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Just researching muscle atrophy to the temporal muscle on…

Just researching muscle atrophy...

Just researching muscle atrophy to the temporal muscle on left side

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What seems to be the problem with the dog?

Our 6 yr old rotty has indentation on left side of skull - vet referred us to specialist 90 minutes away for consult and MRI which will run $1500 - $3,000 to determine if nerve is damaged or if she has brain tumor. She did get clotheslined on neighbors rope to hold tree up when she darted off after a bunny. Got rope burn on her inside of leg and she hit the corner of their black metal fence with left side of head so I really think that is what happened as that's when we noticed it started

Veterinarian's Assistant: Some lumps are serious and some aren't. Let's see what the Veterinarian has to say. What is the dog's name?

Kona

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Kona?

She's a healthy 103 pound happy loving rotty who loves attention

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Answered in 28 minutes by:
10/30/2017
Dr Linda
Dr Linda, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1,690
Experience: I am a practicing veterinarian with over 20 years experience in a mixed animal practice.
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Hello, this is Dr. Linda. I hope I can help with your question today.

I am sorry for your concerns with Kona. Unfortunately, the best next step is an MRI, especially in an otherwise clinically normal dog. The possibility of a tumor on the 5th cranial nerve ( CN V ) is high in the list of differentials for unilateral temporal muscle atrophy. Other possibilities could be some infectious disease like Cryptosporosis, Toxoplasmosis or Neosporosis because these diseases can tract up the nerve roots. A neuritis might be a possibility, but the atrophy usually shows up on both sides.

So, I would make the same recommendation. Most specialists will usually recommend this even before sending out titers for infectious diseases. Get the consult with the neurologist & before proceeding with the MRI, find out what the possibilities for treatment are if this is a nerve sheath tumor, are they available in your area, & what the costs might be.

I hope this makes sense & you find the information helpful. Please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns.

Thank you.

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Hello, again. I see you have viewed my response. Do you have any additional questions? If not, please do not forget to rate my reply as this is the only manner in which I may receive credit for helping. I would greatly appreciate this.

Thank you.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Thank you for your response. You mention it could be caused by an infectious disease. In googling the above it seems most are diagnosed following exam, blood work and stool test. She had these all recently (and urine I believe) so wouldn't they show up somewhere in those tests. Her blood work was fine except lipids a little elevated (she has gained a few pounds since her last checkup 6 months ago). We are going to see the nerurologist Monday AM (which is 90 miles from our house). I will let the neoro do exam and listen to what he has to say but do not believe I will persue the MRI (neoro is only vet who does them in our area). The MRI cost for her is $2800 and I truly believe her chasing the bunny and getting clotheslined is the result of a damaged nerve there. She was sprinting and that rope really hurt her. She layed around for 2 or 3 days which is not her at all. We knew she had 5 inch long rope burn on inside of leg but didn't realize she hurt her head at that time. My husband thinks her head hit the rope 1st. I thought she hit the black metal fence right there but my husband doesnt think so. She has no other symptoms (besides left ear gunk) which she gets often. It is her left ear this time but was her right ear infected last time. She just turned 6 so is not considered old and otherwise perfectly healthy and happy. Lastly, I do recall she had a minor seizure around 2012. The vet thought she may have gotten into sugarless gum my youngest may have left laying around. That was the only incident and was over 5 years ago. I do believe she had toximosplasis sP? antigen, I believe the vet said she may have been exposed at one point. We have 3 cats and I know we have coyotes in the field as they have run past our house and we can hear them at night. Lastly, our youngest dog contracted heart worms the first year we had him. He went thru treatment and is fine. We don't know if he got as a puppy in North Carolina or from our yard. We do spray for mosquitoes now. Let me know your thoughts with the final piece of this puzzle. Lisa

It requires specific blood tests to diagnose some of these issues. For example, Idexx Laboratories offers a Neurologic RealPCR Panel, which looks at a range of possible diseases like Bartonella, Crypto, Toxoplasmosis, & Neospora, among others. So a routine CBC & serum chemistry would only suggest that an infectious disease is present.

Trauma is a big cause of muscle atrophy, so we can not totally discount this. A minor seizure 5 years ago would be tough to tie into this, but a disease/inflammatory reaction has to start somewhere. But I definitely would have expected an uptick in neurological signs in the past 5 years, so I do not think this is clinically important.

Heartworms are spread by mosquitos & do not usually cause neuro signs. There may always be an exception to this, but you would see actual neuro signs such as ataxia/incoordination.

I would listen to the consult, & then whatever decision you & your family make for Kona will be the right one.

I'd be very interested as to what they say.

Thank you.

Dr Linda
Dr Linda, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1,690
Experience: I am a practicing veterinarian with over 20 years experience in a mixed animal practice.
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