General information on Myotonia
Myotonia is a genetic disease that can affect breeds such as Staffordshire Terriers, Chow Chows, Cavalier King Spaniels, Great Danes, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Irish Setters, and Golden Retrievers. Myotonia is thought to be an autosomal recessive congenital deformity that is passed on when both parents have a predisposition to the disease. The disease affects the musculoskeletal system; the voluntary muscles of the dog. A dog affected by myotonia has difficulty relaxing muscles after they are stimulated. This can cause the dog to have a stiff gait. The symptoms of myotonia are first seen when the affected dog is still a puppy and is first learning to walk. Overall, a delayed muscle reaction is typically the cause of all of the symptoms of myotonia.
Symptoms of Myotonia
Some of the symptoms of myotonia may be: a stiff gait, bunny hopping while running, progressive stiffening of the gait while the affected dog exercises, and muscles that are larger than normal.
Treatments for Myotonia
There is no cure or full treatment for myotonia. In most instances, the disease remains stable and the affected dog will function normally as their muscles warm up. In some cases, a drug treatment can be helpful; such as the off-label use of procainimide.
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