About a week and a half ago I wrote about my dog Rosie and her health problems. She was having a hard time chewing her food. At first we thought it was a problem with her teeth, but it turns out she could chew just fine — it was her jaw that was messed up.
Our vet ruled out physical trauma, and thought it might be a fungal infection due to something she ate or encountered. He prescribed a round of antibotics and some pain medication. Within half a day Rosie felt and looked much better. She was wagging her tail, bouncing around, and continued to eat and drink. As the days passed, her demeanor improved, but her mouth stayed mostly shut.
In the meantime, my friends and family contacted me with advice and shared their own vet knowledge. Many of them suggested that it may be masticatory muscle myositis, often abbreviated MMM. Basically, MMM is when a dog’s body interprets specialized muscle tissue in the jaw as bacteria and starts to attack itself. Long term effects include the degeneration of the jaw muscles that causes lasting damage. The disease itself is not fatal, but the effects of losing the jaw muscles is obviously dangerous.
On the juice, and on the mend.
Our vet called us twice last week, once just to see how we were doing, and once to give us the results of Rosie’s initial blood work. Except for some slightly elevated cholesterol, her blood work looks awesome. This led the doctor to think that it wasn’t a fungal infection that he was hoping for, and he asked us to monitor Rosie for a few days and then set up a follow-up appointment on Monday of this week.
The weekend passed, with Sedagive? and Rosie going on a few walks. Rosie played with the other dogs just like she always does, minus the snapping of her jaws and play-biting. However, I tried to get her to open her mouth and it was a no-go. Back to the doc.
Sedagive? took Rosie in on Monday and the doctor remarked that she looked and behaved great. She was roughly the same weight as the week before, which was also a good sign. He gave us two options: go in for a CT scan or run a test to see if Rosie had MMM. Based on the advice I got from my pals, I voted for the MMM. Sedagive? and I also asked that we start Rosie on the drug regime for MMM without waiting for the results to come back. The vet agreed, and prescribed us a cycle of prednisone. The results take over two weeks to come back, and I didn’t want Rosie to suffer any more, nor did I want the MMM to wreck her jaw muscles any more than it already has.
Side effects of the prednisone is increased appetite, increased water consumption, bloating, and possibly lethargy. She’s been a little less bouncy today, but that could also be due to the snow and air pressure associated with a winter storm in May.
For those following along in the home game, she’s on 45mg of prednisone once daily for about 26 days. I am not sure if there are refills or not; most of the research I’ve done regarding MMM suggests that treatment may last up to six months, with tapering doses.
Thanks to everyone who emailed, texted, called, and posted to Facebook. I really appreciate it. Rosie has been super cuddly lately and even though I try to pet them and say goodbye to them every time I leave for work I’ve given her some extra special attention lately.
Hug your loved ones, and stay tuned for more information about Rosie Doodle.