Non-inflammatory Metabolic Myopathy in Dogs
Noninflammatory metabolic myopathy is a rare muscle disease associated with metabolic disorders like various enzyme defects or storage of abnormal metabolic byproducts and others.
Little is known about how the disorder affects dogs exactly, but English springer spaniels, American cocker spaniels, German shepherds, Akitas, curly-coated retrievers, clumber spaniels, Sussex spaniels, old English sheepdogs, Lapland dogs are all predisposed to the disease.
Symptoms and Types
- Muscular weakness
- Exercise intolerance
- Regurgitation and/or difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
- Dark urine
- Abdominal distention
Typically, a dog will be born with non-inflammatory metabolic myopathy or acquire it later in life due to problems in metabolism. However, underlying factors may include:
- Viral infections
- Drug toxicity
You will need to give a thorough history of your dog’s health, the onset and nature of the symptoms. The veterinarian will then conduct a complete physical examination as well as a biochemistry profile, urinalysis, and complete blood count — the results of which may show abnormalities related to metabolic problems involved. For example, the biochemistry profile may show abnormal levels of serum creatine (enzyme found in muscle, brain, and other tissues) and abnormally low levels of glucose (hypoglycemia).
Your veterinarian may also choose more enzyme assays and other specific testing to determine the dog’s levels of amino acids, organic acids, and creatine. DNA-based tests, meanwhile, are used to identify specific carriers.
Often, a muscle tissue sample will be sent to a veterinary pathologist for further evaluation. This may reveal abnormal accumulation of fats or glycogen within muscle cells.
Treatment varies with the type of metabolic defect and extent of your dog’s symptoms. In most cases, there is little to be done for those suffering from metabolic defects. If the dog suffers from seizures, decreased body glucose, or brain issues, it will need to be hospitalized and placed in intensive care.
Living and Management
Depending on the type of metabolic defect, diet restrictions may be put in place, especially if the defect has led to hypoglycemia. Discuss with your veterinarian about a feeding plan and do not allow the dog to exercise strenuously.
Overall prognosis depends on the type and extent of the metabolic defect, but a veterinarian will always advise against breeding the dog due to high probability of passing along the defect.
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