Matey Health Update - MMM

Everything still looks okay, I haven't had any issues since I got off the medicine and it's been about 6 months now.  Mom did find out that my fur was thin due to side effects and she was able to get a stash of medicine and plan for when we were on our big sailing trip.  But I didn't need them - she and my dad are so happy about that!!!
Well, I've been off my little pink pills since July 14th.  So far I've still been able to yawn big and chew on my tennis balls - mom and dad laugh when I actually puncture them.  The only worry mom has is that my beautiful fur is looking a little thin.  I heard her planning last night to call the vet about it today to leave him a voicemail.  She also wanted to talk to him about us going on a big trip next month where we will be unable to get to a vet if something should happen.  I told her it was just because it's been so darn hot this year that I'm trying to shed as much fur as I can, but you know how moms can be.... (WORRY WORRY WORRY).
Ok, I've lectured my mom for so long about not updating my health page - I know there are a lot of you out there wondering how I'm doing.  Actually it was a loyal fan who wrote me a note asking how I was doing that finally pushed her over the top.  She does feel real bad.
Anyway, I had a vet appointment the week before last and my kidneys and liver are not being affected by the prednisone -- YEAH!!!!
Since I'm doing so well, my doc said I can stop taking the medicine in July.  Starting after the fireworks, I take it for only two more weeks only two doses a week, then I'm done and we just hope it doesn't come back.
I'm torn on how I feel about this - I'm pretty used to my every other day peanut butter snacks.  Maybe I can convince mom and dad to still give them to me but without the pill?  I mean, it's become a habit now... It's only fair...

Wow, now that we are on the once every day, it seems the old Matey has finally returned - but maybe not soooo hyper, but that's ok - she's still spunky.  This weekend we saw a soul satisfying yawn -- made us very happy.  Her appetite has gone way up, seems she's always hungry.  She doesn't drink as much as she was while on it twice a day, so the peeing is more reasonable - she can make it through the night.
We had our follow-up visit with our vet today.  Matey is doing much better.  But we had to call the vet on Tuesday evening, because she had very bad diarrhea, peeing at least every 2 hours, drinking tons of water and seeming very very depressed.  It was like we had a different dog.  We were very worried about her.  So on Tuesday, the vet reduced her prednisone to 20mg twice a day for 7 days, then once a day, then every other day.  He also added in 10mg of pepcid AC twice a day to help her tummy so she wouldn't get an ulcer.
But after a week, we are happy to say she is able to play ball again and although she's still subdued, she does seem excited to play.  She is still peeing about every 2 hours and drinking alot but the diarrhea has gone away.  We have also taken her off of the canned food and have her eating her moistened kibble. 
Oh, last week we relaxed out rule of not using the astroturf in the marina.  It was just too hard on us to alternate getting up to walk her every two hours -- we still had to go to work.  It was also very hard this week coordinating with her dog walker so she didn't have an accident.  She actually did 2 days and it broke my heart, after that I made sure to start going into work earlier so that I could be home to let her out.
Yesterday morning, Matey was at her sitter's house, and was having trouble eating her kibble - she would take one piece at a time.  Then her sitter noticed that she was trying to swallow them without chewing. So she wetted down her food and Matey gobbled it down.

Later in the afternoon, her sitter was playing with her, when Matey cried and went submissive on her. When we arrived to her house to pick her up around 3pm, she was doing her happy dance to see us and we were standing around talking to her when she again cried and went submissive (tail tucked, head lowered and sitting next to us). We didn't know what was going on.

Thinking a dog park visit might help make her happy - I should add at this point she was acting very non Matey-like, sitting on the floor of the car and very passive.

Anyway, at the dog park, we threw the ball twice for her, she very excitedly ran after it (like normal), but when she reached down to pick up the ball, she cried and got submissive again, then returned to me without the ball - she loves playing ball. After that we tried twice to open her mouth (she normally has no problem letting us do
this) and she cried both times.

Now, we headed for the vet.

After the vet examined her under anesthesia last night, he diagnosed her with Masticatory Muscle Myositis, an autoimmune condition that affects the jaw muscles. She's in pain when opening her mouth - can't yawn. She's on prednisone for 6 weeks for now, of course soft food and a followup in 7 days.

The doc said it was rare, but mostly found in the Shepherd (German - i think, I was having a hard time remembering everything) breed.
The vet prescribed prednizone 30mg twice a day for 7 days, then once a day for 10 days then every other day after.

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