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Non-inflammatory Myopathy of Endocrine Origin in Dogs

Non-inflammatory myopathy of endocrine origin in dogs is a muscle disease that stems from endocrine disorders like hypo- and hyperthyroidism. However, it has also been linked to the use of corticosteroids.

Symptoms and Types

  • Weakness in muscles
  • Decreased muscle mass
  • Stiffness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Regurgitation
  • Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Hoarseness (dysphonia)


In essence, this form of non-inflammatory myopathy arises from an endocrine disorder, including hyperadrenocorticism, hypothyroidism, or hyperthyroidism. However, it may also have immune-mediated or neoplastic origins.


To diagnose your dog’s condition, it’s important to provide a detailed history of their health, including when the symptoms started and their nature, to the veterinarian. The vet will then perform a comprehensive physical examination along with a biochemistry profile, urinalysis, and complete blood count (CBC) to identify the specific endocrine disorder. Additionally, thyroid and adrenal gland function tests will be conducted to confirm the diagnosis.

X-rays will be taken to assess the function of the pharynx and esophagus, particularly in cases involving regurgitation and dysphagia. Furthermore, muscle samples will be sent to a veterinary pathologist for further evaluation.


The course of treatment will vary based on the underlying cause of the disease. If the condition stems from an adverse reaction to corticosteroids, your veterinarian may adjust the dosage or discontinue corticosteroid administration altogether, often leading to symptom resolution. In cases of non-inflammatory myopathy with tumors, surgical intervention may be necessary.

Living and Management

Dogs affected by this disorder will require special feeding techniques. You will be instructed on elevating feeding and introducing various foods into the dog’s diet, particularly those with different consistencies. In cases of severe regurgitation, your veterinarian may insert a feeding tube into the dog’s stomach to ensure adequate nutrition. They will also provide guidance on how to use the feeding tube properly and assist in establishing a feeding schedule. Additionally, dogs may benefit from physical therapy to enhance muscle strength, reduce wasting, and alleviate weakness.

The overall prognosis depends on the underlying cause and the severity of the disease. For instance, if the disorder results from an adverse reaction to corticosteroids and treatment is promptly discontinued, the prognosis is typically favorable. Muscle strength and mass should return to normal within a few weeks.

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