Samba has had some changes lately in her treatment and in her condition. So far it's all been good.
First, her left eye is much improved. She can now blink and as you can see above, it looks almost normal. The right eye is wide open. She can't blink and it doesn't even close fully when she sleeps. I'm still putting ointment in both eyes a couple times a day to keep them moist and I've kept her bangs long to provide some protection from the sun.
Although she still doesn't have feeling in her lips, she enjoys playing with the other dogs and here she's ripping up a paper airplane that she caught in mid-flight. The lips cause some problems still when she eats, but she's doing better and drops less food than she used to.
She's on thyroid medicine and her hair has grown in to cover her body. Her legs and tail are no longer naked, but as you can see, her hair is still very thin. Dr B increased her thyroid dosage and a blood test taken a couple weeks ago shows that her thyroid level is now perfect. He says we should see big improvement in her coat over the next three or four months.
As for the MMM, she has been showing no signs of a relapse. The other muscles in her head are taking over the job of the destroyed jaw muscles and the dents in her head are more shallow because of it. She can yawn and move her jaw almost normally.
As of a couple days ago, we've reduced her medication again. She was taking 25mg of Prednisone on odd days and 5mg on even days. Now we have reduced her to 25mg on odd days and none on even days. This is a scary move for me. We're at a point in the treatment where we have to watch closely for any sign of the disease returning.
A couple times each day I have to apply pressure to the points where the muscle is damaged and watch for any sign of pain. Then we have to throw her ball and make sure she can pick it up and carry it back to us. We also try to get her to gently tug on a toy. Samba has never been much of a tugger dog, so that one is hard to do. So far she's doing well.
Our eventual goal is to get her to 20mg of Prednisone every other day for maintenance. We're in the home stretch and this is the dangerous point where the disease sometimes flares up. I have to watch her closely now. With hot weather here, Samba would like to go swimming. I'm concerned about her compromised immune system and discussed it with Dr B. He says she can swim in the lake, but not in any still water such as a pond. We were both happy to hear that and now we're planning a trip to the lake for her to get wet.