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Polymyositis in Dogs

By

Joseph Harari

, MS, DVM, DACVS, Veterinary Surgical Specialists, Spokane, WA

Last full review/revision Nov 2020 | Content last modified Nov 2020

Polymyositis is a systemic, noninfectious, possibly immune-mediated, inflammatory muscle disorder in adult dogs. It may be acute or chronic and progressive. Clinical signs include depression, lethargy, weakness, weight loss, lameness Overview of Lameness in Small Animals Clinical signs of musculoskeletal disorders include weakness, lameness, limb swelling, and joint dysfunction. Motor or sensory neurologic impairment may develop secondary to neuromuscular lesions... read more , myalgia, and muscle atrophy. CK may be increased, and electromyography reveals abnormal spontaneous muscle activity. Muscle biopsy reveals myonecrosis, lymphocytic-plasmacytic perimuscular infiltration, phagocytosis, and fiber regeneration. Polymyositis may be associated with megaesophagus and immune-mediated disorders (myasthenia gravis, lupus erythematosus, polyarthritis Polyarthritis in Dogs and Cats Polyarthritis involves inflammation of multiple joints and is classified as infectious (septic arthritis) or noninfectious (erosive or nonerosive [immune-mediated]). Nonerosive can be idiopathic... read more ). Oral corticosteroids Corticosteroids Two classes of steroid hormones, mineralocorticoids and glucocorticoids, are naturally synthesized in the adrenal cortex from cholesterol. (Also Veterinary.see page The Adrenal Glands.) Mineralocorticoids... read more (1–2 mg/kg, twice a day for 3–4 weeks) are the treatment of choice; other immunosuppressive agents such as azathioprine or cyclophosphamide can also be used. Prognosis is favorable, although relapses are not uncommon.

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Musculoskeletal
In all animals, the motor unit of skeletal muscle consists of the motor neuron, the neuromuscular junction, and muscle fibers. Muscle dysfunction—such as ataxia, paresis, or paralysis—most commonly originates in which of the following locations?
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