Diseases that affect the muscles of the dog often involve the nervous system and are difficult to diagnose without sophisticated testing by a veterinarian. A common clinical sign for most of the diseases includes intermittent or generalized muscle weakness and pain. Canine muscle diseases include:
• Canine myasthenia gravis, which is characterized by generalized periodic weakness
• Tick paralysis, caused by a toxin that produces ascending paralysis of the skeletal muscle
• Polymyositis, which involves inflammation that produces lameness and pain in the skeletal muscles which cannot be attributed to any other cause. Polymyositis often involves the muscles of mastication – another common sign can be lockjaw.
• Dermatomyositis, which involves inflammation of canine muscles along with characteristic skin lesions
• Degenerative myelopathy, a progressive disease of the spinal cord in older dogs – the disease has an insidious onset typically between 8 and 14 years of age and begins with a loss of coordination in the hind limbs.
• Canine muscular dystrophy, a rarely seen genetic muscular disease
• Peripheral neuropathies like coonhound paralysis is a good example of an inflammatory peripheral neuropathy.
A strong immune system is essential to good health and longevity and the result of providing optimum nutrition to your dog.