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Thread: Acquired Myasthenia Gravis

  1. #1
    Senior Member Tollwest's Avatar
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    Unhappy Acquired Myasthenia Gravis

    Anyone have any experience with Acquired Myasthenia Gravis? An almost 7 year old Toller bitch was just diagnosed with this today - the first case I have heard of in a Toller. She was sired by one of my stud dogs, and she has had 3 litters, so obviously her breeder and I are concerned about any genetic links? I have done a quick bit of reading, and it sounds as though it is immune mediated? She has not had any vaccines for several years, no recent diet changes, and has always been very healthy (had an impacted anal gland last year, but no other health conditions to note). If anyone has gone through this with a dog, and has any suggestions on treatment, management, long term outcome etc we would love to hear it! PM are fine if you don't want to post publicly!

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    Senior Member JusticeDog's Avatar
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    I know a lab FC who went through it. It got really bad. To the point they put her in a plastic garbage can to feed her. Couldn't hold her head up. she is now a great family pet, running around. Terrible to go through, but came out ok. There are numerous theories as to the cause, but I have seen marathon runners wind up on ventilators. They go through the treatment, and return to say thank you for your care while they were ill.


    i an sorry for you and your dog.... That you are going through this.

    P.S. THe vet that treated the field champion runs trials, and I can put you in touch with him, if you'd like.
    Last edited by JusticeDog; 01-27-2014 at 12:16 PM.
    Susan

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    Senior Member hotel4dogs's Avatar
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    The genetic link appears to be toward autoimmune issues, not necessarily MG.
    Had a customer lose a 3 year old Golden to acquired MG. The biggest problem is the risk of aspiration pneumonia. They fed him in a "Bailey's Chair". You can find the plans to build one online. Basically, it's a high chair for dogs.
    Wishing you the best. It's not a good disease to have.

    Barb Gibson
    with
    CH Rosewood Little Giant UDX VER RA MHU SH MXP MJP XFP T2BP DJ VCX WCX CCA CGC FFX-OG
    also UCH HR UUD UJJ URO1 UHIT
    (golden retriever) born 3-10-07
    a.k.a. "Tito", "The Tito Monster"
    www.GoTeamTito.com

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    Senior Member rotcsig443's Avatar
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    MG is an autoimmune neuro. disease which involves the blocking of acetylcholine receptors with autoantibodies. With these receptors being blocked it does not allow muscle neurons to fire properly and causes the muscle weakness/flaccidity. Additionally there is also an associated thymoma is some of these cases which is related to the condition. The disease is typically managed with either immunosuppresants or acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. With time the acetylcholinesterase inhibitors tend to lose their strength due to the body becoming accustomed to the drugs and beings adjusting for them and the immunosuppresants come with their own side effects of course. As far as prognosis and quality of life, it is highly variable as it all depends on severity each patient experiences but with good/proper medical management they tend to live a fairly good life. Not sure if I was able to help any but I hope I was able to.
    Last edited by rotcsig443; 01-27-2014 at 12:12 PM.

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    Senior Member Karen Klotthor's Avatar
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    They give infusions to people. My mother had MG for years and every so often had to have infusions. Not sure what was in it.

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    The infusion is a solution of immunglobulin G (IgG) that is a protein that basically sticks to the antibodies that are attacking the receptors in the "motor end-plate" the place where the neurons tell the muscles to "fire" and contract. This IgG solution mops up the stray antibodies. I have administered it to people. I don't know how much it costs but it's like gold. Thousands of dollars. There is also a blood exchange process (like dialysis) that also is used to mop up the offending antibodies. But the first and most basic treatment is to suppress the immune system, to stop the B-cells from producing the damaging "self-directed" antibodies.

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    What's the difference in Acquired Myasthenia and non-Acquired Myasthenia?

  8. #8
    Senior Member hotel4dogs's Avatar
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    I believe that there is a genetic form, which is considered non-acquired. The autoimmune variety is considered acquired.

    Barb Gibson
    with
    CH Rosewood Little Giant UDX VER RA MHU SH MXP MJP XFP T2BP DJ VCX WCX CCA CGC FFX-OG
    also UCH HR UUD UJJ URO1 UHIT
    (golden retriever) born 3-10-07
    a.k.a. "Tito", "The Tito Monster"
    www.GoTeamTito.com

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    Thanks for the clarification Barb.

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    Myasthenia gravis is a disease of the immune system in adult dogs. rotcsig443 has a great description of it, see above.

    Acquired and non-acquired are not quite how it is classified, rather it is classified as congenital or acquired. Young dogs with congenital MG have abnormal neuromuscular junctions to start out with. They don't do so hot. Acquired MG can be primary or secondary. Primary or idiopathic, meaning we're idiots and don't know the cause or inciting factor, just happens. Secondary MG is due to some other underlying cause, like a tumor present. To make it more confusing, it can also be categorized as focal or generalized. The most common sign with focal MG is megaesophagus. It's a pain.

    Most adult dogs with primary MG, and no underlying cause is found, are treated with immunosuppressive drugs. About 75% of these dogs will go into remission within 6 months and only a small number will relapse later. They can do well but management is the biggest issue, especially when megaesophagus is present.

    IVIg is mentioned above and can be used in dogs. There is little data on it but we have tried in in autoimmune diseases. Also, it's a human product, so dogs can have an allergic reaction to it. THere are different immunosuppressive drugs that may be tried for this type of disease.

    That's my educational diatribe for the day, thanks for reading! Also, in case you've never seen it, www.veterinarypartner.com is a great resource for dog owners. Cat people too. Their page on MG is at:
    http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Con...S=0&C=0&A=1544

    Good luck with your Toller,
    Sarah

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