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Does anyone know anything about canine polymyositis?

By March 12, 2010 - 7:13pm
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My 7-1/2 year old mixed dog has a serious illness. Has had many tests; nothing conclusive can be determined. Best guess: polymyositis. Prednisone seemed to work at first; but it is no longer working. A very good vet and 2 specialists and Nyx is getting progressively worse. HELP!

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EmpowHER Guest

Hi NyxMother,

We are certainly glad this information has helped you. Please keep us updated.

Best in Health!

March 19, 2010 - 8:17am

Thanks to all of you for you much-needed advice and kindness. Got a terrible report from the neurologist today: diagnosis has changed to peripheral nerve disease with no chance of improvement. My poor baby is completely lame and more muscle degeneration is predicted (muscles used in breathing, for example). I am definitely going to try acupuncture and more of the Eastern remedies. I see Nyx's swim therapist on Saturday and am going to run all of your ideas by her: I know she is really into the Eastern remedies. Thanks so much. All of you have been a big help.

March 18, 2010 - 7:19pm

Interestingly enough, the swim therapist is a holistic believer as well. We have started a new diet, heavy on fish with Omega 3 and Vitamin E. After a few swim sessions, we will move on to non-traditional western medicine methods. I am not anti-western medicine, but Nyx has not responded to any of that treatment. It is time to try something else.
Thanks so much to all of you for your response and advice. I really appreciate it. NyxMother

March 14, 2010 - 5:54pm
(reply to NyxMother)


I absolutely identify with you and your relationship with Nyx. Helping a beloved pet feel better and live a happy life longer is so important to us. I love that you are seeking both traditional and non-traditional methods to help Nyx. I just wanted to encourage you. We had a collie whose arthritis had gotten so bad that Rimidyl and supplements didn't help him very much anymore. You know what did help? Acupuncture. We started with weekly treatments and were able to space them out later to monthly treatments. He walked better, played more and generally just appeared to feel like his old self. We have no doubt that it not only extended his life but gave him greater quality of life.
Best of luck in your search for help with Nyx. Will you come back and update us?

March 16, 2010 - 8:23am
EmpowHER Guest

Do you have a homepathic vet or a natural vet? I have seen amazing results in my dog's health by using eastern medecines. Depending on where you live, you can search for vets who don't just practise western medecine.
Also, is your dog on raw food. My dogs have been for over six years and many health issues were improved by changing their diet, including arthritis and even cancer.
Pat McKay is an animal nutritionist. You can read her recipes here and she is always amenable to answering e mails.
Western vets often sneer at natural health for animals and even dislike animals being put on raw meat, though they are carnivores and SHOULD be eating raw meat, not processed, cooked chum.
A lot of our animals illnesses are directly related to their diets, just like people who eat nothing but fast food. Drugs can also leave animlas worse off as they are hard on their little organs. You cna see vets who practise anything from acupuncture to homepathy to nutritional medecine.
If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them.
And well done for being proactive for your dog. He is very lucky to have you as a Mom!

March 13, 2010 - 2:38pm
(reply to Anonymous)

Thank you for adding information to this discussion thread...I'm sure others will find it very helpful to learn more about a raw food diet for their pets.

March 14, 2010 - 7:19am
HERWriter Guide

Dear NyxMother

Thank you for your question. I also love dogs and we understand how difficult it is for animal owners when their 'babies' are ill.

Empowher is a site dedicated to human health. However, it's often found that treatments for human conditions can also help with animals who are going through the same thing.

Treatments for humans with polymyositis have some options listed here:

There is no cure for polymyositis, but treatment can improve your muscle strength and function. Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include the following:

* Corticosteroids—These medications, taken orally, reduce inflammation of the muscles. These are often the first medications doctors use to treat the symptoms of polymyositis.
* Immunosuppressants—nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)
* Exercise—exercising your muscles is essential, which includes a regular stretching routine for muscles in weakened arms and legs. Light strengthening exercises can be done as the pain lessens and function returns.
o Physical therapy may be recommended by your physician to prevent permanent muscle damage.
o Your doctor may also suggest whirlpool baths, heat, and massages for treating muscles.
* Rest—to manage your condition, it is important to get enough rest by taking frequent breaks and limiting your activity.

For more information, click on our polymyoitis page here : http://www.empowher.com/media/reference/polymyositis#definition

Of course, you must bear in mind that there may be crucial differences between the human and animal versions.

Does any of this information help you?

March 13, 2010 - 7:01am
(reply to Susan Cody)

Thank you so much! I did not realize this was human health only. Imagine my dismay! I did a search on canine polymyositis and this site came up. I apparently did not read thoroughly enough.
Thanks for the reply. We are doing all of that: started swim therapy today. But you are right: my "baby" is causing my health to deteriorate. I think the vets may be mistaken; after a year, this is their best guess. So, I am getting desperate. Thanks again so very much...Margie

March 13, 2010 - 12:42pm
HERWriter Guide (reply to NyxMother)


I totally agree that when a beloved pet is ill, then it takes a toll on the health of the owner. Stress and worry can really affect the body.

And no worries on not realizing this was a human health website - most of us really love animals too!

Are you familiar with Cornell University's Veterinary School? They have an informational site that helps animals and their owners. It's a pretty comprehensive site that is dedicated to helping owners. You can find it here: http://www.vet.cornell.edu/library/freeresources.htm

And something that might really help you is Web MD's Animal Exchange - a discussion and informational board for animal owners. Here you can post questions and talk back and forth with other concerned pet owners who also have sick dogs. You may get some great feedback there that can really help Nyx. Qualified veterinarians are there to help and take your questions.
Link here : http://exchanges.webmd.com/pet-health-exchange

We don't like to send you off elsewhere, but I'd love to see Nyx get the best for his health care needs and unfortunately for him, our focus is on us crazy humans :-)

Check out these sites (and definitely hit the discussion boards on WebMD Animal Exchange) and do come back and let us know how you and Nyx are doing.

We wish you all the best in health!


March 13, 2010 - 1:00pm
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