amazincc wrote:If anyone has dealt with this, or knows anything about it... I'd appreciate any and all input/info/advise.
I'm still glad I ended up with him, because I don't think he would've gotten the best medical care from his former owners.
But, for cryin' out loud... it breaks my heart.
I'm sorry to hear about your dog.
Sis asked me to come here and talk to you because I too had a dog dianosed with MM.
For those that don't know, myositis is a condition basically in which the body produces anitbodies against it's own muscle fibers thus destroying those muscle fibers beyond repair. It is debilitating and extremely painful.
My dog, Ripken, was never a healthy dog from the get-go. He had loose stool problems, his immune system couldn't fight off coccidia (which he came to me with), he was sickened by a virus that attacked his red blood cells, and then he started with the same symptoms as your dog did. And in the same way, it was like something that just occurred one day with no warning.
I remember Ripken being lethargic, but one day he just couldn't open his mouth. He couldn't close it all the way either. He was very sore/painful to the touch and he too tried to hide his head to avoid anyone touching him. I took him back to my friend, and vet, who told me right off the bat that she suspected MM. We did x-rays to make sure it wasn't anything else and we also did bloodwork that was sent off to the lab at LSU's Vet School. His bloodwork came back positive for MM and the ANA came back positive for Lupus (he was/is the youngest dog ever to be pos for Lupus there).
I can't even begin to explain how awful it was. I can't begin to tell you how my heart felt it was being ripped from my chest everytime he whined or yelped just trying to do something such as take a drink of water. To see the expression on his face.....the see those vibrant eyes lose their spark.......it tears me up inside.
We started Ripken on steroid therapy immediately and also Rimadyl. Know one knew how much time he had left with us. It could've been 2 weeks or 2 years according to the vets. We got 2 months.
In those 2 months Ripken had his ups and downs and good days and bad days. He had his days where he had much more jaw movement and was able to eat and drink well and was quite playful. He loved chasing down a bouncy kong. But he also had his bad days. On those days he was unable to eat or drink and I had to feed/water him via syringe. He wouldn't even move.
As the days and weeks went by, the steroids began to have a negative effect on an already comprised and weakened immune system. He began having blood in his stool and further tests showed the beginnings of ulcers in the stomach as a result of the Prednisone usage and dosage. We would've treated it, but sadly in Ripken's case his MM became a general form of myositis and it was slowly working it's way back/down his body. At the end of 2 months, his jaw was almost permanently fused in a single position with little movement and he was already showing the effects of muscle breakdown in his front legs. He could barely move.
When he looked at me one day I knew that was it. He was telling me it was time to go. He would've kept on fighting had I asked him to, I'm sure of it. That little dog was all heart. But it wasn't fair. He was in pain. He was suffering. And his bad days were outnumbering his good days. Not to mention he was battling a bigger disease, Lupus, that causes a wide variety of other issues.
I put him down a few days before his 1st birthday. He didn't even make it to be a year old. But in that short amount of time he taught me more about living for the moment and how to just be happy and enjoy the little things. He taught me more in that time than many of my dogs have taught me in their much longer lifetimes.
I'm sorry to go on, but this is an issue that really gets to me. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me. I'll do what I can to help you help your dog. One thing to keep in mind is that autoimmune disorders/deficiencies tend to go hand-in-hand with each other. Often times dogs with one condition can secretly be harboring another.
I wish you and your dog the best.