. Basically, the body is eating itself. With MMM, it is local to the masticatory muscles. In lupus, it can attack anywhere.
But my huge question, that no one can answer, is why is it more aggressive in some cases, and less in others? How can an early diagnosis with a dog with eating problems get better, and my dog who can eat just fine, has a face that is atrophying away?
I want to understand, even if it's overly clinical. I need the logic about the condition. I need to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. But prayer isn't going to cut it. I need to understand what on earth is going on with an otherwise, perfectly healthy 3 year old German Shepard!
Wendy
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Old 08-27-2008, 01:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Masticatory Myositis

Quote:
Originally Posted By: piccina1Oh, I should have added, why ticks were ruled out. First of all, Zeus is on Advantix. That in itself helps. However, when Zeus was a year old, he was having horrific allergy problems and I went to another University vet facility in California. The first thing they did was to change the Advantix dosage. They said that even though Advantix works, his skin is sensitive so he feels every bite, even though they won't stay on him. He has to take it every three weeks, not once a month. Also, I haven't found a tick on him EVER. So unless mosquitos carry lime disease, there was no reason to ever think that a tick borne disease got to him. If you have information to the contrary, I'd LOVE to know about it!
Wendy
I'm just outside of Sacramento, and my dog has tested negative for every tick disease, but she sure does respond to doxycycline when I put her on it. I don't have faith in the tick tests, particularly on the west coast, but that's just me.

This may not be sound medical advice -- but if there is every any question, I would try a round of doxycycline. The aggressive dose is 5 mg/lb. I would particularly do this if the steroids do not help and seem to make things worse.

Has your dog tested positive for sure for MM? What are you feeding your dog? Any supplements, etc?
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Old 08-27-2008, 01:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Masticatory Myositis

I know nothing about this disease but I can only imagine how horrible this must be for you to watch and not be able to stop the progression.

Keep posting on here--we will give you support.

Take care and love your dog every minute of the day!
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