By May 13, 2013

Rosie Update #2: The Damage

We’re still waiting on Rosie’s lab results, but I’m glad I chose to pre-emptively treat her for masticatory muscle myositis: the damage has already been done.

Rosie is on a pretty aggressive regime of prednisone and while her symptoms have been improved, it’s obvious to me that the auto-immune disease has done serious harm to her musculature.


The most noticeable changes in her head is how pronounced her skull ridge (?) is, as well as the deep pockets behind her eyes. It was hard to get her to sit still enough for photos, but maybe you can see.


I’ll be happy when she’s off the prednisone — it makes her thirsty all the time. She had an accident last week; now we let her out every few hours and take water away at about 9PM. She is probably drinking four to five times her normal amount.

The Good News

However, Rosie does not appear to be in any pain. She is much much happier than before we started treating her. Her eyes used to appear red and were runny before her treatment, and now they’re clear and clean.

She can open her mouth more widely than before. I’d say about 10 – 15% of normal. She can successfully chew on a raw carrot or chunk of sweet potato. She’s also stopped drooling, although I think that was a symptom of her pain prior to treatment.

Overall she’s happy and seems to be improving. She’s probably got about half of her medicine left, then we’ll see what’s next. I don’t know enough about MMM to know if her muscles will ever come back, or if the damage is permanent.

However, she looks, well… different. Frankly it’s been hard to get used to, and Sedagive? has teared up a few times.

It’s really hard to get a picture of her from head-on, but between the ridge and the area behind her eye sockets she looks like a totally different dog.

Our vet said it was unusual for owners to pay that much attention to their dogs. I feel guilty for not catching it sooner but all in all she seems okay and is making improvements. Her weight is steady and she looks happier.

Thanks for being so interested in Rosie’s progress. Despite all the pain and discomfort she’s been an absolute doll. Keep your fingers — or paws — crossed for her.


Posted in: dogs

5 Comments on "Rosie Update #2: The Damage"

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  1. Alisa Salaki says:

    I hug you all! Sweet Rosie has such awesome parents. I hope she can improve or at least maintain.

  2. Carrie says:

    My dog has the same disorder. I know exactly what you mean about the protruding skull and how strange they look. His symptoms started out with him hanging his jaw open all the time, which of course caused drooling and made me panic, thinking he was really sick. At first they thought his teeth were bad (the atrophy wasn’t visual yet), so they cleaned them and yanked a couple out. Poor boy…I expected he’d feel much better after recovery. And he did seem mostly better, but I noticed how much his skull was protruding. Back to the vet we went – and she diagnosed it and told me we could leave it alone or do the prednisone; but she cautioned me against that since he was functioning fine. The only apparent problem was that he looked goofy!
    So, we resigned ourselves to the fact that he’d be a funny looking boy. And wouldn’t you know, after about 6 months or so, the muscle seemed to come back. You can still see some protrusion, but it’s not nearly as bad. My vet told me that would happen…it just makes no sense because it seems to me if muscle atrophies, how in the world does it restore itself? Weird.

    • DrFaulken says:

      Thank you so much for your comment. I have been really worried about Rosie, and while I know she is feeling better I hope she’ll have a full recovery.

      Thanks again for sharing your experience. 🙂

  3. She will definitely get better. I will pray. My heart weeps so much seeing these animals who can not speak but still communicate and touch our heart to the deepest. May God be with you.