Ohh Duke!

They love Duke at the Vet's. When you call and identify yourself, the person on the other end of the phone inevitably says, "Ohh Duke!" - in a sweet, rather high-pitched tone of voice - they love him so. When you arrive at the office, it's "Ohh Duke!" all over again. Ever since he came into our lives in September 2008, it's been one thing after another.

First it was the thryoid, then the seizures, then the "foreign object removal". Lately it's been a runny nose (possible fungal infection) that defies medication. Last week it was the urinary tract infection for which he's now on anti-biotics.

We just can't stay away. Today we decided to have the Vet take a look at his oddly bony head, and recessed right eyeball. Turns out it's most likely Masticatory Myositis.

His muscles around his skull and jaw have atrophied leaving a very bony skull. The right eye is recessed in his skull and often not pointing straight ahead. His visionn is probably OK (for such an old dog), but he probably has to rely more on the left eye than the right one.

Treatment - not much for now. He still chews his food just fine. He's bit slower at meals - but given the rapid pace of his eating this "slowing" would still appear to be fast for many dogs. Some dogs with Masticatory Myositis present with pain when eating, or in severe cases, the inability to open their mouths. If it impacts his ability to eat we may look into treatment options.

It's treated with high doses of prednisone or dexamethasone - which come with their own special side effects, like frequent water drinking and urination, not to mention their impact on the immune system as they greatly suppress immune system activity.

Wait and see. More fun ahead. Ohh Duke!


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