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post #1 of 61 (permalink) Old 12-13-2019, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
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Todd and his mystery ailments

Hi All!

Todd is my 7 year old neutered male blue doberman. I'll try and break down our mini medical saga as concisely as possible....

--On Thursday (12/6) evening I noticed extreme swelling on the left side of his face/neck/throat region. At the time I panicked suspecting a swollen lymph node.
--I got him to the vet the next day where they aspirated the area. The swelling had already gone down a lot but he still had a large firm swelling under his jaw.
--He did well over the weekend with no major changes and the aspirate results came back as normal salivary tissue. We had a tentative diagnosis of a salivary mucocele.

...note since the week prior to this happening he's had a decreased appetite but I chalked this up to recently food chances and a general behavioral quirk of his...aka I thought it was normal.

--jump to Wednesday 12/11 morning, everythings been relatively normal except for minor increases and decreases in swelling (which per my vet is to be expected) Wednesday morning he didn't eat hardly at all so I was going to manually "pill" him to get his routine medications in and he yelped. I tried again with the same result...as the day went on I noticed he was unable to completely open his mouth and didn't want to chew anything crunchy.

--my vet was able to get me an appointment with an internal medicine specialist on Thursday morning. We went in excepting an ultrasound of the area to confirm the salivary mucocele with possible surgical consult but this is not what ended up happening.
--The specialist was unable to completely open his mouth and also noted his submandibular lymph nodes were firm but not enlarged and his one prescapular lymph node was enlarged (same side as the salivary gland thats swollen).
--Per the internal meds recommendation we didn't do the ultrasound (unlikely to help) but instead took multiple lymph node aspirates and did a blood test for mascitory myositis.

...In the meantime we've increased his daily gabapentin dose and we're "status quo" in terms of swelling. He's still being weird about eating and wouldn't allow me to open his mouth for pills this morning. I've seen him full mouth yawn though so I know he CAN open his mouth the whole way.

So, why the heck am I posting here? Because I'm curious if ANYONE has dealt with this? The specialist was pretty frank that it's going to be a bit by bit diagnostic process but felt whatever we were dealing with we caught early since overall he's doing OK. He's eating, albeit not as much as I'd like, he's drinking and he's active. I was also curious if anyone has had experience with salivary gland removals? He's vWD so we have to take that into consideration too.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 61 (permalink) Old 12-13-2019, 09:45 AM
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It might be helpful if we know his history. I wasn't familiar with gabapentin so I googled it and it said it's for seizures? You also mentioned other medications, what else is he on?
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post #3 of 61 (permalink) Old 12-13-2019, 09:50 AM
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Gabapentin can also be used for pain control, especially when inflamed nerves are involved.
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post #4 of 61 (permalink) Old 12-13-2019, 09:54 AM
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I really have no idea and I'm not a vet, so I can't be of any use here. But for some reason I thought of masticatory muscle myositis, I guess because he didn't seem to want to open his mouth. I have no idea quite where the swelling involved with that is, and I'm thinking it might be a really long shot in your case, but I thought I'd throw it out there.

Anyway, I hope you get to the root of the problem very soon and that it has an easy cure. Keep us posted.

Last edited by melbrod; 12-13-2019 at 09:57 AM.
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post #5 of 61 (permalink) Old 12-13-2019, 09:55 AM Thread Starter
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It might be helpful if we know his history. I wasn't familiar with gabapentin so I googled it and it said it's for seizures? You also mentioned other medications, what else is he on?
Of course! Todd is on 200mg of Gabapentin twice daily for routine pain management. He has on/off hip discomfort so we have him on this for maintenance. He cannot have NSAIDS so this was the best option. Aside from the gabapentin his also is only daily joint and skin supplements (currently, Dasuquin Advanced and Grizzley krill oil). We used Apoquel as needed for skin flare ups but he hasn't had this in months. We've been treating topically and keeping up his bathing schedule.

Overall he's been healthy--he's had 2 episodes over the past few years with neck discomfort after rough housing with his brother.
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post #6 of 61 (permalink) Old 12-13-2019, 09:57 AM Thread Starter
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I really have no idea and I'm not a vet, so I can't be of any use here. But for some reason I thought of masticatory muscle myositis...I have no idea where the swelling involved with that is, and I'm thinking it might be a long shot in your case, but I thought I'd throw it out there.

Anyway, I hope you get to the root of the problem very soon and that it has an easy cure. Keep us posted.
thanks Mel, yes that is actually on the table right now. They took blood for testing--that's the one I'll get back late next week. She said it's not first on the list because he presented with swelling before pain but she said it was definitely worth testing for.

I'll also report he's happily shredding a toy right now so his mouth can't hurt too bad today?
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post #7 of 61 (permalink) Old 12-13-2019, 09:59 AM
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Good news!! I hope his improvement continues.
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post #8 of 61 (permalink) Old 12-13-2019, 10:33 AM
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If it is MMM, my understanding is that quick diagnosis really can make a difference in treatment. We've had two dogs on here that have had that disease.

Here is one thread that is about MMM...if you scroll down a few posts to dax's first post, you'll see links to several threads about Chase's journey with MMM: https://www.dobermantalk.com/doberma...-myositis.html

Here is Dexter's journey with MMM: https://www.dobermantalk.com/doberma...-myositis.html

Hoping you are able to figure out what's going on.
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post #9 of 61 (permalink) Old 12-13-2019, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeadowCat View Post
If it is MMM, my understanding is that quick diagnosis really can make a difference in treatment. We've had two dogs on here that have had that disease.

Here is one thread that is about MMM...if you scroll down a few posts to dax's first post, you'll see links to several threads about Chase's journey with MMM: https://www.dobermantalk.com/doberma...-myositis.html

Here is Dexter's journey with MMM: https://www.dobermantalk.com/doberma...-myositis.html

Hoping you are able to figure out what's going on.
Thanks! As much as I want to say "I hope it isn't MMM" I'll take that over the big C. I used to work as a technician for a number of years and I only remember 2 dogs that were diagnosed and it wasn't pretty but both of these dogs were diagnosed far along where they couldn't eat on their own or open their mouth at all. Will keep updating as I hear more or as things move along!
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post #10 of 61 (permalink) Old 12-13-2019, 12:47 PM
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Yeah, MMM was my first thought when I read he wasn't able to fully open his mouth--it's entirely possible that there are two issues present and it does sound like you've been on top of it and have seen the right vet/specialist to get a diagnosis.

I know of at least a couple of dogs who recovered entirely from MMM--both had early diagnosis--the Doberman went on to become an AKC Champion and do a bunch of performance stuff. The other was a German Shorthair--he was a family pet and I think that he remained that.

I can tell you all about gabapentin--since I'm on it for pain relief from sciatica (I'm also on a lot of other stuff--but gabapentin and celebrix (an NSAID) are the main controllers.

Good luck with your boy--do keep us posted on his progress.

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post #11 of 61 (permalink) Old 12-13-2019, 01:07 PM
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I don't know much about MMM does it affect the Jaws? I guess I thought more of the head. Have they done X-rays? Is it possible it could have just been a random infection in one of the molars?

Have you found any ticks on him lately? I think I read somewhere that there are some tick borne diseases that present themselves through the lymph nodes?

Whatever the diagnosis is will you please comeback and update us? Last week I was searching through files because Maverick had a swollen toe (I swear the dog sneezes and I think it's cancer), I found probably 5 threads similar to his and not ONE person came back with a diagnosis. That was really frustrating for me. We can't help others with these threads unless people come back and update them.
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post #12 of 61 (permalink) Old 12-13-2019, 01:12 PM
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G Red - I started a tread back ? 2 or 3 weeks ago on Kadin and his swollen toe - I think it was any ideas - or something like that - does Mav's toe look like Mr. B's ?
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post #13 of 61 (permalink) Old 12-13-2019, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
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I don't know much about MMM does it affect the Jaws? I guess I thought more of the head.
The muscles that wrap around the head are used for chewing, so yes, MMM affects the dog's ability to properly open their mouth.
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post #14 of 61 (permalink) Old 12-13-2019, 01:27 PM
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G Red - I started a tread back ? 2 or 3 weeks ago on Kadin and his swollen toe - I think it was any ideas - or something like that - does Mav's toe look like Mr. B's ?
I saw that but I didn't see a diagnosis. A few dobe people have looked at it and they think it's an interdigital cyst. I'm calling the vet today.
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post #15 of 61 (permalink) Old 12-13-2019, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I don't know much about MMM does it affect the Jaws? I guess I thought more of the head. Have they done X-rays? Is it possible it could have just been a random infection in one of the molars?

Have you found any ticks on him lately? I think I read somewhere that there are some tick borne diseases that present themselves through the lymph nodes?

Whatever the diagnosis is will you please comeback and update us? Last week I was searching through files because Maverick had a swollen toe (I swear the dog sneezes and I think it's cancer), I found probably 5 threads similar to his and not ONE person came back with a diagnosis. That was really frustrating for me. We can't help others with these threads unless people come back and update them.
Hi!

MMM is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks the muscle tissue surrounding the skull. Hence the main treatment is high doses of steroids. We currently are holding off on any sort of treatment until the testing comes back because there's just as likely a chance it's an infection and even possibly cancer

We haven't noticed any ticks on his recently and he just has his annual bloodwork last month (where they did a tick borne test) AND they did bloodwork last week so I don't know if a tick disease is even on the table right now.

And no worries! Happy to follow up on this! I'll let everyone know how he's doing and what comes from the testing. While he's doing well today, I can definitely feel his submandibular lymph nodes are bigger. Anyone that's experienced with MMM, do you know if this causes the lymph nodes to react?
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post #16 of 61 (permalink) Old 12-14-2019, 08:57 AM Thread Starter
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Morning All:

I have an update

Our specialist called me last night with the lymph node results. They are "inconclusive" at this time because there is a lot of variances between the samples viewed. The pathologist said it highly highly suspect for Lymphoma and said it's 60% likely however we could still be dealing with inflammation or infection. We'd added on an additional testing that has to be sent to NCSU. I (frustratingly) will not have those results until late next week early the following.

Is it terrible that I'm really hoping the MMM test comes back positive?

Todd is still a happy boy, albeit he seems very tired--likely because we've doubled his gabapentin. He's being treated like a king in the mean time. .... so.... the saga continues... think happy thoughts for us!

Thanks!
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post #17 of 61 (permalink) Old 12-14-2019, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
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Morning All:

I have an update

Our specialist called me last night with the lymph node results. They are "inconclusive" at this time because there is a lot of variances between the samples viewed. The pathologist said it highly highly suspect for Lymphoma and said it's 60% likely however we could still be dealing with inflammation or infection. We'd added on an additional testing that has to be sent to NCSU. I (frustratingly) will not have those results until late next week early the following.

Is it terrible that I'm really hoping the MMM test comes back positive?

Todd is still a happy boy, albeit he seems very tired--likely because we've doubled his gabapentin. He's being treated like a king in the mean time. .... so.... the saga continues... think happy thoughts for us!

Thanks!
That's super frustrating. When do you expect the MMM results?


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post #18 of 61 (permalink) Old 12-14-2019, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
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The MMM results will be in late next week so they’ll arrive a few days before the additional lymph node test. So a week of waiting....
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post #19 of 61 (permalink) Old 12-14-2019, 12:17 PM
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Will be following your thread closely, as we can all learn from this. Sending good thoughts and prayers your way. I know the hopeless feeling you must be having right now.
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post #20 of 61 (permalink) Old 12-14-2019, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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Will be following your thread closely, as we can all learn from this. Sending good thoughts and prayers your way. I know the hopeless feeling you must be having right now.


Thanks... it's so tough looking at his swollen little face right now and just...waiting...

We're super lucky that his regular veterinarian is also a personal friend (we used to work together) AND she lives a block down from me. She took a peek at him again tonight and still isn't convinced we're dealing with lymphoma. All his issues are isolated to the left side of his face, left lymph node is enlarged... she personally spoke with the specialist we're seeing and the specialist is also suspicious of a migrating foreign body so it really sounds like everyone is invested in this strange diagnostic game we're in right now...

Thanks!
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post #21 of 61 (permalink) Old 12-14-2019, 08:04 PM
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Sending good vibes and energy your way for your boy. He sounds like he's in good hands with a mama like you.

Love his name!



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post #22 of 61 (permalink) Old 12-15-2019, 12:06 PM
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Hey Keisha. Sorry you are dealing with this. I know it can be very frustrating waiting for results. Just wondering if your boy has had any other symptoms related to any other body systems. Such as vomiting, urinating a lot, being thirstier than usual?

Pam
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post #23 of 61 (permalink) Old 12-15-2019, 12:31 PM
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Hi Kisha - Sure hate to hear about Todd not feeling well , but I have a question - you may roll your eyes on this one but here goes , Have you checked Todd's teeth ??? A broken tooth ? Gum disease ? Infected tooth ? Infection can be very dangerous and spread and could cause swelling and lack of apatite + pain .

Just a thought

Doc
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post #24 of 61 (permalink) Old 12-15-2019, 03:39 PM
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I have nothing to add, but hoping for better news. Hang in there!

Mary Jo Ansel
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post #25 of 61 (permalink) Old 12-16-2019, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pamlocke View Post
Hey Keisha. Sorry you are dealing with this. I know it can be very frustrating waiting for results. Just wondering if your boy has had any other symptoms related to any other body systems. Such as vomiting, urinating a lot, being thirstier than usual?

Pam
Hi Pam!

No, which is also so strange. He's became a little more finicky with his food about a week prior to the first swelling incident but I'm still not certain this is related. He has ALWAYS been a finicky eater and goes through phases and we just recently were doing a food trial that was in the midst of "going south". However his appetite hasn't rebounded so I can't say.

Otherwise he's having normal bodily functions and thirst is normal.
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