Health & Research

Masticatory Muscle Myositis (MMM)

Early Diagnosis of Masticatory Muscle Myositis Is Needed for Treatment Success

Imagine what it would be like if your Golden Retriever could not open his mouth to eat and drink. That is often what happens with an autoimmune disorder called masticatory muscle myositis (MMM) that affects the jaw muscles, causing pain and dysfunction.

Swollen, painful masticatory (chewing) muscles and an inability to open the mouth (trismus) are clinical signs of the disorder. “These dogs are not able to pick up a ball or eat without experiencing severe pain,” says Brian E. Greenfield, D.V.M., who practices at Animal Clinic Northview in North Ridgeville, Ohio. “In the early stages of the disease, the muscles that are used for eating and chewing appear swollen. As the disease progresses, these muscles begin to atrophy, or waste away. Sometimes the eyes appear sunken, or, less commonly, they seem to protrude.”

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