Detect and treat masticatory myositis in dogs in time.Your dog does not want to eat, feels weak and has swellings on the side of the jaws? It is quite possible that chewing muscle myositis is behind this. This is an autoimmune disease in dogs in which the muscles of mastication become inflamed and can be permanently damaged. This disease is relatively rare, but it is still important to know its symptoms: Because the earlier treatment is started, the better the chances of recovery. How you can recognize a masticatory myositis and how you can help your darling in this case, you will learn in this guide.
The most important things at a glance
– Masticatory myositis is an autoimmune disease in which the masticatory muscles become inflamed. – As a result, the mobility of the lower jaw is restricted, which makes it difficult for the dog to eat food. – Early detection of the symptoms is important, as the chances of recovery are still good at first. – In our experience, the disease is often accompanied by gastric disturbances, which affect the blood supply of the masseter muscles.
This is how you can proceed
– Find out about the symptoms of masticatory myositis in this guide, so that you can go to the vet in good time if you suspect it. – To cleanse and stabilize the disturbed stomach, we recommend mixing our stomach cure for dogs with your pet's food. – A steady gut-healthy diet can help your dog develop a strong digestive system and be protected from stomach disorders.
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Ow, cheek! An inflammation of the temporomandibular joint is not only quite painful, it can also impair the mobility of the masticatory muscles to such an extent that feeding is only possible to a limited extent. But do not worry: A masticatory myositis occurs rather rarely in dogs. Is well treatable with early diagnosis.
In this guide you will learn what the disease is all about and by which symptoms you can recognize it. So you are well informed and can react in time, if you suspect that your darling suffers from temporomandibular joint inflammation.
Notice: This guidebook contains recommendations for supportive measures in cases of masticatory myositis. For an exact clarification of the diagnosis. Therapy of your dog a visit to the veterinarian is essential!
Masticatory myositis – what is it anyway??
Masticatory myositis is an autoimmune disease in dogs that causes inflammation of the masticatory muscles. Autoimmune disease is when the immune system attacks the body's own ties. In the case of masticatory myositis, the immune system produces antibodies against so-called myosins – monoproteins that occur in the muscle fibers of the masticatory apparatus. This leads to an inflammation of the chewing muscles and to a degradation of the muscle fibers – in the later course of the disease, the tie and the muscles can also die off. Affected dogs have severely impaired mobility of the lower jaw, making it difficult for them to properly ingest water and food.
Masticatory myositis can affect dogs of any breed and age. According to previous observations, it occurs mainly in young and middle-aged dogs and affects mainly the breeds German Shepherd, Doberman, Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever.
It is especially important that the symptoms of this condition are recognized as early as possible, as there is usually a good chance of recovery with timely treatment. Once the disease has become chronic, the chances of successful treatment are much lower in most cases.
Do not worry! Masticatory myositis is relatively rare. Is easily treatable if diagnosed at an early stage.
What are the symptoms of masticatory myositis in dogs??
As a rule, the disease progresses in two phases, namely the acute and the chronic phase. Different symptoms appear in each phase.
Particularly important: If one or more of the following symptoms occur in your dog, we recommend that you go to the vet as soon as possible. The earlier masticatory myositis is recognized and treated, the greater the chances of recovery, since the masticatory muscles have not yet been destroyed to an irreparable extent in the acute phase.
Typical symptoms in the acute phase
– The masticatory muscles are swollen (swellings on the side of the head) – Affected dogs often have pain in this area and cannot open their mouths properly – As a result, food intake is impaired, many dogs even refuse to take in water and food – Occasionally, there are enlarged lymph nodes and tonsils – The dog's general condition is severely impaired, some also suffer from fever
Typical symptoms in the chronic phase
– In the advanced stage, the destroyed muscle fibers have been replaced by connective tie, which means that the jaw is only slightly mobile. – This in turn can lead to lockjaw, which makes independent food intake impossible. – The masticatory muscles shrink and recede, making the head look narrower and sunken (the so-called "fox skull"). – In some cases, sunken eyeballs occur as a result of loss of muscle mass.
Acute masticatory myositis can be so painful that affected dogs no longer want to eat.
Diagnosis: How can temporomandibular joint inflammation be detected??
Your dog doesn't want to eat or has swelling on the side of his head? To determine if your dog is suffering from masticatory myositis, the veterinarian will use several diagnostic procedures. This way, he can rule out other diseases and create an individual therapy plan for your pet.
Blood test: With the help of a blood test, the veterinarian can determine whether your dog has formed antibodies against the muscle fibers of the masticatory apparatus. This is the case in more than 85 percent of all dogs with masticatory myositis.
Biopsy: During a biopsy, small pieces of muscle fiber tie are removed. This makes it possible to examine whether they have been damaged or whether antibodies can be detected in the tie.
Electromyography: This involves measuring the electrical activity of the muscle fibers. This helps to determine whether muscle activity is altered only in the masticatory muscles and to what extent the damage to the masticatory muscles is already advanced.
X-rays: An x-ray allows the veterinarian to identify possible changes in the masticatory system. In addition, this allows other diseases in this area to be ruled out.
Causes: How can chewing muscle myositis occur in dogs?
According to current veterinary knowledge, masseter myositis is an autoimmune disease in dogs, which can be caused mainly by genetic factors (i.e. heredity), but also by certain medications or trauma. Depending on the trigger, the immune system forms antibodies against certain muscle fibers in the masticatory apparatus, which lead to their destruction.
Often masticatory myositis is accompanied by gastric disturbances.
In the 5-E™ veterinary practice, we have observed for more than 30 years that inflammation of the masticatory muscles is in many cases accompanied by disturbances in the stomach. Due to an unbalanced gastrointestinal flora, harmful bacteria can multiply in the stomach and form toxic gases there.
The gases cause the stomach wall to become thinner and more permeable, making it easy for harmful substances to enter the blood and body. This can lead to blood clots and significantly affect the blood supply to the chewing and eye muscles. These processes can usually be detected very well in a vital blood analysis under the dark field microscope. Therefore we recommend to consider such a blood check as an additional diagnostic procedure.
Tip: If you want to learn more about how the vital blood analysis works and what advantages it offers for the health of your dog, then click into this guidebook.
During vital blood analysis under the dark field microscope, veterinarian Thomas Backhaus can detect whether a stomach disorder is affecting the blood supply to the chewing and eye muscles.
Therapy: How is masticatory myositis treated in dogs??
Depending on how far the disease has progressed, there are various therapeutic approaches to consider. It is important for a successful treatment that it is started as early as possible. From veterinary experience, acute masseter myositis is treatable in most cases. In the chronic form, on the other hand, the prognosis is uncertain.
Treatment of acute masticatory muscle myositis
Medications are usually prescribed to suppress the dog's immune system and thus its attacks on the muscle fibers of the masticatory apparatus. In this way, the inflammations should be alleviated. In addition, painkillers are usually administered. In many cases, the drug treatment must be carried out over several months, as relapses often occur after discontinuation of the therapy.
Options for chronic masticatory myositis
In the advanced stage, most affected dogs can no longer open their mouths properly. In this case, it is possible to carefully stretch the masticatory muscles under anesthesia. However, this method carries the risk of dislocation of the temporomandibular joint or fractures in the lower jaw.
In order to improve the mobility of the masticatory muscles, affected dogs can also be encouraged to chew actively by means of special physiotherapy.
Supportive holistic therapy methods
In the 5-E™ veterinary practice, we achieve very good treatment successes in dogs with masticatory muscle myositis in many cases with holistic therapy methods such as autologous blood therapy, acuprere, field laser therapy or Backhaus Light Tuning. If you are interested, you can make an appointment for a personal or online consultation on the website of the veterinary practice.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the stomach interacts directly with the upper and lower jaws.
In the case of thin stomach walls or other disorders, harmful substances from the stomach can enter the bloodstream and as a result damage the blood supply to the eye and masticatory muscles. In order to increase the chances of a successful treatment, we therefore recommend to rehabilitate and strengthen the gastrointestinal system of your dog by feeding a healthy intestinal food and giving natural vital substances.
5-E™ feeding and vital substance recommendations for dogs with masticatory muscle myositis.
In our experience, masticatory muscle myositis is often accompanied by gastric disturbances. The goal of our proven feeding and vital substance strategy is therefore to rehabilitate and support your dog's digestive system.
– In case of acute masticatory myositis we recommend our extruded soft food INTESTO. The easily digestible formula does not unnecessarily burden the gastrointestinal tract. At the same time INTESTO helps to rebuild the digestive system. – To strengthen your dog's stomach and intestines in the long term, you can then switch his diet to our hypoallergenic cold-pressed food COSMO. So that the stomach is not unnecessarily burdened, the feed change should be made gradually, by replacing an ever increasing proportion of INTESTO with COSMO. – In case of acute stomach problems, you can also mix our stomach cure for dogs into the food. This contains MA DYN to prevent excessive gassing in the stomach and cold-pressed grape seed oil to protect the stomach lining from free radicals.
As accompanying support we recommend the following vital substances:
We are there for you when your dog is unwell.
If your dog has health problems, you naturally want to do everything right so that he soon feels better again. We are here for you and will be happy to advise you on which feed products and vital substances you can use to support the well-being of your pet.