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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28929
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My 8 yr old chocolate lab was today diagnosed has having masticatory

Customer Question

My 8 yr old chocolate lab was today diagnosed has having masticatory miositis because her head has changed shape, but she has also developed behavioral problems like refusing to come into the house even in bad weather we have to push or pull her it takes 2 people she is not as obedient as she was either. In all other respects she is fine
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
As the top of my dogs head is the only thing that as changed why the diagnosis ?and why the change of behaviour?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. I believe that you're seeing facial muscle wasting as evidenced by Sophie's temporal muscles atrophying. Masticatory muscle myositis (MMM) will usually cause a bilateral wasting of either or both the temporal and masseter muscles but we expect to see a painful swelling of these muscles prior to wasting. Dogs will become so painful as to resist opening their mouth. If you haven't seen such pain and swelling, the diagnosis of MMM should be circumspect.
Other causes of facial muscle wasting include idiopathic (unknown cause) polymyositis, multiple dystrophy, dermatomyositis (skin lesions seen as well), infections (Toxoplasma, Neospora, protozoal myositis), and neoplasia (cancer). These etiologies can be a challenge to clarify requiring muscle biopsies, assessment of serum antibodies against type 2 myofiber muscle fibers (MMM), and serologic titers against infectious agents.
Her change in behavior is likely to have resulted from her systemic illness. Her localized muscle wasting is just one symptom of that illness. Medical disorders frequently induce behavior changes and those disorders need to be well-managed before the behavior abates or should be addressed in a behavioral manner - reconditioning, counterconditioning, etc.
Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you I will discuss further options with my vet next week when Sophie finishes her meds
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
You're quite welcome. I can't set a follow-up in this venue and so would appreciate your returning to our conversation with an update - even after rating - at a time of your choosing.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Hi Lynda,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Sophie. How is everything going?

Dr. Michael Salkin

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