The picture above is Samba in better times. For anyone who hasn't been a reader, Samba was diagnosed with Masticatory Muscle Myositis last November. MMM is an auto-immune disorder where the body tries to destroy the jaw muscles. Eventually the dog with MMM untreated would be unable to open it's mouth. We caught Samba's early and have been treating it with high doses of steroids.
In March we had a double whammy. Samba developed facial paralysis on the left side of her face. It happened spontaneously and no one knows why. The same month we learned that she had a low thyroid reading and started her on medication.
Samba's left eye has been affected by the paralysis and she lost her ability to blink. I've been putting ointment in her eye twice a day to keep it moist.
Last week I noticed little signs that her vision was off. When she runs, she drifts to one side. She's been walking into things, furniture and doors and Monday she fell down several steps that she just didn't see. I had a consultation with her vet Dr B on Wednesday and we were concerned about something going on in her brain such as a tumor or infection.
This morning we went for an examination and the news while not what I was hoping for, wasn't as bad as it could have been.
Samba is getting a blink response back in her left eye. The eye is responsive to light and she can track a little which was not possible a couple weeks ago. The sagging on the left seems to be a little less. It's possible that the left facial paralysis is reversing and may eventually go back to normal.
The bad news- Samba now has right side facial paralysis. There is no blink reflex in the right eye and she's not tracking with it. The lip on the right side is starting to sag and she's currently in a position where one side is getting better, but isn't normal yet and the other side is getting worse. She is drooling more and having vision problems. She's also making a disgusting snorting noise as her nose isn't working normally on either side.
Samba is a trooper and somehow we'll get thru this. She's now getting ointment in both eyes daily to help with moisture. I'm watching her eat very closely, as it's hard for her to keep food in her mouth when she can't feel her lips. We increased her thyroid meds today and in two weeks she'll spend the day with Dr B having blood tests and getting her eyes dilated for examination. Then we'll speak with the experts at the vet school to see if they have any suggestions on how to proceed.
It's been a very difficult year for my girl and she's certainly not out of the woods, but we'll do whatever we can to keep her happy and active.