Treatment and Prognosis for Muscular Dystrophy in Dogs

Source: PetWave, Updated on July 16, 2015
Muscular Dystrophy X Linked

Treatment Options

Unfortunately, there are no proven treatments for dogs suffering from X-linked muscular dystrophy (CXMD). One of the key goals of managing dogs with this disease is to do whatever is possible to prevent them from developing pneumonia. Aspiration pneumonia often occurs in dogs with CXMD as a result of their inability to chew and swallow properly, and also because of the abnormal functioning of the muscles of their esophagus and diaphragm, which promotes regurgitation. If the dog does develop pneumonia secondary to muscular dystrophy, its veterinarian can prescribe appropriate antibiotics to treat that condition. Anecdotal reports suggest that administration of glucocorticosteroid medications may provide some relief to dogs with CXMD, although the reason for this association is unclear. Otherwise, there is little that an owner or a veterinarian can do to treat this ultimately fatal disorder.

Prognosis

The outlook for dogs with X-linked muscular dystrophy is guarded to grave in almost all cases. The prognosis is worse if the animal develops megaesophagus and/or heart failure – both of which are not uncommon with this disorder. Certainly, if the puppy is only mildly affected by CXMD and survives its first year of life - after which the symptoms of this disease typically stabilize - it may be able to have a good quality of life as an indoor pet for several years. However, because CXMD is a progressive and degenerative disease, the chances of long-term survival are grave.

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