My dog is experiencing pain in its jaw.

Your dog most likely has masticatory muscle myositis if they have abruptly lost the capacity to open their jaws. Your dog is incapable of eating, chewing, or even picking up toys due to this immune system illness. The discomfort is excruciating for our dog.

Image Credit:St. Valentine

Due to this, we will discuss the definition of masticatory muscle myositis, as well as its symptoms, causes, and most crucially, how to cure it, in this AnimalWised post.

What causes canine masticory muscle myositis?

Masticatory muscle myositis (MMM) is an immune system condition in which the canine body attacks its own muscle tissue because it perceives it as alien. The masticatory muscles, which are needed for chewing, cannot be used by the dog, who is also in excruciating pain.

The masticatory muscles are heated and swollen in the early stages of this illness. 

You may see the following symptoms in your dog to identify this disorder:

jaw ache

not being able to expand their jaw

muscular swelling in the jaw

eating and drinking challenges

Touching the jaw feels warm.

Sunken eyes into their sockets

Myositis is an inflammation of one or more muscles in dogs, affecting their well-being and movement. It affects large and giant breed dogs, with age being a trigger. Myositis can affect any muscle or group of muscles, including masticatory, extra-ocular, polymyositis, and dermatomyositis. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial for a dog’s future, as scar tissues can form within the affected muscles and cause permanent issues. Early detection helps veterinary doctors restore the patient’s quality of life as quickly as possible. Early detection is crucial for a better future for your dog.

causes of canine myositis

The following are a few potential causes of canine myositis:





parasitic infections

the presence of allergens

medicine reactions

exposure to poisons in the environment

Dog myositis and cancer may possibly be related. malignancy may begin as inflammation and progress to become it over time, or an immune response to the muscle may be brought on by malignancy. However, because every dog has a unique situation, it’s crucial to get them to the doctor as quickly as possible.


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Which breeds are more prone

Although myositis can affect people of any gender or breed, certain breeds have been identified as having a higher risk of developing masticatory muscle myositis. 

These breeds include:

Retrievers’ Goldens

English Shepards

Retreivers of Labrador

Doxie Pinschers

King Charles Spaniel Cavalier

and other giant dog breeds

It can be helpful to remember that MMM is generally 3 years old. However, the veterinary literature also has reports of puppies as early as 4 months old.

Canine myositis symptoms

As we’ve already discussed, there are some indications and symptoms that can tell us if our dog has M. Dogs with myositis will typically exhibit the same symptoms, however each case is unique and the severity of the condition may change. 

Here, they are categorized into the many muscle groups that are impacted:

Mouth-movement myositis

difficulty opening the jaw

jaw discomfort and inflammation

eating and drinking challenges

reduced appetite

recessed eyes

muscle wasting

Additional myositis:


ocular swelling

distorted vision


Having trouble walking

aching and weakened muscles

decline in muscle

Loss of weight

extreme pain

rigid walking

Having trouble swallowing


Skin blemishes

muscle wasting

muscle ache

Pet owners who notice these symptoms should take their dogs to the vet as soon as they can. The dog’s chances of making a full recovery are higher the earlier it receives a correct diagnosis and starts receiving therapy.


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treatment for canine myositis

Your dog will start to heal after being taken to the vet and receiving a prognosis. An immune-suppressive dose of corticosteroid medicine (often prednisone) is administered over a period of months as the current treatment for MMM. They start off with an intensive early course of treatment and gradually taper off because this strategy has the best chance of curing MMM. Although many dogs are weaned off of prednisone medication, some may need it for the remainder of their lives. These drugs do have negative effects, such as increased urination, thirst, and hunger.