Meningitis in Dogs – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
A lining of layers, known as meninges, protects a dog’s central nervous system, just like in humans. The condition known as meningitis happens when there is an inflammation of the meninges. Meningitis in dogs will usually lead to secondary inflammation on the spinal cord and/or brain.
What causes meningitis in dogs?
Meningitis is a painful condition and may be caused by any agent that produces inflammation to the meninges. This could be bacterial, fungal, viral, or parasitic infection.
The most common cause of meningitis in dogs is a bacterial infection that occurred somewhere else in the body and spread to the brain and spinal cord. So, basically, we can say that meningitis is a secondary response to an infection somewhere else.
Some diseases, which trigger infections that can migrate to the central nervous system, and therefore, trigger meningitis, are:
- Eye infection
- Ear infection
- Lyme disease
- Sinus infection
- Nasal infection
- Infection of a wound
Exposure to chemical toxins can also cause meningitis in dogs. Other times, they are related to the immune system erroneously responding against myelin. It is idiopathic when we do not know what the cause of meningitis is.
What are the symptoms of meningitis in dogs?
It is hard to tell when a dog is suffering from meningitis. The symptoms can be easily confused with any other condition. Therefore, as a responsible owner, you must take note of any abnormal pattern in your dog.
The most common symptoms of meningitis are:
- Low blood pressure
- Lack of appetite
- Muscle stiffness
- Hyperesthesia (increase in sensitivity to stimuli)
If a dog´s meningitis is far too advanced, you cannot miss the following symptoms:
- Severe depression
- Ataxia (Loss of muscle coordination)
- Severe depression
What should I do if my dog has meningitis?
Meningitis is a very dangerous condition that must be treated as soon as possible. Whenever you detect any of the symptoms described above, seek for your vet immediately. You could be saving your best friend’s life. Note that the prognosis can vary among dogs and the results depend on dog’s response to treatment.
In Dogalize, you will find all the information you need to know about this and other dog conditions. Stay with us and, if you really love your pooch, you are in for a treat.