Meningitis in Dogs Treatable with Early Detection of Meningitis Symptoms

By isak, July 16, 2009

Canine meningitisSARASOTA, FL (PRWEB) July 16, 2009 — As the New Jersey Senate considers designating August as Meningitis Awareness Month, veterinary neurologist, Dr. Anne Chauvet, is encouraging dog owners to increase their awareness of canine meningitis for their dogs’ health.

Although some forms of meningitis can be fatal, in most dogs it can be treated successfully if the disease is caught early and the dog receives proper veterinary care, which is why awareness of the disease, its symptoms and treatment is important, said Dr. Anne Chauvet, founder of Veterinary Neuro Services.

“I commend the New Jersey Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee for approving legislation that would help raise awareness of this disease in humans,” Chauvet said, “and I hope that pet owners will become as aware of the symptoms and the importance of early treatment for their dogs.” The bill, SJR-65, to designate August as Meningitis Awareness Month, was introduced by Senator Sean T. Kean, R-11.

Meningitis, which is an inflammation of the membrane (meninges) that wraps the brain and spinal cord, may be caused in dogs by tick-borne diseases such as Lyme, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and ehrlichiosis or parasitic diseases like toxoplasmosis. A common cause of meningitis in dogs is a central nervous system disease known as granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis (GME,) and toy or small breeds may be susceptible to meningitis caused by immune dysfunction, Chauvet said.

Sterile (or idiopathic) meningitis is the most common form of canine meningitis, and usually occurs in young dogs a year old or less. Sterile meningitis symptoms typically are neck pain along with a fever that waxes and wanes. Other symptoms of meningitis can include changes in gait where the dog looks as though he is walking on eggshells, she said. Affected dogs may have a lot of pain everywhere except their joints, which is one way to distinguish sterile meningitis from polyarthritis and other conditions that exhibit painful joints. Neurological symptoms, such as seizures or blindness, usually are not present unless the disease is advanced.

A meningitis diagnosis can be confirmed with a spinal tap when the spinal fluid shows a very high number of white blood cells and high levels of protein. An MRI also is an important diagnostic tool that can rule out a disc herniation, infection or other problem that could cause the symptoms, Chauvet said.

Sterile meningitis is treated with high doses of steroids, such as prednisone, to suppress the immune system supported with doxycyline, an antibiotic. Sometimes more advanced treatments or combination therapies are required, such as immunoglobulin therapy or chemotherapy drugs, depending on the patient’s need. In most cases, the dog responds quickly and is back to normal in a few days, Chauvet said, but treatment must be extended over weeks and sometimes months with most dogs recovering fully.
About Veterinary Neuro Services:

Dr. Anne Chauvet, one of about 150 veterinary neurologists and neurosurgeons in North America, is the founder of Veterinary Neuro Services in Sarasota, Fla. Veterinary Neuro Services treats brain, spinal cord and neuromuscular conditions in animals and is the only strictly neurology and neurosurgery practice on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

More information is available by calling 941-929-1818 or online at


  1. Sahar Hazaie says:


    Our family is devastated after our 4 year old Benji started suddenly lost his vision. 4 months ago, in March, Benji was diagnosed with epilepsy and experienced a minimum of 3 known seizures. We work a lot and aren’t able to watch him all day, but we try our best. The first seizure was in March, second was 3 weeks later in April, and last one was in may during a vet visit. Our vet recommended we put him on phenobarbital, so we did. That served to completely wreak havoc on our baby Benji. He gained weight, suffered from a loss of energy, and was overall a completely different dog. We informed our vet of the changes and she said we should taper off the phenobarbital and put him on zonisamide. And we did. And it was a total of a few weeks he’s been solely on Z, but we still proved general energy levels and behavioral changes in Benji. We kept attributing his change in behavior to the medication, little did we know it was a much larger issue. Just two days ago Benji seemingly lost almost all vision out of nowhere. We were lucky to get him a neuro appt almost within 24 hours and they are performing MRI/Spinal Tap tests for a suspected meningitis infection. We are not only worried that this is progressive meningitis, but also worried that his vision will never be restored. Doc said something about front loading him with prednisone and cytosar to try and restore vision, but said it wasn’t certain. Can anyone give any feedback? We are so worried. After all, our baby is such a young pup full of life and we are shocked from this recent timeline.

    • isak says:

      I’m so sorry about Benji’s health problems, but I don’t know the answer. Maybe someone else reading this does? Did you ask your vet her opinion about this kind of treatment just for her input?

  2. Adam Clarges says:

    My golden retriever was diagnosed with SRMA at 8 months and was partially paralysed in her rear legs. After 8 months on steroids she has recovered to about 90-95% . I was wondering if anyone has found that the meningitis has left a slight disability in their dog. Mine appears to be slightly unbalanced at times and drags/ scuffs her two middle toe nails on both legs. I have booked her in for a MRI more to make sure there isn’t anything else going on.

  3. Chandra says:

    Both of our poms came down with meningitis. Our 9 month old puppy and 10 year old. Cytosar treatments every 4 weeks for the older pom that was having light seizures and one treatment for the puppy that could only gator roll. Both vets thought she had a bad back which later progressed to head tilt and then ‘gator roll’ (last two within hours). Went to a neuro doc when the puppy went down. She did well with one treatment of Cytosar. But MRI showed invasive inflammation/damage so she has some balance problems in that she’s easily bumped over…housebreaking is non-existent as the prednisone makes her potty every 20 min. But she has responded amazingly to the one treatment, atopica and prednisone. The older dog has doubled her weight and now we are just as worried about side effects. Backing the prednisone back and cytosar treatments every four weeks but no changes in neuro. Seizures are controlled with keppra. Are there home based meds other than the atopica that would treat as well as the cytosar? It’s a long drive (2hrs) to and from the specialist every four weeks. The treatment takes about 4-6 hours. Her face seems puffy after the chemo IV too.

    • isak says:

      I am so sorry about the issues you are experiencing. I don’t know enough to answer your questions about a home-based med alternative to the cytosar treatments. That treatment is pretty heavy duty, so I’m not sure what alternative there may be. If you have a holistic vet in the area (or even in the area where the treatments are done), you might get their input.

      Do the doctors say how many treatments she will need? Have you asked them about the puffiness in her face?

      Atopica is generally for allergic dermatitis. How does that fit in with the treatments?

      I’m sorry I am not more helpful. Our best to your babies.

  4. linda sonsthagen says:

    The reason prednisone works for SRMA is because suppression of the immune system stops the inflamation. Vaccines stimulate the immune system. Therefore a stimulated immune system of a dog with SRMA will increase inflamation, resulting in symptoms of SRMA to manifest…very simple. A dog with diagnosed SRMA should not receive any vaccines.

  5. Betty says:

    My little Pom died yesterday morning after what we thought was a pinched nerve in her back is what the Vet told us on the initial visit put her on pain meds and anti inflammatory brought her home and she only want to sleep if we would touch her she would yelp in pain she stopped eating unless I hand feed her had to give her water with a syring took her back to vet who wanted to take her home overnight to monitor her symptoms …. she called me yesterday morning to tell me she passed early that morning she thinks it was meningitis…. we are heartbroken

    • isak says:

      Wow, I am so, so sorry. I can imagine the shock you must be in thinking it was a pinched nerve, then losing her to something else. Those wee ones certainly fill a big place in our hearts and our homes. Hugs to you.

  6. zhanna says:

    I have a Yorkie who was diagnosed with SRMA last December. She’s been doing well on prednisone and is now on a very low dose. But now, I want to move to Europe for a year and she would come with me. The problem is that she would have to have a rabies vaccination. Her neuro has indicated I can increase the pred for a few days before and after the vaccine but I’m still worried that the vaccine would stimulate her immune system to the point where the meningitis would no longer be under control. She is more important to me than a year in Europe and if giving her the vaccine is going to put her health at risk, I will cancel the move. I’m still communicating with her neuro on this issue, but would like to understand more about how stimulating the immune system with the rabies vaccine affects a dog being treated for meningitis with prednisone.

    • isak says:

      Your question is beyond our scope of knowledge. I’m sorry. I wonder if there could be an allowance made in her case. Perhaps via a rabies antibody titer. According to PetMD:

      Titers are useful in legal and regulatory settings (for travel, for example) to determine whether an animal has ever received a vaccine for a disease like rabies. Titers do NOT, however, denote protection against a given disease.

      Google “rabies titer test for pet transport” for more info. In some cases, it may help reduce or eliminate quarantine at your destination.

      Will your pup be able to fly in the cabin with you or will she be underneath? If she is underneath, the stress of the separation and the time involved in the travel could affect her immune system as well. Perhaps your vet can provide more info about this.

  7. Carol says:

    I took my healthy black and tan coonhound (Piper) in for a spay when she was six months. She came home with Carprofen for pain and did fine for 48-72 hours until she started crying out in pain every time she moved. At first we thought it was just her neck and the vet added Tramadol and a muscle relaxer to the Carprofen. However, soon it looked like it hurt her to move her back legs and/or front legs. After almost a full week of pain the vet took her off Carprofen and put her on Gabapentin in preparation to start Prednisone. At the same time we were given a possible diagnosis of menigitis, possibly sterile menigitis. Within about 48 hours of going off Carprofen and 24 hours of going on the antibiotics for the menigitis Piper stopped screaming out in pain, started eating and became more active.

    Our vet isn’t sure exactly what was wrong with her, but I found some information on the internet that said sterile menigitis can be caused by NSAID drugs. Carprofen is an NSAID. Piper showed improvement within 48 hrs of of her last dose with pain symptoms continuing to decrease as the hours passed. I did not end up giving her the prednisone because Piper was doing so well. I suggested the NSAID as a possible reason for Piper’s pain/meningitis and the vet said she thought it would take several weeks for the pain to subside if it was the NSAID. However, I have found another article where it said improvement of symptoms can occur within 48-72 hours – however both articles referred to people not dogs. I think the Carprofen caused my puppy to get sterile meningitis. I am curious of your thoughts on the matter.

    • isak says:

      That’s really beyond my knowledge scope, but I think you are on the right track. Especially because her symptoms stopped when the NSAIDs were discontinued. One possible side effect of NSAIDs is muscular and/or joint pain (arthralgia/myalgia), so it’s possible that Piper was experiencing a serious reaction to the meds. Once the offending meds where stopped, the pain began to subside.

      I’m so happy she is doing better and applaud you for looking into what was happening with her.

  8. Mary Lou Stabile says:

    my 12 week old puppy was diagnosed with SRMA. the neurologist wants me to get his last parvo/distemper shot that he is due, and also his rabies after that. i am not comfortable with this after all i have read, but also don’t want him unprotected. he has had 3 of his puppy shots, his symptoms developed about a week after the 3rd was administered. any thoughts??

    • isak says:

      I’m sorry to hear of your pup’s diagnosis. He’s already had 3 sets of shots by 12 weeks? The general schedule is:

      Puppy Vaccination Schedule
      Puppy’s Age Recommended Vaccinations
      6 – 8 weeks Distemper, measles, parainfluenza
      10 – 12 weeks DHPP (vaccines for distemper, adenovirus [hepatitis], parainfluenza, and parvovirus)
      12 – 24 weeks Rabies
      14 – 16 weeks DHPP

      I think the best course of action is to explain your concerns to your vet, tell the vet about what you have read and see if it might be better to wait a bit on the vaccinations. I’m not sure what course of action they will take with your puppy, but will the meds they prescribe for the SRMA have any interactions with the vaccines? That could be a lot to put on a young dog.

  9. Angela says:

    hi I have a dog his name is Moose, I think he probally has minigitis,all 4 of his limbs are affectected his head tilted, falls backwards,amongst other things,I am on disability and cant afford to take him to neurologist,how long can you dog live if you cant afford medications or whatever he needs?Moose is about year old

    • isak says:

      What a cute name. That’s not something I can tell you, but you should have a vet check Moose out in the event it is just a treatable infection or a slipped disc or other issue. The symptoms you describe could be other things.

  10. Debbie campbell says:

    My 3 yr old staffy pacco was normal bouncy dog loved going for walks wuth his brother keizer .he went bed one nite n he fel off my bed but seemed okay over the nxt few days he seemed off as if he just cudnt b botherf to move n stayed asleep most the day the nxt morning he seemed to b titling his head a little n walking into things his eyes seemed glazed over I took him the vets..the nurse went for another vet who was eye specialist… he took his temp looked in his ears n looking in his eyes so close as if he was touching the eyeball itself..he has been blind now since that day…I thort he was gunna say he’s had a stroke he cud nockt me over with a feather wen he sed meningitis..I had never hurd ov it until then I asked wether he wud recover and he sed that some do but unfortunatly some dont .. he gave him anti biotics n steriods 25mg in total a day ..he been unwel for 4 weeks now seemed to pick up but now like he has nothing left in him..he hasnt ate food for a week and half n am giving him liquids through a srynge..he has lost so much weight has no energy obbiously with no food and been poorly ..he sways alot wen he manages to walk ..and last few nights he has been restless not sleeping n walkkng round pushong his head against things n doin a barky/cry goin in his normal circles again heart is breaking goin to bed one nite with a normal healthy dog to getting up nxt day to a total diffrent dog he keeps trying to be sick but hasn’t ate so has nothing to bring up apart from yellow and somtimes brown bile..its so pittiful not been able to help ..everyone says I shud get him put to sleep but he was getting better so refused but dont know wether it wud b kinder thing to do at this stage ..I seemed to talk myself out ov it telling myself he gunna come threw right at the end n get better x
    Sorry foe the long rant I have just came across this page n have been rrading so many happy and sad stories just wanted a bit ov advice if anyone cud thankyou

    • isak says:

      I am so sorry to hear your story. Is he still on his meds? If you are force feeding him you need to be sure you are feeding him the correct amount. If he was eating a can of food per day before, he will need a can of food per day now. Same for water. Generally, a healthy dog should drink between ½ and 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight each day. If you are doing these amounts and seeing improvement, maybe he will pull through, though they don’t often return to exactly who they were.

      Administering liquids via sub-q (under the skin) will bypass the stomach and usually result in less loss via vomiting.

      You might consider a second opinion from a different vet for a different perspective. They can certainly provide you better info based on an actual exam.

      Best to you both. I certainly understand how your heart hurts.

  11. Meaghan says:

    Hi isak,

    Thank you for your prompt reply! And I apologize for the delay in mine.

    Pip’s flare ups usually subside after a few days. The pain medication, especially the Rimydal and Gabapentin help with the pain, and as the flare up passes I take her off the medication and she returns back to her normal, able self. In other words, the flare up passes on its own but the pain medications help make that process less painful! I’m not sure if Johns Hopkins tested for meningitis – I will have to follow up with them! I sure hope that they did some type of blood testing with my $2,000! However, if they did and that test came back positive, I sure hope that’s something they would have mentioned when I picked her up.

    Yesterday, she had a flare up and I was able to get her into our new vet’s office so she could see the symptoms in person. The good news is that the vet no longer thinks it’s bacterial because, from my understanding, bacterial infections typically get progressively worse from the start. Since Pip’s flare ups come and go, the vet does not think that it’s meningitis or discospondalytis. That’s the good news! The bad news is that she’s still unsure of what it could be.

    I was also curious if it could be something as simple as a pinched nerve – something that my previous vet immediately dismissed. Our new vet said that is something to consider, especially because her symptoms seem to work themselves out after a few days. She also said that it’s possible that Pip did have discospondalytis, and it was treated with the antibiotics she was on, and that these flare ups are just a residual symptom of that previous infection. She said it could also be an autoimmune disease – it’s possible something becomes agitated in Pip’s neck and her body attacks the area. She is going to do some research about non-bacterial infections that could result in Pip’s symptoms.

    For now, the vet said to give her the anti-inflammatory medicine for 5 days straight, regardless of whether the flare up subsides before then, and no exercise (poor girl is going stir crazy!). If she worsens (which usually, as I mentioned, she is fine in a few days time – in fact she’s better already today!), the vet recommended further testing/referring to a specialist at that point. The vet also said this could just be something that stays with Pip the rest of her life and will be treated on an as-need basis.

    Thank you, again isak!!! I will continue to keep you updated.


    • isak says:

      Thanks for the update. Sounds like you have found a great vet. It speaks volumes that she will do further research.

      I agree that it could be something as simple as a pinched nerve or maybe even a muscle strain from some weird twist she does sometimes. Hopefully, your vet can prescribe some anti-inflammatories to have on hand for future episodes. Even if it’s just a couple to get started with.

      Do keep us posted!

    • isak says:

      Thanks for the update. Sounds like you have found a great vet. It speaks volumes that she will do further research.

      I agree that it could be something as simple as a pinched nerve or maybe even a muscle strain from some weird twist she does sometimes. Hopefully, your vet can prescribe some anti-inflammatories to have on hand for future episodes. Even if it’s just a couple to get started with.

      Do keep us posted!

  12. Meaghan says:

    Hi isak,

    I have a 3 year old lab/german shepherd/chow mix named Pip. About a year and a half ago she began presenting the following symptoms: stiff neck, inability to turn head to the right, walks with head very low/cannot lift up, sometimes effects her right arm and causes a limp. Her movement is very limited during these episodes and the pain is very obvious. I took her to two different vets that both said they thought she may have discospondalytis. Have you heard of this? They recommended I take her to a neurologist. I took her to a neurologist who took her to Johns Hopkins in Baltimore to have an MRI with biopsy, however, the MRI showed no signs of active bacteria between her spinal discs, so they were unable to perform the biopsy. Unfortunately and ultimately, the test came back inconclusive ($2000 later).

    The thing about Pip’s symptoms is that they come and go. I call them “flare ups”. Every couple of months she has a flare up. I have treated her with several pain medications prescribed by her vet, including Tramadol, Gabopentin, Rimadyl, which sometimes work and sometimes don’t. Her flare ups last anywhere from a day to a week. I treat with pain meds and I hope for quick passing.

    I have since moved and changed vets. My current, and third, vet thinks this could be meningitis. She has not had a flare up since we moved, however, this vet told me to bring her in for an exam during her next flare up. I was just wondering if you had any thoughts.

    Thank you.

    • isak says:

      Wow, what a challenge! It’s beyond my knowledge. There are two recommendations I would offer:

      • If there is a veterinary college nearby, see if you can get Pip in there for a workup and a diagnosis. It may cost some money, but it may be worth starting there rather than ending up there.
      • See if you can find a holistic vet and get an opinion. They often come from the approach of helping a body heal itself.

      Discospondalytis can be caused by an infection in another part of the body that enters the bloodstream and eventually settles in the spine — between her spinal discs. Here’s a good layman’s article about it. Because they found no bacteria between her discs at Johns Hopkins, I think it may not be discospondalytis.

      In your description of the symptoms, everything you mention seems to center in the neck region, especially with regard to the right side — can’t turn her head to the right, front right leg is sometimes stiff. Seems that if her neck hurts enough, regardless of which side, she will not be able comfortably lift her head. The flareups that last just a day — is that because the flareup subsided after a day or because the pain meds worked? Is it always one particular pain med — like Gabopentin — that she has been given on the short flareups? The pain meds work differently. Gabopentin works on nerve pain. So I’m wondering if there is something like a nerve that gets pinched now and then. From your description, this seems like an occasional thing and not a progressive deterioration. That’s what sticks in my head.

      Did the MRI at Johns Hopkins include testing for meningitis?

      This is really beyond me. I’m sorry. But please let us know what you do and what you find out.

  13. cyndi gorkiewicz says:

    My Bella, a 5 year old american eskimo has been having problems for about a month and a half now. It started with vestibular symptoms and she was treated with prednisone and got better for about two weeks. It then turned into pain and screaming when she tried to eat with sensitivity to touch. They put her on gambapetin and 5 prednsione two times a day for a week to be reduced to 2.5 in a couple days. Again, she got better with only head shaking occurring since and a small round of diarhea which taking her off gambapetin and pepcid ac addresssed. I do not have the finances for mri or ct scan which they said would not work now because of the possibility of false readings due to prednisone. Just hoping that if it is steroid responsive meningitis that it will go away. How often is there success with the continued prednisone in that meningitis will resolve? I realize that if it is a tumor only the aggressive treatment will take care of it and sadly would not be able to do that. Although i am also confused on whether meningitis is also going to give a sad outcome and i basically just have her on hospice right now. She has not had seizures that i know of and just has slight imbalance to the right.

    • isak says:

      Vestibular disease is beyond the scope of what we discuss here, but here are a few thoughts gleaned from other sources (1 | 2).

      There are two types: peripheral or central. If Bella has the much more common peripheral form of the condition, an otoscope will be used to look deep into her ear. The inner ear is something you cannot see during an exam because the eardrum obscures the view to the inner ear. The eardrum is like a closed door that sits in front of the middle and inner ear. However, if there is a nasty looking outer ear and an inflamed eardrum, there is a chance that inner ear disease could be present as well. This can be very painful and will be fairly obvious if you massage Bella’s face below her ears and moving downward toward her jaw.

      Sometimes X-rays are needed. Blood tests, culture and sensitivity, and cytology are all required to help eliminate other potential causes of specific symptoms.

      If the condition is determined to be central vestibular disease, usually an MRI or CT scan, may be needed to identify the root cause.

      If clinical signs are mild, pets can often be managed at home with over-the-counter meclizine (for the feelings of “motion sickness” they experience).

      A very loose rule of thumb: If there is gradual or complete improvement within 72 hours, it is likely idiopathic vestibular disease and additional diagnostic testing is not necessary. If there is no improvement or there is a progression of signs, it is likely something much more serious, such as a tumor, and an MRI would be recommended to reach a definitive diagnosis. With idiopathic vestibular disease, marked improvement is usually evident in this time frame, with the pet returning to normal in 7 to 14 days (although in some dogs, a head tilt will still persist).

      Fortunately, the most common form of canine vestibular disease – the peripheral form – in most cases improves quickly, once the underlying cause is addressed and symptoms of vertigo are managed with supportive care.

      You might consider getting a second opinion as well.

  14. Quinn says:

    Our sweet 6 year old Benji baby showed NO signs of initial sickness. In fact, I left for dinner, came back two hours later, and he was a different dog. He didn’t want to go outside, seemed confused, and started licking my husbands feet uncontrollably. He started smelling everything in the house and quickly stopped responding to his name. I had hope in the morning because he ate a big meal but still took him to the vet to get checked out. They did blood work and he had a spike in his liver enzymes. He also had unusual reaction to light and darkness. Vet recommended we see a neurologist but we could not get an appointment until 9:00 the next morning. This is so upsetting to me because he got SO much worse that night. Vocalizing, circling, and panting the entire night. We tried to get him to lay down but his brain would not let him. At the hospital the next morning, the neurologist said (because of his behavior) it was most likely meningitis. She put him on a steroid and we went home. Things did not improve. Now he was up for 2’days with no food or water (we did get him fluid shots but he would not drink). Vocalizing got worse and now he would look for corners to stand in all day. He also started losing control of his bladder. I would also like to note that we asked the vet for a sedative to help him but she kept refusing to give us one because she wanted to “see if the treatment was working”. well, steroids were not working so we took him back again and they offered chemo. We were scared but felt we had no choice. We were completely shocked and desperate for anything to work. He stayed at the hospital that day and they gave him mannitol and chemo (plus a mild sedative, which makes me so mad because they would not give us one to help him sleep at home) When we picked him up he was in really bad shape. Tounge hanging out, curled in a ball, unable to stand or walk. We took him home and held him. When he woke up, he tried to stand and walk but couldn’t. He peed on the floor and collapsed. Then the seizures started. They lasted 30 seconds and came back every minute. Large paddling movements. It was beyond devastating to have this result come from the last remaining vet option of chemo. Did the chemo make him worse? We called the hospital and the vet on call started talking about his quality of life. I couldn’t believe it. My baby, my best friend, was fine a few days ago. He was active, funny, and healthy looking. How could this be? We took him back to the hospital and they gave us the option of a two day IV in hospital stay for seizure medication (they wouldn’t let us give him meds at home because they were worried about him choking) or euthanizing him. The IV treatment had no guarantee of recovery. It was the absolute hardest decision of our lives but we put him to sleep. The hospital vet said she would have done the same thing if it was her dog. It’s been two months and I still think about this all day and night.
    Is there something we missed? Was it from his recent vaccinations (3 vaccines in one day) from the prior week? Was it because he has anaplasmosis? Which the vets were not too concerned about for the last year. They told us to just watch it.
    Would an antibiotic have saved him? It happened so quickly…… We
    Miss him so much….. He was the most amazing dog. Once in a life time companion.

    • isak says:

      I am so, so sorry and I completely understand how you are second guessing yourself. I still do it years after having one of my dogs put to sleep, my very favoritest dog. But there is no point because all the second guessing and all the wishing will not change a thing. It will only make your heart hurt worse. You did your very best and you have to remember to remind yourself of that.

      What really happened? I cannot say. I just don’t know. Somehow find a way to be happy with the 6 years you shared with your baby and try to forget the last few days of his life. You did your best and you know you did. What you truly wanted was just not meant to be. And that really, really sucks.

      As I wipe tears from my eyes, I send big hugs to you.

  15. Margie Early says:

    After an xray it showed a mineralized disc and my Cockapoo was diagnosed with IVDD. Also thought to have spinal meningitis but couldnt afford the spinal tap, so we treated w 10 mg a day for 2 weeks (much improvement). After tapering to 5 mg every other day, the “hunch walk” came back so I give him 5 mg every day. There was some improvement but the “hunch walk” is still there at times during the day. Was told that blood work would be an alternative to the spinal to determine if and what kind of meningitis so the proper antibiotics could be used. He also has food and outdoor allergies and was given monthly shots which i have stopped for now. At this point, I’m wondering if I’m going to spend alot more money doing tests when I should really just try to find the money for a spinal tap. Also, I had a spinal tap once and got those debilitating headaches and had to have a blood patch. Could that happen in a dog after a spinal? Lastly, I did check into pet insurance and preexisting conditions aren’t covered. Thanks for any info you can share.

    • isak says:

      Lots of questions. How old is your Cockapoo? What is the medication they prescribed for your dog?

      Why are they thinking spinal meningitis? Was there something specific that triggered that thought or are they just exploring it as a “possibility?”

      Does he jump up on the furniture — your bed or your couch? If so, this could be what is causing the pain/hunch walk to return. Dogs receiving anti-inflammatory or pain medications may act as if their pain has subsided, when in fact the medication is only masking their symptoms. When this happens, many well-meaning owners see what they mistakenly think is a marked improvement in their dog’s physical condition. If he likes to be on the furniture, you should look at adding some steps to the furniture. He needs to rest his vertebrae from jolts and such.

      As for the food allergies, have you tried to find a high quality grain-free food for him? If you could find a food that works for him, that will go a long way to helping with his outdoor allergies.

  16. matt nannery says:

    join this group on facebook. we will try to help you. we are all gme pet parents. there are three forms of gme: brain, spinal chord and optic nerve. your dog has the optic nerve form and probably the spinal form also as she has trouble walking. the pred, while debilitating long term, is the key drug to reduce the inflammation eonough so that function can return.

  17. Melissa says:

    This week our 6 year old Vizsla out of nowhere was unable to walk, started walking in to walls and was walking in circles. I took her to see a neurologist and they did an MRI and found swelling in her brain. They were unable to do the spinal tap due to the swelling but said she has meningitis. She is on Prednisone, Doxycycline and now Fluconazole and Keppra due to seizures she had after the MRI. She doesn’t seem to be showing improvement and we are having to carry her outside to use the bathroom as she can’t walk because her left side won’t hold her up and all the medication makes her very drowsy. They seem to think she may have fungal meningitis and that’s why the Fluconazole was started, we get our results on Monday. She’s not very responsive to us and can’t see out of her left eye. What can we expect from this? Does it take weeks for the medication to work? Has anyone ever gone through this and have any advice for us? We are trying anything we can to help her.

  18. Annie says:

    My vet tested for Addison’s when my Boxer first got sick at 9 months. No Addison’s, but when he showed similar symptoms of neck pain three months later he was diagnosed with sterile meningitis by a neurologist. He relapsed the day after we discontinued prednisone five months after starting it. After another 6 month treatment of tapered Prednisone, he relapsed a couple weeks later after being neutered. He had three more relapses.

    They tried combining Imuran, but that didn’t work for him. They did a spinal tap when he was a month into his last relapse, and on high doses of pred.

    It was extremely unusual for him to relapse that often, but the teaching hospital still said to try to get him off medication. Thankfully, he is off medicine, and has had no relapses in over a year. Maybe his immune system just weaker with age. I do know several of the dogs in his line that have had the disease.

    • isak says:

      He is so lucky to have you taking such care of him. What a journey he has had so far. I hope it is all clear sailing from here on.

  19. Taylor says:

    Hi all,
    Our English springer spaniel, at 5 months old, fell so ill within 24 hours that the er vets wanted us to euthanize her no less than 6 times. I held off bc I held onto the only thing I had left: hope. It turns out she has eosinophilic meningitis. After spinal tap fluid was sent to u of California, they ruled out everything. They were left with a fungus of unknown origin. After prednisone and anti fungal (now for 6 weeks), she has made significant progress, but remains lethargic. She’s scared to swim. She won’t retrieve anymore. She only last week started wagging her tail again. I don’t know if she will ever regain the zest for life and passion for all things outdoors and playing again. It’s super sad bc she was soooo active and soooo smart. The doctors have said they have never seen this in their combined 120 years of practice. So there’s no real known outcome. Has anyone had an experience like this and know whether the brain functions come back? Thank you so much

  20. chhuden bhutia says:

    my dog is feezing from mouth and her body becomes rigid and she just gave birth to 4 babies its just 5 days . and I am not getting what kind of disease is that can anybody reply to my comment ??

    • isak says:

      Low Calcium Levels: Female dog after delivery tend to be become thin and skinny, which can always be resolved by feeding them with high quality dog food. However, a more serious issue associated with bitches post delivery is the disturbance in calcium levels. Bitches after giving birth show a drop in calcium levels that goes well below the normal range. As calcium plays a crucial role in regulating the brain’s electrical activity, a sudden dip in calcium levels can disrupt the brain function, eventually leading to seizures.

  21. CHAITALI NANDI says:

    Hi I live in india, My dog is a five year old,female golden retriever. She is suffering from pseudo pregnancy for the third time . The vet has said that she will not be able to concieve due to weak hind legs . We did not get her uterus removed as friends of the family advised that it would make her age and that she would be ok.
    Since 10 days now her behaviour has changed, exceedingly lethargic, last week she was completely off , loss of appetite , and she would just fall not even sit, whining at night and would go into dark corners and hide.
    she was on drips on friday and saturday .We again took her to the vet yesterday where the vet said it is meningitis so she was sedated the entire day and was also on drips.
    Last night she was asleep ,she woke up at 5 am, tried to wake up she couldnt so she just urinated on herself. ate meat, drank water she tried to walk but her hind legs were very weak.
    she is at the vet again and on drips.
    I am extremely worried

  22. Elizabeth says:

    My dog was recently diagnosed with srma. He just started back on prednisone, previously had done a full month from January to February when his symptoms started. The vet has done a spinal tap and feels strongly about the diagnosis. His WBC in the fluid were 19.. Vet feels it is a mild case. However I have read a lot about relapse. Are there any resources out there for preventing relapse/supportive diets to their immuno compromised systems?

    • isak says:

      Your vet may be the best source for info because he knows your dog the best. The prognosis is excellent if the disease is treated early and aggressively.

  23. Michelle says:

    My Chi, 9 1/2 years old and mid november 2014 her feet were peeling and and she was acting like they were sore, and she has also had severe infections in her teeth and was on a periodic treatment of amoxicillin for her teeth. It had been a couple months without antibiotics, and when her feet showed an issue I took her into the vets. She was seen, given abottle of tramadol abd I was told to give her 2 to 3 quarters of a 50 mg a day, and 75 mg of clindamycin a day. Within a couple days she was acting out of it, not eating and lethargic. So first appointment 17 nov, 2nd appointment 24th nov went back and I had stopped both meds on 20th but vet said stop tramadol and put back on clindamycin at 1/2 1st recommend dose. Still getting worse I took her back nov 31st. Within this time Addison ruled out and cbc showed white blood cells kept rising, she was tested weekly and none of our dogs never seized before so we didn’t know if she presented mild ones but in dec she had fullmon seizure was on right side jerking in a circle. Took her to an emergency vet 99.00 and no answers. Our vet finally said may be neurological, we had no money but on Christmas Day someone helped with 320.00 and we took her to a vet med center teaching hospital and after reading about herniated brain we opted for pred. Treatment she is on 2.5 mgv2 times a day, so when someone helped get an MRI paid for this week we were told meningitis finally, and then spinal basically ruled out bacterial and anything that they believe is treatable and left her on prednisone and now we don’t know what to do to prolong and need to know if there id something less harsh than prednisone. That can help!

    • isak says:

      You may get a second opinion, but I would recommend talking with a holistic vet who may recommend a change in diet and some herbs. I am a firm believer that diet and environment make a huge difference.

      I have heard people say that prednisone has made a big difference in their dogs. One woman’s 4-year old Shih Tzus was on prednisone for 7 months before they started tapering it off and has seen a big improvement that she attributes to the drug. However, each dog responds differently.

      As a note, I have also read in several places that a dog on prednisone should not be vaccinated during the time they are on the drug.

      Given the infected teeth, is she also anemic? If so, that could be affecting her, too.

  24. Doris Harrison says:

    Does anyone know what the cost is for a spialmengitise test or spinal tap for my dog

  25. Elizabeth says:

    Hi there- about 3 weeks ago we noticed our dog was not himself, only wanted to lay around. The vet pointed out that he had neck pain when looking down. He had high white blood cells and globulin, but he tested negative for lymes. Mild antibiotics and tramadol for a week and he bounced back quickly. Then a week later he had a seizure and fell out of bed. His neck pain worsened. He did not have a fever when we visited the vet this time. They put him on prednisone, doxycycline,amoxicillin , tramadol and muscle relaxers. He got much better in a week so we decreased the pred. He bent his head a certain way and then tensed up again. We can’t seem to get him to make a full recovery although he shows increments of improvement each week.. They still have not ruled out something like meningitis and I’m so worried it will be too late for him. We aren’t seeing any other neurological symptoms.. Just the neck pain when he looks down specifically. Any thoughts appreciated.

    • isak says:

      It’s hard to say not seeing your dog. Have you considered getting a second opinion from an unrelated vet?

      Has he done anything recently where he may have injured his neck? Slipped, run into something, tumbled wrong, etc? The treatments you described will relieve his pain — Tramadol & muscle relaxers — which might account for why he is feeling better. As long as the symptoms are masked, he seems okay. Will he let you massage his neck? If so, give that a try a couple times a day.

      Only your vet can make the diagnosis for meningitis, but it doesn’t seem like a big worry to them yet. However, you still might consider a second opinion. Each vet sees things differently.

  26. Kate reeves says:

    Hello; we live in Texas. One week ago today January 3,my brothers 1 1/2 year old black lab ‘Rio’ began looking very lethargic and depressed. By January 5, we took him to the ER, they initially though he has a tick disease, since we were out in the country at the time and he had been duck hunting recently. they gave him some antibiotics and sent us home. On Jan. 6 when we came home in the evening we noticed that his body was very tense and he couldnt stand on his own, nor get up. So we took him to our normal vet, he thought that he had a severe cold and was severely dehyddrated; so he gave him some fluids and antibiotics and sent him home that evening. The next day; Jan 7 he seemed to worsen so he was taken to the ER again where they have specialists, he was diagnosed with Meningitis. They immedetly began giving him antibiotics, doxyclcline, monotoring his heart rate, pulse etc. He has perked up drastically since this began, his appetite is back, his heart rate has regulated and he acknowledges us when we go to see him. The only downfall is that his back legs are sill not yesterday Jan 9 they started chemo treatments, today he is much more lively, he eating good, but still no movement in the back legs. When we pinch his bottom he does not seem to even know that we are doing it. But we did see his tail slightly move last night. He does try his hardest to stand up when we arrive and his front legs are fully functioning. My question is, have you ever heard of these types of symptoms lessening? Because of his response to us and he seems to eat better when we feed him, we are taking him home Monday am. We are hopeful that seeing his friends and being in a more comfortable enviroment will help lift his spirits. Do you have any suggestions on future treatment or therapy? We have never ever dealt with anything even close to this so any suggestions, advice, expectations would be more than welcome!! Please pray that Rio continues to get better. His presence in our family had been such a joy! My brother who is 19 trained him himself and I know his heart is greatly hurting with the situation he is faced…Thank you in advance for any and all information. God bless you all and your furbabies!

    • isak says:

      Not knowing exactly what caused his problem, I can only say that he may improve over time.You will have to go with what your vets say because they are there with him.

      I had a dog who experienced something similar many years ago and the cause was that he went swimming in a lake during the winter and the coldness of the water affected him in a similar way. He just loved swimming no matter what the weather was. He came through it okay. I think it is a good sign that your dog is responding and that slight wag of his tail sounds like the signal is getting through. Have they ruled out any kind of pinched nerve?

      Keep me posted and keep him warm. I think bringing him home will certainly make him feel better than being in the clinic. Best to Rio.

  27. James Kelly says:

    He is a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever.

    He takes 25 mg once per day.

    The only time we will reduce the dosage is when he is being weaned off the medication.

    He ran around outside like a puppy this morning, full of energy and mischievousness..what difference from a few short days ago…

    He will have a blood tests to monitor his white blood celll count…which was “through the roof” prior to the diagnosis.

    I just read about the ability to get an exemption opportunity on line as well and we will definitely do this for the future …no more vaccines for our dog.

    • isak says:

      Glad to hear he is doing so well. There are some precautions you can take to minimize any side effects from the prednisone. These would include, if possible, dose every other day; give the drug in the morning when it will better fit in with the bodies own natural rhythm it’s own steroids; and finally, give the minimum effective dose. Best to you both!

  28. James Kelly says:

    My Toller is 4 months old and 5 days after his 1 st rabies shot be became lethargic, sore all over, high fever and had a runny nose. The vet thought it was Lime disease but after blood tests this was ruled out.
    We spoke to our breeder who said it was a reaction to the rabies shot and that our boy probably had spinal meningitis. We passed on the spinal tap for 100% confirmation ( it cost about $ 900.00 bucks) and had him treated with prednisone and some antibiotics.

    Within 24 hours he went from severe pain and rarely moving to running around and having fun again.
    The neurologist says he should stay on the Prednisone for 3-5 months…but we worry about the side affects on a young, growing puppy.

    We were shocked that the rabies shot could have such an affect on our boy and are devastated by what happened…and worried sick……for the future……BE AWARE…some dogs are sussceptible to this!

    • isak says:

      Thanks for sharing this! And I am happy your pup is on the road to recovery. What kind of puppy do you have?

      Reactions to rabies vaccinations can occur even months after the vaccination has been administered, so perhaps that is why the timeframe for the prednisone is so long, but it is a bit worrisome given his young age.

      Is the dosage for the prednisone reductive, as in is it being reduced over that time period? And there is a big difference between 3 and 5 months. How will they decide?

      BTW, some states/cities exempt reaction-prone pets from rabies vaccination. If your pet only leaves the house on a leash, is highly unlikely to bite, if you do not live in an endemic rabies-prone area, this may be a good alternative for you.

  29. Andrea says:

    My 1 year old boston terrier, Gus, was diagnosed with meningitis on February 10, 2014. Luckily for me I work at a veterinary specialty hospital and took him in immediately. It first began with yelps of pain when anything came near his face, I took him to our regular vet and was described previcox for neck pain. 3 days later, on a Monday, I woke up and realized Gus couldn’t walk a straight line and seemed very confused. My husband immediately said “something isn’t right, take him to work with you.”
    I loaded my boy in the car and I didn’t realize the extreme voyage I was about to embark on with him. When I got him to my work, the Critical Care vet took him back and realized he couldn’t walk (circling to the right) and he couldn’t see out of his right eye. Everyone was “preparing” me to have to make an emotional decision that I wasn’t ready for. Instead I moved forward with an MRI to confirm inflammation in the brain and spinal cord. The results came back and we’re not good, he had major inflammation. Next was figuring out what caused it or deciding to not go further. Luckily, one of the internal medicine doctors talked with me and convinced me that at 1 year old Gus deserved at least a chance- I couldn’t have agreed more. We did a spinal tap and started Gus on antibiotics, anti fungal, and steroid medication until we got test results from the CSF. When we got the results they were strange, Gus had an overload of eosinophils which are the cells that attack during an allergic reaction. The cause of which we didn’t know, Gus’ body had attacked itself as if he was allergic to his own brain/spinal cord. After 2.5 days in intensive care Gus was taken off IV fluids and able to go home.

    After 5 months I’m happy to say that Gus is almost off his prednisone with no major side effects other than an extreme appetite! He is showing no neurologic symptoms this far. I am blessed to have been able to care for him as he needed and to of worked in a place that knew what to do. He’s such an important piece of our lives and we love him so dearly.

    I wish there was more awareness about meningitis in dogs. People need to know it is treatable with a little work! I would not wish this on anybody.

  30. Danna says:

    5 days ago, Tuesday, we noticed our English Bulldog Dozer having pain to his jaws, to the point where he couldn’t open it. We took him to the vet. They checked him over, and found that he had a slight gum infection. We picked him up, and noticed that he couldn’t get up and had nystagmus, which we thought was due to the anesthesia, The next day, he was starting to be a bit better. Still wobbly with nystagmus, but he can now stand. He passed urine and had a bowel movement. We took him back to the vet, and the vet says the anesthesia is just taking a while to exit his body. After the visit to the vet, we went to my in laws where Dozer ate and hung out with the rest of the family. We took him back home, he had his dinner and meds, had a few episodes of urinary incontinence and once of his bowel. He fell asleep at 7:30 PM. At 11:30 PM, we tried to wake him up to go pee. He wasn’t waking up, and we thought it was because he was too tired. He was breating fine, and his pulse was ok. At 2 AM, my husband woke up and Dozer was unresponsive, stiff and breathing heavily. We rushed him to the emergency, and he was in a coma. He stayed there overnight until the neurologist saw him in the morning. After the consultation, we were told that Dozer could either have a brain tumour or meningits. He did the CT scan first, and found that Dozer had a left ear infection, which was not detectable unless a scan was done as it was behind his ear drum. The vet got rid of the infection by flushing Dozer’s ear. Then he did the spinal tap, and the colour and overall appearance of the CSF was consistent with meningoencephalitis. He was started on 3 types of antibiotics right away. That was at 4:30 PM, Wednesday. I called for an update at 6:30 PM, and was told that Dozer’s right eye has now started to react to light. He’s been making a bit of progress. On Thursday, we went to visit him, and he started twitching his eyes and ears, and was starting to kick back when his paws were pinched. Yesterday, they brought him to the visiting room for us to see him, and we were surprised to witness his right eye wide open and his eyelid moving spontaneously. His eye could only look straight; it doesn’t follow u. As soon as he heard us, he was making all these weird noises like he recognizes the voices. He was also trying to get up. His back legs were moving like crazy. He was able to move his front legs, too, but not as much. We tried to put some wet food on his tongue, and he tried to lick it a few times. He’s still in a coma though. At that point, he’s been on the antibiotics for just 2 whole days. I just called the vet, and they said that Dozer has had his temperature fluctuate, so they’ve surrounded him with ice packs. Also, he was moving around so much in his kennel while on his belly, so the neurologist ordered for some Valium to be given. They told me that if his movements were voluntary, Valium shouldn’t stop those. But after the Valium administration, Dozer stopped fidgeting for 1.5 hours. The vet technician I was on the phone with says he was just starting to move again.

    We are really worried about our boy. We were a bit more optimistic with a meningitis diagnosis than brain tumour, and agreed that as long as Dozer shows some progress, that we will continue this fight with him. I just hope that the rise and fall of his temperature is due to his body fighting off the infection, and that his movements are voluntary. Please provide some insight.

  31. Jan Johnson says:

    My 12 week old puppy has been diagnosed with bacterial meningitis. He had a puppy rash and was running a fever (103.2) on Friday, took him to the vet and got antibiotics. On Sunday, I took him again as his fever was higher and he refused food. Took blood for diagnosis and the white count was twice the normal count. Monday started with new antibiotics. Tuesday was okay. Wednesday he started to show signs of pain in his neck but was playing and his temperature was normal. Thursday he was in a lot of pain. Took him to the vet and got more antibiotics and an NSAID. Vet took another blood draw. Friday, got the results of the blood draw and his white count had doubled again. Vet suspected bacterial meningitis and scheduled him with a neurologist for a spinal tap. Tap showed positive for bacterial meningitis and he is now on intravenous antibiotics while the culture is being done. That will tell the vet EXACTLY which antibiotics will work the best. Don’t know the long-term prognosis yet but hope for full recovery. From the first fever and visit to aggressive treatment is one week. No seizures, seems to see all right, was able to walk when given to the neurologist. Current temperature is 102.1 and he is eating. Won’t be home for a while yet though.

  32. Vilma says:

    My dog Hunter was diagnosed with meningitis in May 2013, he was finally off from prednisone in Sep 2013. His liver enzymes went so high when he was on the high doses of prednisone , and we had to take him every week to have a blood test done. Last week he suddenly do not want to eat and had fever, lethargic and his right hind leg seem to be in pain so she thought he could have twisted his leg and gave him antibiotics. He did not get better with it so I took him back to the local vet the second day and he had various blood test done but all came good. we continued giving him his antibiotics, when he did not get better, I took him back again and requested for the vet to give him prednisone as I thought he could be having relapse on his meningitis. The local vet spoke to his specialist and agreed to give him a steroid shot until the following day when I took him to the specialist.
    The specialist gave him prednisolone and denosyl (to protect his liver given his liver enzymes reaction last time) and has been taking it for 3 days, Last night, he started vomiting. I am really worried for him. I am taking him back to the specialist today – this is very stressful to me and my family as we love him dearly. Hope he will get a chance of a quality life again.

  33. Pennies Mom says:

    On Tuesday we lost our 8 and a half month old golden to vaccine induced meningoencephalitis. She was shaking on Thursday, by Friday evening she had head tremors, no fever. On sat made it to neuro, she had a seizure and was hospitalized, MRI and spinal tap gave the diagnosis and she was placed on high dose chemo and steroids. By Monday am she showed improvement and we were told we could take her home for recovery. By the time we arrived she seized again and after 24 hour on seizure meds began having breathing difficulties and passed away. She was my sons best buddy and we are devastated. I don’t understand how when the last round of shots was given over3 months ago that this could occur, I want to make sure it does not with our next dog….we are so heartbroken, she was supposed to grow up with my 10 year old.

    • isak says:

      I am so sorry for your loss. I don’t know enough about vaccine induced meningoencephalitis to explain what happened. Was the vet able to explain what happened and why?

  34. lisa says:

    My dog was diagnosed with meningitis and after medicine he was meningitis free for the rest of his life. He was diagnosed at the age of 6 and lived until 17! He did not have any rabies vaccinations from the age of 6 on. Hope this helps

    • Tina says:

      Hello Lisa,

      How bad was your dog when you learned they had meningitis? I just learned tonight my 2 year old Shih Tzu has some type of meningitis. We are waiting for the test results from the spinal tab. We thought she was have a problem with a disc and was being treated for that. I’m just trying to figure out if we are the early stages for the illiness where it can still been treated. She has lost her mobility in her back legs which made them think she was having a disc problem. Its been a long nightmare that has not ended just yet.

    • Robert says:

      Hey guys, our Boxer got SRMA meningitis. Steroid responsive meningitis. He became very lethargic in a matter of minutes. He has issues with being bitten by various insects so we keep benadryl on hand. Gave him some and he was’nt reacting. He was very restless. I took him in and they did the spinal fluid thing on him and died on the table. They were able to bring him back. He stayed there for a week and we visited him twice a day. He did have blindness and that went away. Everyone at the vet fell in love with him and he made a great recovery. Prednisone was the treatment. We tapered him off of the steroid.
      I’m now looking for any information on issues after the meningitis treatment. He has episodes while he’s sleeping where gets startled and his whole body jerks all at once. Just like we do if scared suddenly. Took him in for blood work and waiting for the results. During the day when active or napping it has not happened. Only after long periods of sleep. We’re thinking neurological. It happen again last night and lasted 18 minutes. We took him outside for a walk and he was good to go the rest of the night. Scary and was wondering if anyone had any ideas. Thank you.

    • S says:

      Where do you live? Can dogs get rabies from saliva from a rabid animal on the ground? My dog loves to lick everything on the ground.

  35. lt says:

    Your vet can write a letter for you to submit to your city. I just paid the rabies fee to the city and put a copy of the letter each year that said my dog was exempt from the rabies shot and could not have it. I used this for his entire life and the town never questioned it.

  36. Jenny says:

    Hi isak

    My dog ,Cherie was not behaving as per normal for a week ,I didn’t realised it.I thot she was just moody cos she haven had a usual menses.On the 7th day, I brought her to see a vet due to a little diarrhea , and I told the vet about her moody condition.she told me it’s fine. I brought her back two days later as I think she is blind and keep doing head pressing.The vet told me she has high blood, that might be one of the reason that might cause her blindness, and advise to check her 5 days later.After giving her the medicine for high blood and steroid, she gets worse after two days. Restless , tired,panting,never walk and even have diarrea with lots of blood. I sent her to the hospital immediately .two days before this, her internal organs test was good, but within 3 days, her organs failed. she passed away cos her heart beat stop. Isak, from the above scenario, the doctor did mention about brain tumor, or meningitis. I really would like to know what is the cause of her demise. Do you think it’s a delay in diagnosis and treatment? Cos if it’s meningitis, she she’d be able to be save, but no treatment. Do you think the steroid and high blood medication cause her body to deteriorate faster? Cos before medication, she is still fine. Can meningitis cause death within a week, or it can be earlier? It is really scary, she become blind, than have diarrhea with blood then passed away. Can you advise is am.thank you

    • isak says:

      Trying to get to the source of what happened would need an examination of her body after she passed to know for sure.

      I am so sorry for your loss.

  37. Lauren says:

    My dog was diagnosed with sterile meningitis at 10 months at the beginning of May. After being treated for 3 months, her treatment ended and she’s been back to normal aka meningitis free for about 2 months now. She’s due for her yearly 1 year old vaccines in a few weeks. I’ve decided I’m NOT going to do the DHPP vaccine. However Rabies is required by my state so I have to do that. I know its a killed virus vaccine so I’m hoping the rabies one won’t re-trigger her meningitis. Any advice or experience on vaccinating for rabies with dogs who have had meninigitis.

    • isak says:

      Off hand, I don’t have an answer for you, but certainly respect and admire you for looking for an answer. You might call a veterinary college or maybe even better is to find someone who follows the holistic path for animal care and get their opinion.

      I hope you will come back and let us know what you find out. I’m sorry I was not more helpful.

      A question I have is does she need a rabies shot now? Has she never had one? Most shots nowadays are good for at least two years.

      • Lauren says:

        She did have her first rabies shot… as a puppy and had no issues with that. She didn’t get meningitis until she was just over 10 months old. She’s now of course due for her next round… this one will be good for 3 years. My vet wants to minimize the amount of vaccines she needs in the future.

  38. Sheryl Shidler says:

    Hi, Lucy my 9 yr old doxie contracted meningitis. She is on predizone and cyclosporin. She is developing calcium lumps all over her stomach and under her legs pits. Vet says its from the prednizone. We have reduced the dosage from 10mg to 7.5 and now 2.5 mg. Will she always have to be on these meds?

    • isak says:

      Your vet can best tell you if your baby will have to stay on the prednizone. If he is reducing the dosage, maybe not. 10mg seems like a pretty heavy dosage for a small dog. Are her lumps going down with the smaller dosage?

  39. joan says:

    We were away for the long weekend and had left our dog with a sitter. Suddenly he got ill, vomited, wouldn’t eat, wouldn’t and then couldn’t walk. She took him to our vet, they transferred him to a neurologist. She was certain it was a slipped disc. she started telling me about surgery options vs. just letting him rest for 4 weeks and I said I wanted and MRI before we thought about options. She said that was great — always best to know what you are dealing with and necessary before surgery etc. did I want to do it now or in 4 weeks and I said “now” and so she set it up for the next day. She told me 9 out of 10 dogs with sudden onset of ataxia and cervical pain is a slipped disc.
    So we went for the MRI today and he has meningitis in the brain. We are scheduled for a spinal tap tomorrow a.m. to determine cause and treatment. I’m so afraid for him.
    He wants me to hold him constantly, he’s in a lot of pain and he can’t walk more than a few steps. It is breaking my heart and I’m afraid we are going to lose him.

    • isak says:

      I can’t tell you how things will work out, but I certainly advocate for giving him all the hugs he wants. He is probably confused about what or how he feels. And think positive thoughts that he will get better. It’s a better use of your time to be hopeful. I mean that from my heart having just lost one of my cats to lymphoma last week. Please let me know how the tests work out tomorrow. Hugs to you and your dog.

  40. Adrienne says:

    Meningitis awareness and a success story fro a service animal. It is so important to know these symptoms. My service animal, Haley has been returned to service. I have created an Emergency plan for Haley in the vent of seizures, waxing waning and in the event I am hospitalized or an emergency. This is critical. Medications access and local pharmacy availability is crucial. These measures have been put in place for Haley. I am constanlt met with skepticism that this is a dog with this diagnosis; but she is and we are..GOOD! What would I have done without this help? No one ever thinks about this when accepting responsibility for a canine friend. She is on an experimental is working…WELL.

  41. Claire says:

    I have a 10 year old whippet bitch who was diagnosised with MUE last July. My nerologist has weaned her down to 7 1/2 mg of pred. She started having relapses back in November, so nerologist said chemo would be the next step. we started first round in December right before Christmas. Her neck bother her as it was itchy and she acted like it was burning her. 5 days after injections her eyes were blood shot and swollen, she was depressed and I thought what have I done to her. The only thing it did not affect is her eating, she eats like she is starving all the time.. It took her a couple more days and she was like a new dog, wanting to go for walks again, and wanting to chase squirrrels something she has done for a long time.. So went back in 4 weeks for her 2nd round and I am not sure I want to put her throught this again. Her second day of shots I went to pick her up late and here she was all swollen and her eyes blood shot, her neck was itchy and she seem very uncomfortable. She has not done well at all since this last injections. I just want to know can I stop the chemo, without hurting her?? She seems so unhappy, and not sure if she can stand another round. I only want quality of life for her. I will put her down if quality is no longer possible. The only thing she wants is her food constantly.

    • isak says:

      My apologies for being so slow getting back you. I can’t answer your question. Have you explained what you are seeing to your neurologist for his/her opinion? And asked what you can expect if you have to go in again? I don’t know how many treatments they are recommending for your dog. If there are still more to come, can they be spaced further apart? Would immunoglobulin therapy be a viable alternative to chemotherapy? How about antiepileptic drugs?

      They know your dog’s history, so they are the best source for the answers you are looking for. Ask them every question you have so you have a clear idea what you can expect from the treatment they are recommending and decide what path you want to take. And maybe you need to ask another doctor just to get a second opinion.

      I am very sorry I cannot be of more help to you. Please let me know how this works out. I appreciate that you have shared your experience. It will help others.

  42. Ruth says:

    My Golden Retriever developed meningitis 1 year ago at 11 months of age, the vet diagnosed it as a food allergy! Finally the diagnosis was made and she made a painful, slow recovery. After having a wonderful happy dog for 4 months she developed meningitis again exactly 1 year since the first diagnosis. She is now on steroids and having chemo every 3 weeks for the next year. Nobody informed me there could be a link between dogs who have had meningitis and booster vaccinations suffering a relapse. Anyone who has a dog recovered from meningitis should be made aware of this possible connection so they can weigh up the pros and cons as to having the booster. I hope my dog Pippa recovers and I hope all your dogs pull through!

  43. al says:

    hi my dog, jack russ terrier age 3 almost 4 had meningitis. she showed symptoms – fever, “shaky” back legs, she didnt want to eat, when touched at neck she whines. she was at the pet hospital for 2 nights and doc put her on steroids and then lowered dosage . we tried to get her off it but she had a relapse. shes been on steroids 1/4 everyday for a few months now. her health, rather the strongness of her legs isnt like before. bringing her to check up again next week. we feed her multi vits to boost her immune. shes my greatest love ever.

  44. Kumar Padmnabh says:

    My dog 4 years old took his lunch about 1 pm and was normally behaving.suddenly about 3 pm,he got very exited and startd barking restlessly and moving abnormally very fast as he was chained.within 10 minutes,his tounge was bited by his teeth and it started bleeding.some foamy mucus type semi fluid was dropping from his mouth.I put some water on him to calm down ,but suddenly his mouth startd twisting(like a paralysis attack).About 3.20 pm vet doctor came and took his temp which was 107.(he was paralysed then).he tried his best by giving some injection and cooling by icepack and bathing,which reduced temp to 103.But about 7.30 he died.please explain me why this happened.It will not return my dog but I shall know my fault.THANKS.

    • isak says:

      You need to ask your vet that question. From here, I cannot say. She/he can better tell you. I am very sorry for your loss.

      You really should not keep a dog on a chain for many reasons, though. It’s pretty easy to create a fenced area with some t-posts and fencing. Please consider that if you get another dog.

  45. terry anderson says:

    When I wrote my last post my jack russell was like a rag doll and I was wondering if I was doing the right thing. But as I said before prayers and love CAN do miracles.On saturday we went to visit him and he was holding his head up and up on his front legs. The vet held his ack legs up but he kept falling over ut kept trying to hold himself up. We spent a couple of hours working with him. He really didn’t seem like he knew us but we were keeping the faith. Well its monday and we are home with him. We have a boatload of meds but he is home and he knows us and his little buddy the rat terrier
    They still don’t know why or what it is other than meningitis. still waiting on some blood work to get back. But I am so thankful that he is home with us. I think he surprized alot of people and I know we are fighting a battle but I am ready to fight the war.

  46. terry anderson says:

    Our Jack Russell started having seizures just out of the blue. Our vet treated him for epilepsy ut it failed and he had seizures thru the night. We took him the next morning to a teaching hospital where they put him on a valium drip ut he still had breakthru ones. Next came an MRI where he was diagnosed with meningitis. He was started on heavy doses of steroids and anti biotics as well as the seizure meds. That was monday and the seizures have stopped. He was awake and yesterday he started eating and seems aware of surroundings but is like a zombie. He knew us today when we visited but just laid there not even holding his head up. Then we asked him if he wanted to go for a 4 wheeler ride and his ears perked and he tried to move but couldnt. I cried but at the same time the student vets have seen improvements over the last couple of days. I am telling myself that he has only been on the steroids since monday nite and the power of prayer can do miracles.He is eating well so I am very hopeful for a full recovery. I only pray I am on the right track.

    • isak says:

      Seizures seem to occur like that — out of the blue. If he has just recently begun treatment, that may be the reason for his zombie-like state. It can sometimes take a while until the correct dosage of meds is determined. My boy Mobley, a 90 pound mutt, was on 97.2 mg Phenobarbital twice a day with meals plus 10 mg. Prednisone once a day. That seemed to work for him. Still, once a month, he would have seizures. Maybe one; maybe four, but almost like clockwork, they occurred once a month.

      Mobley’s seizures were due to a brain tumor. He lost his sight, but he never lost his zest for life. I have photos of him running across the backyard. Maybe because he knew that yard so well from his sighted days, he never ran into a tree. He was such an inspiration to watch. But I lost him to a seizure a couple weeks ago; 10 months after his first seizure.

      You might ask them if they will send your baby home with a dose of rectal valium. In case of a seizure, dose him in his butt and it takes effect quickly. Faster than a pill. It’s a great thing to have on hand, trust me.

      The power of prayer and the power of love CAN do miracles. Best to your baby. Eating is a good sign!

  47. Craig says:

    Just started going through the same with my dog. Started sluggish and fever on Monday…. its now Thursday. He couldnt even move without crying today. We just started prednizone an hour ago. Hope for the best.


    • Ashleigh says:

      This is the exact same thing we are going through right now with our baby… she started with fever on sunday and it is now thursday… meningitis… is what they think it is… so we start prednisone today.. im hoping and praying for the best.. if you touch her neck.. she whines… barely eating and baring drinking… i gave her 20 ml of pedialyle last night and hand fed some dog food… got her fever down last night but it was back up this morning… im hoping for the best

      • isak says:

        Keep hoping for the best and doing all you can. Sometimes vets are wrong. After all, they are human. If her neck hurts, maybe bending to eat is too painful? Have you raised her food/water bowls up so she doesn’t have to bend her neck to reach them? If you are feeding her dry food, you might try wetting it with water to soften it so she doesn’t have to chew so hard.

        Prednisone will usually stimulate appetite. Hopefully that will be the case for you.

        Let us know how things go and what you are doing for her. Best to you!

  48. Kimberly says:

    Our dog came down with a very high fever 105 degrees, and severe pain in her neck and also her legs. If we tried to move her she would cry out very loudly. We believe she may have meningitis. She came down with these symptoms just four days ago. Our vet is going to start prednazone tonight. Do you think she has a chance of survival?

    • isak says:

      I can’t say for sure, but there is always a chance. Hope for that chance. What does your vet say? Is she going to stay at the clinic or have you brought her home? We will all certainly send good wishes your way!

  49. Paul burgess says:

    How long before treatment and diagnosis can a small dog aged 17 survive with meningitis

    • isak says:

      I’m sorry, but I don’t know the answer to your question. Your vet is probably your best bet for an answer. Best to you and your baby.

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