Kind of a quick update. I should be able to add more later today after the vet calls me.
We took Willard to a second vet and I'm really happy we did. This vet seems to care more and spent over an hour with me and Willard looking at him and discussing. (We will see if that changes at all in the future or if it was just a good show since he knew I was coming for a second opinion).
He's pretty sure Willard has Masticatory Muscle Myositis which is an autoimmune condition that all the facial muscles have deteriorated. It can also make it difficult to open their mouths and painful to as well since the muscle eventually gets replaced with scar tissue. I told our other vet that Willard eats really gingerly when he does actually eat but she didn't seem considered. This vet completely checked out his jaw and got him to wimper and cry
so yeah, his jaw hurts. Willard also refused to let his mouth be opened -- again he's probably uncomfortable. It also explains why he won't eat his kibble. He'll eat chicken or eggs but that's pretty much it (i.e. something so tempting the pain is worth it).
Pictures are attached. First is from the beginning of June 2016. The second is within the last month. Huge difference.
Really his only complaint about our previous vet was that the dose of steroids she put him on wasn't high enough for his weight. So we are going to start him on a higher dose and taper down from that. Hopefully we see some improvement there.
The next issue is that he has other symptoms that cannot be explained by the autoimmune issue. He also has foxtails in both ears. Which I'm extremely angry about because he has been to our original vet multiple times in the last few months and prior to that last January and no mention of them even though she has looked in his ears. She's always said his ears look good, nothing to really be concerned about
I'm really upset about this because we moved in May 2015 and no longer have a fenced yard. Any extended period of time spent outside has been either on our deck (no plants) or in a dog run on a patio again no plants. We also don't have any long grass at our new home where we did previously. The stupid things have probably been in his ears for a long time. Since October he hasn't even been outside other than to use the bathroom. >
Hopefully the steroids start working this week because we need to sedate him next week and get his ears cleaned out. The vet will also be taking xrays of his skull to see if he has an inner ear infection which would explain the enlarged lymph node and the balance issues. He also could just have an enlarged lymphnode if he an infected tooth so when he is sedated he wants to get a better look at his teeth too since Willard wouldn't cooperate, which I don't blame him.
He also has protein in his bloodwork that is low. I can't remember what it is called but it's the kind that your liver makes. So he either isn't making it or is having an absorption issue. We also did a urine sample yesterday too so I should get that back today and know more about that.
Sorry for the not so short update haha.