The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®) was the first humane society to be established in North America and is, today, one of the largest in the world.
Our organization was founded on the belief that animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment at the hands of humans and must be protected under the law. Headquartered in New York City, the ASPCA maintains a strong local presence, and with programs that extend our anti-cruelty mission across the country, we are recognized as a national animal welfare organization. We are a privately funded 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, and are proud to boast more than 2 million supporters across the country.
The ASPCA’s mission, as stated by founder Henry Bergh in 1866, is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.”
The Furry Critter Network
Atrophic Myositis - Issue Description
Masticatory Muscle Myositis, MMM, Eosinophilic Myositis
Masticatory muscle myositis (MMM) is an inflammatory disease in dogs affecting the muscles of mastification (chewing). MMM is the most common inflammatory myopathy in dogs. The disease mainly affects large breed dogs.
MMM appears as an acute (sudden) and chronic form (more common). Canines with the acute form may be lethargic, feverish, and reluctant to eat or chew. The patient may exhibit swelling of facial and forehead muscles, excessive salivation, bulging eyes, prolapsed third eyelids, shrinkage of head muscles, sunken appearance and enlarged local lymph nodes. Dogs can still be active and alert. Dogs with the chronic form cannot open the mouth normally or at all.
Diagnosis of MMM involves patient history and physical exam. A complete blood count (CBC) can indicate the acute form with perhaps mild anemia and an elevated neurophil count, or the chronic form with normal results. A biochemical profile can assess the kidney and liver and other systems. A serum creatine kinase may show elevated CK measurements. The Serum Type 2M myosin antibody titer (2M Test) from the University of California, San Diego, can measure the level of antibody attacking the masticatory muscle.
MMM is caused by the presence of 2M fibers in the muscles of the jaw. 2M fibers are not found elsewhere in the body, but they are close in structure to proteins found on the surface of bacteria. The immune system recognizes these proteins as foreign to the body and attacks them, resulting in inflammation.
Treatment of Masticatory Muscle Myositis should suppress the immune system to stop the antibodies from destroying the muscles. Immunosuppressive doses of corticosteroids, including prednisone or dexamethasone may help. Prednisone may result in clinical improvement. If steroid therapy does not yield a successful response, additional immunosuppressive drugs may be prescribed Side effects of corticosteroids may make the canine drink and urinate more and have an increased appetite. Dogs can experience gastrointestinal upset, bladder infection, bleeder or ulcer, vomiting, diarrhea, and dark and tarry stool.
Suppressing the immune system may lead to problems including risk of secondary infection. Affected areas include urinary and respiratory tracts. Signs include straining to urinate and blood in urine. Coughing and/or nasal discharge may be present. A skin infection may develop showing red, irritated or itchy skin.
A feeding tube that involves a small bore tube through the nose to the esophagus or a surgically placed tube can help the patient that cannot open its mouth.
Care and Prevention
Recheck examination every 3 to 4 weeks during the first several months of therapy is important to monitor response to treatment and allow the veterinarian to taper the medications appropriately. In many cases, long-term or even lifelong therapy may be necessary.
"Don't Shop ... Please Adopt"
If you can’t find the pet you’re looking for on Petfinder, don’t give up. Some shelters maintain waiting lists for specific breeds, so don’t be afraid to ask! There are also breed-specific rescues for just about every breed, and most of them post their pets on Petfinder. (Petfinder can even e-mail you when a pet that fits your criteria is posted — just click “Save this Search” at the top of your search results page.)
Jeff Gold, Founder, Rescue Me! Animal Rescue Network
Jeff Gold lives in Watkinsville, Georgia on the same property as Rescue Me's Animal Rehabilitation Center, with 18 rescue animals. Shown with him in the photo to the left are Maggie, Izzie and Cortez. In 2003, after learning there was nobody doing boxer rescue work in Georgia, Gold founded Boxertown, an organization which helped find homes for over 500 boxers during its first two years. Based upon this success, Gold came up with the vision for Rescue Me! ― a network which helps all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals find good homes, anywhere in the world. RescueShelter.com is also a free service of Rescue Me! and provides the world's largest and most up-to-date directory of animal rescue organizations for all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals, including a comprehensive directory of wildlife rehabilitators in over 150 countries.