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Testing For Myasthenia Gravis?


Guest SusanP
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Guest SusanP

Wizard is doing so much better now that he's off the prednisone--He's comfortable, not spasming, has gained weight, seems happy and interested in life again, but there is still something wrong, the original problem. I talked to the vet about testing for myasthenia gravis, and she agrees that could be the problem, but she said she'd have to check, that she thinks the test is very expensive. She said there is another test that is less specific that is more affordable. What does anyone know about these two tests, cost, usefulness, etc.?

 

Wizard does not cough with eating, but for several years, he has coughed when drinking only. He is having what looks like weakness, sometimes in his hind legs, sometimes in his right possibly front and rear legs. He walks slowly most of the time now, and he is having issues with eating and eliminating. Eliminating seems to catch him by surprise frequently, so he'll have accidents in the house (poo or pee) or not be able to get off the sidewalk onto the parkway in time to poop, for example. When he is hungry, he often paces and sniffs food but won't eat, or many times he will eat only mushy foods. He paces in between every few swallows before coming back to eat more. He is very picky about what he eats--most canned dog food is a no-go, for example, and I don't see how that would fit in. Maybe it doesn't.

 

There is still the issue of the ultrasound showing slightly thickened intestinal walls and lots of gas--I don't know if that might be a separate but related auto-immune issue or if perhaps somehow muscles not digesting properly can cause inflammation or/and gas in the intestines? In the meantime, he began taking sulfasalazine for presumed IBD a couple of days ago--not sure how quickly we'd expect to see results.

 

Does any of this sound like it all fits together to anyone? His condition has been endlessly confusing to us.

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Has lumbosacral stenosis been considered? Wouldn't account for his eating problems but would account for the back end weakness, not always controlling peeing/pooping.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Guest SusanP

I'll ask about LS again--He had xrays incl spine. Trouble is, I don't think it's just his hind end. I think the right side including front leg is occasionally weakening on him. He's going in Monday, and we'll discuss all this. Thanks for reminding me. We could be dealing with two different issues, of course.

 

Would the sulfasalozine work pretty quickly? If anything, I think he's starting to eat less again on it. Started it on Thursday, so this is day 4.

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Guest SusanP

Well, the test for Myasthenia Gravis is around $270, and it can't be done this soon after Wizard was on prednisone. Vet says dogs she's seen who did have it had much clearer symptoms than Wiz, if that's his problem at all.

 

She is also reluctant to rely on the test Suzanne Stack outlined in her article to dx LS. She would prefer an MRI. The problem with the injection, for Wizard, is that he reacted so very badly to prednisone, and she pointed out that once you inject a steroid, you can't take it back.

 

We're going to give the Sulfasalozine more time, but cut the dose back a little so as to help improve his appetite and limit pill-taking stress for him (It's getting very difficult). She said we might also try giving him 1 T of Metamucil/day to see if it improves intestinal function any.

 

I was surprised and sad to see that though he appears to us to have gained weight back, he actually hasn't gained more than a pound. He weighs 64 lbs now, down from 78 or so most of his life with us, racing weight of around 68 as I remember.

 

Overall, could be worse, but could be a lot better. :(

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I have no veterinary advice to offer, I'm afraid.... just wanted to send some good thoughts for Wizard :goodluck :goodluck :goodluck

 

... and hugs for you :grouphug :grouphug

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Kerry with Pippin (Paid Vacation), adopted 4/15/2017
Missing the best wizard in the world, Merlin (PA's Paris), the biggest Love I've ever known, and my sweet 80lb limpet, Sagan (Leon B) :brokenheart :brokenheart, every single day.

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