Dog Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My dog Hank is not even 3 years old yet and in the last 2 weeks he has lost an extreme amount of muscle loss, especially in his head. We have taken him to the vet and they ran some tests. His CBC came back clear, all organs are functioning properly. He has a heart murmur, a slightly enlarged heart but blood work ok and the vet does not seem overly concerned about this.
We are still waiting for one more blood test to come back to see if it is a parasite or an autoimmune disease. He is becoming lethargic. The vet's initial diagnosis is a parasite, that make dogs lose the ability to open there mouth/jaw, lose muscle in the head, become lethargic, etc. However Hank has no problem with his jaw. I
know we need to wait for all of the test results but he seems to be getting worse every day. His vet does have him on a steroid, which seems to be the recommended treatment for a few conditions that cause this muscle loss.
Is there anyone out there that has experienced this with their dog before? Is there anything we can do to help him?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,646 Posts
My dog Hank is not even 3 years old yet and in the last 2 weeks he has lost an extreme amount of muscle loss, especially in his head. We have taken him to the vet and they ran some tests. His CBC came back clear, all organs are functioning properly. He has a heart murmur, a slightly enlarged heart but blood work ok and the vet does not seem overly concerned about this.
We are still waiting for one more blood test to come back to see if it is a parasite or an autoimmune disease. He is becoming lethargic. The vet's initial diagnosis is a parasite, that make dogs lose the ability to open there mouth/jaw, lose muscle in the head, become lethargic, etc. However Hank has no problem with his jaw. I
know we need to wait for all of the test results but he seems to be getting worse every day. His vet does have him on a steroid, which seems to be the recommended treatment for a few conditions that cause this muscle loss.
Is there anyone out there that has experienced this with their dog before? Is there anything we can do to help him?
How is his overall health?

Is he having diarrhea, or soft poo?

How is his coat?

How is his appetite?

Is he drinking more then usual?

Did they do a full thyroid panel?

Did they check for diabetes?

Has he had trouble keeping weight on or with losing weight in the past?

The best you can do, until you get to the bottom of what's going on, is try to get some extra calories into him. I have a few guesses as to what might be going on, but I need more information to really narrow it down, and it's why I asked all the questions. You also need to keep in mind that my vet license came form the university of Google, the university of dog ownership, and the university of a lot of reading, so I may be way off base in my guess.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
368 Posts
many times these muscle wasting diseases require muscle biopsies to get a diagnosis, and even then sometimes there is no obvious cause. Bloodwork rarely shows the answers, though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
reply
How is his overall health? His overall health was good but is increasingly becoming more lethargic this week

Is he having diarrhea, or soft poo? stool seems to be fine

How is his coat? a little dull

How is his appetite? fine

Is he drinking more then usual? a little because of the steroids

Did they do a full thyroid panel? not sure will call today and ask

Did they check for diabetes? not sure will call today and ask

Has he had trouble keeping weight on or with losing weight in the past? never has a problem in the past

The best you can do, until you get to the bottom of what's going on, is try to get some extra calories into him. I have a few guesses as to what might be going on, but I need more information to really narrow it down, and it's why I asked all the questions. You also need to keep in mind that my vet license came form the university of Google, the university of dog ownership, and the university of a lot of reading, so I may be way off base in my guess.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
9,234 Posts
@webelongtoHank, it's not bothering his jaw at all? He is able to open his mouth completely without pain? The one thing that I thought of is an autoimmune disease that effects the muscles that are used for chewing. Sometimes can lead to a sunken in look in the face as the muscles deteriorate. Masticatory muscle myositis (MMM). It may not be it at all, but it might be something worth researching and maybe asking about. Steroids do tend to help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,224 Posts
We had a doberman years ago who lost muscling in his head, and his jaw locked shut. I forget now what the vet called it, but he prescribed prednisone and his jaw unlocked. If he ran out of prednisone, within two days he would lock up. After about a year or so, we accidently let him run out of prednisone, but he never locked up again. It was so strange, but it just stopped. I have delt with it before, or since in any dog, but ask your vet about using prednisone if his jaw does lock shut. I wish I could remember the name of the condition.....
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
9,234 Posts
We had a doberman years ago who lost muscling in his head, and his jaw locked shut. I forget now what the vet called it, but he prescribed prednisone and his jaw unlocked. If he ran out of prednisone, within two days he would lock up. After about a year or so, we accidently let him run out of prednisone, but he never locked up again. It was so strange, but it just stopped. I have delt with it before, or since in any dog, but ask your vet about using prednisone if his jaw does lock shut. I wish I could remember the name of the condition.....
Sounds just like MMM. (described it in the earlier post) It's a MOUTHFUL to say but prednisone allows the dog to not have as many problems. My first dog who lives with my grandmother has it. She can't be without prednisone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Frustrated

Well every blood test under the sun has come back negative, so they added antibiotics. Now they want to wean him off of the steroids (within 1 week of steroids he deteriorated more) and do a muscle biopsy. They are saying the procedure to take the muscle biopsy is risky if he is on a high dose of steroids. So I am guessing the biopsy will be within the next 2 weeks once his dose becomes less or he is off the steroids completely. The vet is going to call early next week to see how he is doing. Of course if he continues to decline we will be in there sooner.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Well every blood test under the sun has come back negative, so they added antibiotics. Now they want to wean him off of the steroids (within 1 week of steroids he deteriorated more) and do a muscle biopsy. They are saying the procedure to take the muscle biopsy is risky if he is on a high dose of steroids. So I am guessing the biopsy will be within the next 2 weeks once his dose becomes less or he is off the steroids completely. The vet is going to call early next week to see how he is doing. Of course if he continues to decline we will be in there sooner.
How many of you that have dealt with MMM saw in increase in muscle mass after treatment?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
9,234 Posts
@webelongtoHank, I have never been able to wean Scarlett off the predisone. For a while I had her on a lower dose but recently it's gotten worse. I've always kept her on 5 mg of predisone. I never did the muscle biopsy as once we put her on the steroids the problems disappeared. I understand that the long term effects of being on steroids are a reality, but I couldn't sit back and let her jaw atrophy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
it is strange that many of his symptoms resemble MMM but he has had no trouble with his jaw which is the main symptom. So frustrating I just want my poor Hank to feel better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Our Australian shepherd was diagnosed with MMM in April of 2015. The prednisone helped to make him more comfortable and loosen up his jaw so he could open his mouth enough to eat (soft foods) and drink. He did not regain any muscle mass. He was a very happy boy the last year of his life. He passed away in April of this year of causes unrelated to the MMM.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top