What is Meningitis in Dogs?
Meningitis in canines is an illness that needs to be carefully observed and dealt with in order to offer your furry friend as many healthy years as possible.
Meningitis in dogs generally affects the membranes of the brain and spinal cord also referred to as meninges. When the brain or spinal code become infected by viruses or bacteria, the infection can result in death. This neurological disease in dogs inflames the above mentioned protective membranes, which can cause seizures and paralysis as well.
Meningitis in dogs becomes a dangerous disease as it is often misdiagnosed as the flu, resulting in a delay in treatment. Early diagnosis of meningities in dogs is key to a successful recovery.
If you suspect your dog has meningitis, in order to give your dog the best chance of survival, call your vet immediately or visit an emergency pet hospital.
More information about the early signs of meningitis and what are the causes of meningitis and treatments for meningitis in dogs can be found on this post.
Symptoms of Meningitis in Dogs
Meningitis can cause obvious changes in your dog’s health and behaviour. As a pet owner, it is essential to recognize the signs and symptoms of meningitis in dogs, so you can get the appropriate treatment for your dog as soon as possible.
- Stiffness In Neck Or Back
- Muscle Spasms In The Neck, Back, Or Legs
- Having Trouble When Walking
- Eyes Not Tracking Objects
- Loss Of Appetite
Disclaimer: The information presented on this post is designed to help inform you of meningitis. It is not meant to replace the vet diagnosis or treatment for meningitis. If you have any questionsor concerns about your dog’s health or possible symptoms, be sure to contact and consult with your veterinarian right away.
The Main Causes of Meningitis in Dogs
To recognize and treat meningitis in dogs, we need to understand the underlying causes of meningitis in dogs. This can help a pet owner prevent meningitis happening in the first place or again.
Being a disease of the nervous system, meningitis in dogs, often begins somewhere else in your pets body.
Normally, your pet will contract an infection elsewhere, which thereafter spreads throughout the dog's body and attacks the brain and spinal cord. These infection can be caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi.
In some circumstances, the causes of meningities in dogs can be the toxins or autoimmune diseases that weaken the dogs natural ability to fight infections.
Some dog breeds such as beagles, bernese mountain dogs, and pugs are predisposed to meningitis.
Diagnosing Meningitis in Dogs
Nobody understands your canine better than you do and hence it is important that your pet be checked thoroughly by a veterinarian at least once a year.
A comprehensive medical examination will be done to assess your dogs overall health, body temperature, weight, height, reflexes, pupil reaction time, respiration and heart rate, blood pressure, and breath sounds. The most important test in this case is the spinal tap, in which the veterinarian will place your dog under anesthesia and take a sample of cerebrospinal fluid to analyze. The results of the test will likely show an increase in protein, globulin, and white blood cells if your dog has meningoencephalitis. Other tests that may be needed are a complete blood count (CBC), serum biochemical analysis, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), and packed cell volume (PCV). Imaging, such as x-rays, CT scans, and MRI may be necessary as well.
Talk to your local vet to understand more about the treatments for meningitis in dogs.
Preventing Meningitis in Dogs
It is awful when your pet gets sick, and watching them hurt can be absolutely heartbreaking. With caution and a bit of extra care, a pet parent can make sure that dog stays protected from conditions like meningitis.
To not to seem weak or vulnerable to predators, the innate survival impulses make canines hide illnesses. This indicates extensive physical examinations by a qualified vet are essential to keep your family pets healthy. Usually, blood and urine tests performed by your vet are needed to get the total picture of your pet’s health. These preventive checks actions will identify any health issue earlier making treatment more successful and less expensive and, more importantly, will help your pet live a longer, much healthier life.
Because the causes of meningitis can be so varied, there is no one way to prevent it. However, regular trips to the veterinarian can allow your veterinarian to identify a potential cause -- such as an infection -- before it spreads to your dogs central nervous system and causes meningitis. Keeping your dog cleanly groomed and up to date on their vaccinations can also reduce the chances of them developing an infection that can cause meningitis. In general, a dog in good health is less likely to be affected by the disease, so take care of your pup, and contact your veterinarian if you ever notice any symptoms of illness.
Treatment for Meningitis in Dogs
Depending on the cause of the meningitis in dogs, a veterinary neurologist can treat with:
- Steroids to suppresses the immune system and to reduce the inflammation
- Antibiotics if meningitis originated with an infection
- In the event of seizure, antiepileptic drugs
- Intravenous fluids in the event of lack of appetite
- Pain medication
- Bed rest and care
Chat to your veterinarian to learn more about how to treat meningitis in dogs.