Muscular Disorders
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Muscular Disorders

Myasthenia Gravis: A Disabling, but Treatable, Problem

Neuromuscular diseases affect animals as well as humans, and one of the most common is known as Acquired Myasthenia Gravis. It's a disorder that interrupts communication between the nerves and the muscles. It's also an autoimmune disease, meaning it's caused by the body's own immune system turning against itself. Specifically, the immune system attacks and destroys junctions, which are places where the neurons (nerve cells) and muscles interconnect. Once these junctions are destroyed, the adjacent muscles cannot be controlled or are poorly controlled.With myasthenia gravis, a dog will experience muscle weakness, especially in the limbs and the muscles affecting the eyes, facial expressions, throat and esophagus. Sixty percent of affected dogs will become fatigued after any significant exercise; others will develop difficulty swallowing or noticeable changes in their voice. The dog may appear only slightly affected, or else be almost entirely immobile. [...]

Megaesophagus

Megaesophagus is a disorder that affects the esophagus, making it difficult to digest food. This disorder can affect puppies as early as the weaning stage, and while some dogs will outgrow the disorder, others will need careful food management for the rest of their lives. In this article, we'll learn what Megaesophagus is, which breeds are predisposed to inherit the disease, and what forms of treatment are available.What is megaesophagusIn order to understand megaesophagus, we need to understand how the esophagus works. Content, such as food, in this case, moves through the esophagus and other tubular organs through muscular contractions, which are coordinated in waves. This process is called Peristalsis. When the peristaltic function doesn't work, this disorder is called megaesophagus. [...]

Tricky Disorder Often Mimics Epilepsy, IBS

One of the more recently recognized disorders in dogs is one known by several terms, including Canine Epileptoid Cramping Syndrome, CECS, or "Spike's Disease." A tricky disease that is often misdiagnosed as epilepsy, CECS is considered to be a problem of multiple body systems, including the metabolic, neurological and muscular systems.The symptoms of CECS vary, and an affected animal may display many of them or only a few at one time. Symptoms include trembling, staggering, dizziness, exaggerated stretching, and an unusually slow or methodical posture while walking. Also, the dog's abdominal and lumbar (back) muscles may cramp severely, and the animal may fall over and be unable to rise. [...]

Scottie Cramp: The Price of Nobility

The Scottish Terrier is widely regarded as one of the most noble breeds of dog. The "Diehard", as they're known, are renowned for their courage and ferocity in spite of their small size, as well as the strong degree of loyalty that they possess for the the humans to whom they become bonded. This degree of nobility, however, does not come without its price. The Scottish Terrier has the distinction of having a disease named after it in particular, for among all dogs, only the Scottie is said to suffer from it. This disease is known as the Scottie Cramp. [...]

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