Advances in treatment of Canine myasthenia Gravis:
Therapeutic apheresis is an extracorporeal procedure that separates blood into its components for removal or specific alteration prior to return to the patient. Therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE) is an apheresis treatment in which plasma (containing pathologic antibodies) is removed and exchanged with donor plasma. TPE is used routinely to treat MG in human patients with severe disease or disease unresponsive to conventional therapy.
We have had success with the use of TPE to treat several dogs with confirmed MG that was severe and not adequately responsive to traditional therapies. Dogs chosen for treatment were non-ambulatory, recumbent, and demonstrated megaesophagus and aspiration pneumonia. All dogs showed significant improvement after 2 treatments and became ambulatory within 3 days with subsequent resolution of megesophagus and regurgitation.
Research is on-going to further validate the efficacy of TPE for the treatment of MG in dogs, but initial anecdotal experience is promising. While treatment with TPE is not inexpensive, its use may result in more rapid recovery, and decrease secondary complications, such as recurrent aspiration and/or respiratory compromise, thereby significantly decreasing hospital stays and associated costs.
If you would like to know more about this newly available treatment for myasethenia, please contact the Neurology/Neurosurgery Service. We will be happy to discuss the treatment options with you and your veterinarian.
Appointments s can be made through:
Neurology/Neurosurgery service coordinator. Toni Beelard 530 754 0606
VMTH UC Davis Reception 530 752 1393