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Unread 11-10-2010, 06:44 PM   #1
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Exclamation Losing muscle mass on face

hi there

i am a first timer on this website and am looking for some help.

I own a beagle/basset mix, and his name is MAX (no surprise)

he has been with the family since 2001 and has had 1 major healthscare in the past. a lumpy deposit of fat on his neck and his back became rock hard and as huge as a tennis ball within a span of 2 days and it was surgically removed right away.

ever since then his skin has always been a little loose especially around his back and his face.

But over the last few months we noticed something else. Max's has lost a significant amount of muscle mass on the right side of his face. but the left side is fine.

The left side looks perfectly healthy, but the right side looks like his skin is resting directly on his skull. and you can see the curvature of the skull clearly on the face.

we really cannot afford another vet bill and that is why we are seeking advice on the forums.

if someone can show me how to upload pictures, i will do so also.

Last edited by cantgetenuff; 11-10-2010 at 06:46 PM.. Reason: additional info

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Unread 11-10-2010, 06:46 PM   #2
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- He is happy
- He is eating fine
- He is drooling much more while drinking water
- He is walking and running fine
- He does rub that side of his face more than the good side
- He can see from that eye
- He can hear from that ear

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Unread 11-10-2010, 07:30 PM   #3
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HI cangetenuff and welcome to the forum.
I'm sorry to hear that Max is ill. Since you got him in 2001 he is presumably a senior dog. There are cases where losing muscle is part of growing older, but on the face it can be considered a danger sign.
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Some muscle atrophy, notably on the head and the belly muscles, can signify diseases such as masticatory myositis and Cushing's Disease. Be sure to have your vet check this out if any muscle loss is noted.
http://vetmedicine.about.com/cs/dogg...gseniordog.htm

I understand that money is tight, but none of us are vets and none of us have seen Max. I think an exam to find out what is wrong would be a great help, if nothing else but to make sure that Max is not in any pain and / or that he is not about to be in any pain.

Good luck.
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Unread 11-10-2010, 07:39 PM   #4
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I also think that for this type of condition Max needs to be examined by a vet. The only time I have ever seen something similar to what you describe was several years ago with a friend's dog that had masticatory myopathy-an immune disorder that caused very noticeable weight loss and muscle atrophy on one side of her head. I believe it was treated with immunosuppressants but only a vet can make a diagnosis and recommend proper treatment. I hope to hear Max is feeling better soon :-)
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Unread 11-10-2010, 09:31 PM   #5
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hello there

thanks for your responses everyone. Max definately has MMM JGLI, based on the research available on the internet

i am going to have to setup an appointment with the Vet.

However, i just wanted to know

if you can remember JGLI

after the treatment of immunosuppressants did the muscle mass come back? was the dog in less pain, and rubbing his head less etc?

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Unread 11-10-2010, 09:49 PM   #6
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The dog belonged to a teacher in one of the schools in a district where I worked and I would see her at district meetings and conferences. I met her dog just shortly after it was diagnosed when I was driving her home. At that time the facial atropy was pretty severe and her dog was having trouble chewing. I do remember her telling me afterward at one of the superintendent's conference days that her dog was on prednisone and that she was happy with how she was doing and that she was not having any more issues with pain or chewing though I didn't have occasion to see her dog again myself. Another thing that I thought was cute was that she told me that her dog was back to stealing socks whereas before she had seemed depressed and not wanting to play. I hope we get to hear similar good news about Max :-)


(now, of course I am going to be up all night trying to remember if the dog's name was Maggie or Maddie! )
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Last edited by JGLI; 11-10-2010 at 09:51 PM..

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Unread 11-11-2010, 01:55 AM   #7
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Hi cantgetenuff, I really hope Max's vet visit goes well and he starts to feel better very soon.
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Unread 11-11-2010, 10:59 AM   #8
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Welcome to df cantgetenuf and I hope Max is feeling better soon
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Unread 11-11-2010, 07:21 PM   #9
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It is not uncommon for older dogs to sometimes have Bells Palsy. Sadly, many vets are not aware that dogs can have this. There were a few studies on this in the last 10 years, and one as far back as 1972. There isn't a lot of information about Bell's Palsy in dogs on the net. What I have learned over the years that it is very similar to the same Bell's Palsy humans get. Not all Bell's Palsy is herpes related, though. The latest case of it that I am familiar with occurred in a 10 year old GSD...he is going to be 13 in January, and it really hasn't changed his life.

I would talk to your vet about the possibility of it being Bell's Palsy.
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Unread 01-24-2011, 07:40 PM   #10
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Default Max's health update

Hi there

and thanks for all the answers

my poor boy went to the vet on Dec 6th and the doc recommended a blood test after looking at him. he also confirmed that max has lost a little sensation on the side of his face, and that his right eye is also mostly paralyzed. he cannot produce tears in that eye, so it is also quite dry. we were told to wait for the results and in the time being were asked to lubricate his eye for good.

After a few days his blood tests came back and everything was okay. He was very healthy blood wise, so we were referred to a neurologist at a animal hospital in a neighboring city

We took him on his appointment on Jan 3rd 2011 and after an extensive checkup they recommended the following. It is either cancer, or an autoimmune disease. to diagnose it they would perform an MRI and also complete a series of tests. however, the tests would be very invasive and max would have to be under for a long time. We did not want to do this to him, so after thinking about it for a few days we told the doctor to go down the path of the auto immune disease.

in the few days that passed, max's health kept going down, very drastically. now his nose is very dry, and he cannot eat food properly and he cannot walk too well or climb the stairs. he does not sleep through the night, and he gets up and moans about 20-30 times during the night.

we spoke to the vet and unfortunately things do not look too good. He is going to go through 1 day of steroid therapy to see if he is doing any better, and if not he is going to be put down. i have a feeling he is going to be put down.

thanks for all your help guys, i just thought i would give you guys an update as to what is happening with my sweet boy

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