Has the vet told you that your dog has meningitis? Surely you have heard about this disease in humans and, in fact, it is not very different in dogs. It is the inflammation of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. If your hairy has this problem and you want to inform yourself about it, it is best to clarify all your doubts with the veterinarian who usually cares for your faithful companion.
However, in a Pet O Club we want to help you know this condition, so in this article we tell you how to treat meningitis in dogs and many more details on the subject.
What is meningitis in dogs and their causes
Meningitis is the inflammation of the meninges or the three membranes that line the brain and spinal cord protecting them. This problem occurs when there is a generalized infection in the body, or that has appeared right from the beginning in the brain or spinal cord, or by a virus, bacteria, fungi and other parasites. It is a painful condition, so the sick dog
It can happen to any dog, regardless of the breed, age or sex of the animal. However, there are dog breeds that are more likely to suffer from meningitis:
- Bernese Mountain Dog
- Maltese Bichon
- Pug or carlino
There are other related conditions that usually occur when it gets complicated. It is meningoencephalitis and meningomyelitis.
Meningomyelitis and meningoencephalitis in dogs
As we have noted, these two diseases are closely related to meningitis, since they usually occur after a while suffering from this condition, although they can also occur directly in more severe cases.
Meningomyelitis is inflammation in the membranes or meninges and in the spinal cord. In contrast, meningoencephalitis in the inflammation that appears in the meninges and in the brain. Again, these inflammations are caused by an infection or by extension of the first inflammation, meningitis.
Symptoms of meningitis in dogs
It is vital for the health of our pets that we learn to detect possible signs of illness. In fact, any change in the appearance or behavior of an animal should be considered a sign that something has changed in it and that it can indicate a problem. For this reason, at the very least, it is necessary to consult a veterinarian, preferably taking the dog to the clinic or center.
In the case of this disease there are several signs that can alert us to its presence, although only a veterinarian after performing certain tests can actually diagnose the disease. It is important that it is diagnosed in the early stages, since it is when the treatment is most effective and there are less chances of sequelae.
Thus, among the main symptoms of meningitis in dogs, as well as meningomyelitis and meningoencephalitis, are the following:
- Lack of appetite.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- High fever.
- Rigidity of the muscles, especially in the neck, because it is difficult to turn.
- Rigidity of the legs, not only muscular but also articulate.
- Muscle spasms.
- Lack of coordination (ataxia) and limited and rigid mobility.
- Great sensitivity to touch.
- Changes in behavior
- Nervousness, agitation and even confusion.
- Head tilted
- Blurred vision or loss of vision.
- Progressive paralysis
The veterinarian, although he observes several of these symptoms together in a patient, in order to diagnose meningitis will have to perform tests, such as an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or a puncture of cerebrospinal fluid.
Contagious meningitis in dogs
Many people seeing the seriousness of this disease wonder how meningitis is spread in dogs to prevent other dogs or their family members from suffering the same problem. Also, there is also someone who asks if meningitis is spread from humans to dogs.
The truth is that meningitis is not contagious, neither is meningoencephalitis nor meningomyelitis. In the case of the contagion of meningitis in dogs to humans, the answer is the same: meningitis does not spread from dogs to people, or vice versa.
All this does not mean that they can not spread the parasites that caused the infection, if it has been the cause, and consequently inflammation of the membranes. Therefore, you also have to have some caution.
How to cure meningitis in dogs – possible treatments
The treatment will depend on each case and only the veterinarian can indicate what is best done in each situation. However, there are certain procedures and medications that are administered in practically any case of this disease.
The veterinarian will administer steroids so that inflammation is reduced as much as possible, especially in severe cases. If the animal suffers seizures it will be given an anticonvulsant or antiepileptic medication. In addition, if bacteria are found as causes, antibiotics will be administered and if there are fungi, some antifungal medication. Of course, not only must the symptomatology be treated, starting with inflammation, but it is also necessary to treat the origin of the cause, that is, the infection.
Also, in addition to much love, rest and comfort, it will be necessary to ensure their hydration and nutrition, so if you do not eat or drink on your own, intravenous fluid therapy will be necessary. Therefore, especially in severe cases, it is sometimes absolutely necessary for the dog to be hospitalized in the veterinary center or hospital.
Prognosis and recovery of meningitis in dogs
Regarding the prognosis of meningitis in dogs, it is totally variable, since it depends on the cause, the severity of each case and the response of the animal to the treatment, especially during the first days. Some dogs end up dying, even if they are given the appropriate treatment, since it can be a severe condition or detected too late, while other dogs recover completely if great difficulty.
Therefore, regarding the recovery of meningitis in dogs we can say that it is something that will depend on each situation, but that undoubtedly an early detection of the problem and an adequate and very direct treatment improve the chances that the dog will recover well. and everything
Sequelae of meningitis in dogs
If this health problem is not adequately addressed or if it is discovered too late, it can cause the death of the dog or result in more or less serious sequelae.
Among the sequelae of meningitis in dogs, some of the most common are seizures and paresis or partial paralysis, that is, the weakening of the ability to contract the muscles. For these reasons, we stress the importance of going to the veterinarian as soon as changes are detected in our furry, to act on time if there is a health problem.
This article is purely informative, in a Pet O Club we do not have the faculty to prescribe any veterinary treatment or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or discomfort.