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Myasthenia gravis.
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Old 05-12-2015, 06:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Myasthenia gravis.

My working dog got diagnosed last night. The vet is treating at this time but vet cannot answer the question "will he be able to perform at the same level?" Dog is only 2.5. Has anyone ever seen a working dog return to full duty with this disease? Any help or recommendations appreciated.
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Old 05-13-2015, 06:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Myasthenia gravis.

I"ve never had a dog with the problem but when I starting reading up on it this paragraph stuck in my mind:

"Symptoms of myasthenia gravis can vary greatly from dog to dog. The most common symptom is muscle weakness that worsens with exercise but improves with rest. Often the esophagus is affected, and dogs have trouble swallowing and drinking. They may also regurgitate food. In some situations, affected dogs aspirate food and water, which can result in pneumonia."

I think that if this is a patrol dog you are, potentially, playing with a fire because the more active they are (apprehension, tracking, etc) then working them is actually detrimental for them. If a detection only dog then the activity level is less and I could see where the dog could stay useful. I *think* you are facing the decision of retiring this dog and starting a new one.
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Old 05-13-2015, 06:56 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Myasthenia gravis.

http://www.mspca.org/vet-services/an...nd-shelton.pdf

http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body...ia_gravis.html

http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/vsr/Ne...%20Gravis.html
(this has video with a symptomatic dog)

http://web-dvm.net/myastheniagravis.html this one had interesting clauses:

Myasthenia gravis often goes into remission without treatment. In one study of 53 dogs, 89% went into remission an average of 6.4 months (and within 18 months) after diagnosis. In this study, the dogs that did not go into remission all developed cancer within 3 years of their myasthenia diagnosis.

And “Vaccination should be postponed, as vaccination has been shown to exacerbate active myasthenia gravis.”

http://vetspecialists.co.uk/factshee...ia_Gravis.html

this one offers a ray of hope: Prognosis is generally good for a complete recovery unless severe pneumonia, severe difficulty eating or underlying cancer is present. Treatment usually lasts many months and your vet will need to re-examine your pet on a regular basis to check that they are improving. Repeated blood test to measure anti-AChR antibody levels will also be required.

Myasthenia gravis can be a very serious disease. However with an early diagnosis and a high level of care your pet may make a full recovery.
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Old 05-14-2015, 10:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Myasthenia gravis.

Thanks Sarah, it's not decision that I wanted to make but definitely the right one. Thank you for the links and the info.
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Old 05-15-2015, 06:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Myasthenia gravis.

I think those kind of decisions are the ones that no one wants to make. A balancing act between what you would like to do, what you need to do, but eventually what you have to do. Are you going to be able to retire him to your home?
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Old 05-15-2015, 10:45 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Myasthenia gravis.

maybe i'm connecting dots that aren't there yet, but based on the past tense, i'm kinda surprised that you made the decision to retire the K9 less than 48 hrs after the diagnosis.

it's obviously a rare disease, at least for the breed you have, so i hope the diagnosis was definitive and accurate
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Old 05-15-2015, 07:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Myasthenia gravis.

Diagnosis was accurate through testing. Not sure if he will stay with me or not. Lots of things to come in the next few weeks.
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Old 05-15-2015, 07:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Myasthenia gravis.

i set a not quite 3 year old GSD free from what appeared to by MG, but tested negative..the RX works in 80% + of the dogs that do have MG...it is somewhat dangerous at first, as we did try it with Zoey even though her test was negative..just had to monitor her resp rate and heart rate for 15-20 minutes after each dose. And the first 2 doses were given at the vets just in case...Would try it if it were my dog again..
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