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Older Dog with MMM


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Hey guys!


Just wanted to get some thoughts on a situation that I am currently in with my beautiful Rottwieler, he is coming up to 9 years old and is such a beautiful soul, he was trained really well and loves being with his dad, it's his favourite! He has had hip dyplasia since 1 and a half but hasn't really had too much of an issue but has been on painkillers for the past 3 years.


About a month and a half/2 months ago he began to get a lump on his head, he began to not really do much, stopped following me everywhere and constantly trying to leave the house when I was going to leave which I thought was odd - then his 3rd eyelid came out from under his eye and began to get bigger, which seemed everyday.


He went to the Vet and at this point had begun reverse sneezing, the vet said that this may be an abcess which was treated with antibiotics and antiinflammatories - on the second day of these Ralph began to bleed from his nose, this went over the course of the night, getting blood all over my parents carpet and floor, it was very hard to watch him go through. But after that he seemed to have bounced back and seemed fine! The eyelid went back down and he seemed really good, he still had a bump hut not too much.


Then came the quick decline - ralph stopped taking his tablet, he would only take his tablet by catching it in the air which by this point he let it just hit him in the face which was again hard to watch. We worked hard to trying to get him to take his meds trying a few different strategies to no prevail. He went back to the vets and was put back on the same meds but for a longer period of time. At this point he was not eating all his dinner, then maybe in a day or 2 ralph could not open his mouth at all. Screamed in agony when he tried to eat - winced and ran away from the sight of any food suggested to him. We went back to the vets and at this point the lump on his head was really big, his muscles in his face were deteriorating really fast and an abcess just didn't fit the bill. The vet had a 50 minute chat with my and my partner, back and forth trying to figure it out which he was convinced it was immuno-related and gave him a shot of Predisone as well as tablets. There was so much pain and misery and it was so difficult difficult watch, he hasn't been officially diagnosed with MMM (masticatory muscle myositis) but he fits the profile to the 'T'. I just want to know what recovery is like for this, if anyone has had a similar experience with an older dog? I can only find stories of younger dogs, I dont have high hopes and was going to say goodbye to my beautiful boy on Friday as I'm scared he will get worse and be in pain - even on the steroids he still doesn't look happy when he's laying down, only when I'm feeding him treats or he's on a walk... I'm terrified of saying goodbye to this boy, he's been by my side since I was 19. Any advice of thoughts would be amazing, I just want to know if the choice I make will be a good one.


Thanks - Mattias

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so sorry you are going through this. I don't have experience with this disease but................................ It sounds like you have done your very best for all of Ralph's life ensuring he has been a much loved part of the family. Only you can weigh up the effect this is having on Ralph and it's Ralph that comes first now. You are facing a very difficult decision, pretty much every person here has been where you are, often more then once.


Dogs live in the here and now, they don't think "oh I might be better in a few days/weeks if I just hang in there", "the pain is worthwhile". They don't think "I'll miss my family". They just are. I do know from personal experience that to leave a dog lingering for too long ( in my case only a few hours ) leaves a mark on your soul that never leaves. I have never regretted any other passing that some may judge as too soon. But I will always regret the one that was too late.


It is always better to go too early then too late. If there is a reasonable chance Ralph can recover and have a good quality of life then go for it. If the outlook is dim, then you need to put Ralph first.


Big hugs to you, your family and Ralph, he is a lucky boy to have you by his side.

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One of my Giants had Masticatory Myositis.  He was diagnosed at around age 4 and lived until 10 and a half.  He died from something unrelated to the MM.


He was on daily predisone for life.  Starting with a high dose and gradually tapering the dose down.  He was also on another Chemo drug that I can't remember the name of.  This was around 12 years ago so there may be other drugs available now to treat this condition.


The only way it affected my dog was in his jaw which made it a bit more tenuous for him to eat.  He could eat kibble and softer foods quite well.

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