A few months ago, my dog Lily began showing signs of possible arthritis in her hind legs/hips. Mostly, she was just slow to get up and to lay down, but seemed to walk just fine. For the past 3 months, I have tried a glucosamine/msm/chondroitin supplement with no improvement. This past Monday, she sudddenly had trouble while trying to go to the bathroom. For the first time, her legs buckled while trying to go, and she seemed to be favoring the left leg. I took her to the vet that day. Xrays were unremarkable, just a slight flattening to the left hip joint. She was sent home with Rimadyl for pain and Clovamax just in case there was an underlying infection. Also, a de-wormer, although fecal test was negative. Wednesday morning, I get home from work and found the top of her snout and the top of her head swollen. Took her to the vet and found she had a fever of 104.2. Xray of the head showed a small abscess in one of her back teeth, but the tooth is intact, not loose, and gums were not swollen/inflamed. She received an antibiotic/antiinflammatory shot, swelling on her snout was down by the afternoon, and fever was reduced through Thursday night. Friday, her fever was back up to 104.7 so she went back to the vet, received SQ fluids, Baytril shot, and Baytril in tablet form in addition to the Clovamax. Also, CBC results showed a slightly elevated white blood cell count. The vet mentioned one of the causes of the swelling in her head (which is still present) could be Masticulatory Myositis, but I had not noticed any trouble opening her mouth. Today (Saturday), however, I tried to open it to give her the last of her dewormer and she cried. I've done some research/googling, and it's looking more like the vet was right. And now I can't even give her the antibiotic because she can barely open her mouth. I'm not sure what to do for her until her next appointment on Tuesday. Also, what can i expect as far as treatment for this? I'm stressed!!
Masticatory Myositis is an inflammatory disease in which case it would be best to stop the Rimadyl 24 to 48 hour than begin steroids such as prednisone or dexamethazone. It can be diagnosed with an antibody blood test available at your veterinarian's called a 2M "antibody” test. Your veterinarian can then administer a steroid injection, and later oral steroids can be given when the mouth is less painful.
Acupuncture is extremely effective in addition to steroids for Masticatory Myositis. I have personally treated many cases successfully with acupunture. Often the patient's pain level is greatly releaved even after one session, and, most commonly the remaining pain is eliminated over 5 or more sessions, with 6 month "touch-ups". It is certainly worth a try if there is a certified veterinary acupuncture in your area.
To find a certified veterienay acupuncuteist in your area please check the following websites:
1. American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association at: www.holisticvetlist.com/
2. Chi Institute at: http://www.tcvm.com/
3. American Veterinary Acupuncture Society at: www.ivas.org/Members/VetSearch/tabid/124/Default.aspx
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