HI everyone, so glad to stumble on this conversation. Last June I adopted a little 8yo sheltiex and in October she was admitted to ER with a fever ranging between 105 -over 106. They said she had pneumonia and she stayed there for 5 days but no dx in spite of TBD tests and other tests. I brought her home and figured it was canine flu. This January same thing happened, my holistic vet suggested we treat her at home with subQ fluids and see if her body could overcome whatever it was. I also met with some specialists and bloodwork was done but all came back negative. She came thru again in 5 days. Last Friday she screamed when she tried to get up in the morning and I thought she had hurt herself as she couldn't walk. When I called vet she said take temp and sure enough it was 105.8. We knew it was same thing. She gradually was able to hobble around but fever went over 106 again and I got her to a specialist practice and had neurological work up with spinal tap and blood tests and an internist did a joint tap and bronchial lavage due to sounds in throat/chest (xray showed no pneumonia). They put her on fluids, kept overnight and gave a steroid dose. Her fever came down and she walked more normally (was walking abit sideways day before)and started eating abit. Spinal fluid shows high white blood cells and slightly elevated protein. Other fungal tests have been sent out. She is on Cipro now. Now we are waiting all results which will take about 4 days. I feel so bad, I adopted her because she was to be pts at a shelter and she is the sweetest, dearest little girl. Why did this have to happen, I feel like it must be my fault altho the specialists feel that as she lived in the South it may be fungal. I know she can't go on like this and I don't think I can afford any more tests :( Brit
I was just reading all the blogs about canine meningitis and maybe my experience can help.About two weeks ago 3/11/08 my little Italian greyhound Nelson was acting very strange we had been to the doggy park the day before and he had a minor collision with a puggle, so i thought he had hurt his back as it was hunched up like those black cat cartoons, and he was very sleepy which is not his personality at all. i called the vet she told me to watch him and if it does not get better to call her, the day went by he slept all day we went to bed that night and around 7 in the morning he let out a cry/howl that i had never heard before as he is such a happy dog its rare he even barks unless there are strangers.We jumped in the car went to the vet.she took an ex ray and saw a spot on his back she thought was a slipped disk gave us pain pills and anti-inflammatory non steroids sent us home. he had no fever at this time, he slept for two days barely eating or drinking i was a wreck.Friday night he snapped out of it screaming in pain his gait was so stiff he could barley walk we went to the emergency vet a wonderful man, nelson now had a fever 104.5 gave him a full examination gave him something to mange the pain and bring down the fever he started talking to me about meningitis, i was beside myself its just a slip disk he said he wouldn't be in this much pain. i took nelson home it was a horrible night for both of us he cried all night and so did i sat we had appt with vet, the emergency vet had already called her they took blood and told me we had to get a neurologist in to see him. i said what ever it takes, they now started to talk about four things it could be fungal,distemper,bacterial,or viral meningitis there was a possibility for tick disease but it seemed unlikely they told me that if it was fungal or distemper he had two weeks tops.The neurologist came in that day and did a ct and started explaining the options they put him on antibiotics and we would have to wait till Monday for blood results Sunday night he was in so much pain all he did was cry his little body now shaking spasmodically so he stayed the night at emergency vet as i had not slept in days and was becoming no use to anyone, we know had three vets working together and all said spinal tap time so we drove him up to Stewart fl were the neurologist was, they performed the tap and started him on steroids, until the tap was done they could not give him steroids, because it would taint the results. she told me call back in 7 hours if there was no response to the steroids we would have to discuss putting him down. all i did at this point was pray he is such a joy and a member of our family. I called back exactly seven hours later they told me he was up and eating! i picked him up the next day took him to the emergency vet so they could watch him for the next 10 hours and pump him full of steroids.That night when i came to get him he was barking and wagging his tail just as happy as could be, that was the best night of sleep we both have gotten. hes still on the steroids we have to wean him off slowly, this is important do not let the vet weak them off to soon it should take anywhere from one to two months the risk of relapse greatly increases if to soon. Hes here next to me happy as a clam.All the doctors who took care of nelson were amazing i have heard horror stories of vets taking to long and dogs that could of lived died instead. ask question, read, stay vigilante. I hope this helped someone. this all cost about 3,200 so worth it little man is on the mend.
Oh god is this what is going on with my Bentley? he started acting really werid and like his body hurts and he is sleeping and not acting like his self. He sits and acts like hes tired and sits werid and has a spacy look about his face. He isnt crying in pain or anything, and has ate a treat and went out to potty and did lift his leg to do so but back into the house and hes been laying on his bed pillow and acts like its hard or hurts to walk stairs or anything. ok guess im calling the vet.. is the only way you can tell if a dog has a temp is to take a rectal temp? can you just feel them? silly but i dont have a theromomter.
I read you post and may need some help on advice for my dog. I have a 1 year old Pembroke Welsh Corgi (male). One day he appeared to be in pain and was very lethargic. We took him to the emergency vet and they started pumping him with antibiotics, IV, antiinflamatory pills etc. They believed it was Menigitis. Unknown if steorid responsive, bacterial, viral, or fungal. They did an MRI, Xray, and Spinal Tap. Similar to your dog, they started the steorids immediately after the spinal tap. Now they said there "may be bacteria in the spinal fluid" So now they took him OFF the steorids. He is still getting oral antibiotics but not the steorids. I'm really afraid for our dog and he is still not 100%. Can I have the phone number of who ever treated your dog with menigitis? My vet said he has never seen a case of bacterial menigitis in a dog. I don't want to wait any longer if the steoriods are the way to go. My vet is saying that steorids given to a dog with bacterial menigitis could make things 10 time worse! I wish I knew what to do and this is slowly killing me and my family. Any advice you can give is greatly appreciated. Thank you very much. I'm glad to hear your pet is better. I can only pray mine will get there as well.
Having read the posts on here and the general lack of info/understanding of Meningitis in dogs - thought everyone might find it useful to hear our current experience.
Izzy is an 11 month old Beagle bitch, she was vaccinated in the usual way at 8 and 10 weeks. As with lots of dogs especially Beagles she will eat anything and everthing and last Saturday devoured her latest find, a new tennis ball - she was sick 4 times as usual and on Sunday was fine - on Monday morning Bank Holiday here she was quiet and listless when I came down in the morning and not keen to go out for her usual ritual - I noticed she was trembling a little and breathing shallowly - thinking she had swallowed something that was perhaps obstructed I took her to the vet - she had a slight temperature but he could find no obvious problem - gave her some antibiotics and anti inflamitory and told us to bring her back in 24 hours if she didnt perk up. The following morning she was worse - here are the symptoms one day on - fidgety, unable to settle, listless, unwilling to drink or eat in the normal way (unless spoon fed very soft food and a water bottle), unwilling to yawn fully, holding head low, arched back and by this time continued tremble and severe pain in the legs and neck - general glazed look, loss of full balance - no real wish to walk. And a distinct backward walk ater trying to eat - presumably backing away in fear from pain!
I entered all of this into the computer and MENINGITIS seemed to be the most likely cause. At 11.30 am we returned to the vet with her in the cage, this time as she could not walk really - I showed the vet the printed material (Beagle Pain Syndrome) and he agreed it was the most likely cause - by this time her temperature was up more. She was immediately referred to the University of Bristol Vetinary School and we drove her the 78 miles that afternoon (Wednesday)- they immediately took spinal tap tests, joint tests, xrays and scans - Last night they had started treatment - which is normally STEROIDS and they expect a good response within 24-48 hours.
She is sedated and we await to hear today how she is doing. I write this so as people can understand meningitis is more and more common, many vets seems to misdiagnose and just treat with antibiotices which will not work! - but their are a number of obvious symptoms - if I can diagnose it off the net then its more about awareness - I spoke with our breeder and she said Meningitis was all the talk at Crufts this year.
Viral meningitis is most common in 6-12 month puppies and it seems more common during first season (Izzy was just ending hers). It comes on VERY suddenly, ours was overnight. There is no known cause it just seems the body reacts to a problem that it thinks is there but isnt and creates too many white blood cells causing the inflammation in the joints and spine and neck - therfore giving severe pain.
Finally, make sure you are well insured - the cost for Izzy is likely to be around £2,500 - £3,000 puunds stirling.
If anyone wants to discuss - feel free to contact me at Dave@giftwrappedmortagages.co.uk
I have a 6 year old, female, Brussels Griffon that has just been diagnosed with GME. Over the summer she became "dizzy" and developed a head tilt. Our vet said it was a vestibular problem or a brain tumor. After a couple of month of getting progressively worse, we took her to the large university vet school where she had a spinal tap, cat scan and chest xray. She is currently taking a double dose of prednisone, meclizine (anti dizzy pill), artificial tears and omeprazole (what my husband takes for heartburn) to reduce spinal fluid production. She seems a tiny bit better. The head tilt seems better, she has scooted across the floor and can stand for a very short period. We are curious if anyone else has had good results with this awful diagnosis.
We took our 14 month old English Bulldog into the emergency vet hospital over the weekend with a 104-105 temperature, he was very lethargic, seemed a little disoriented, and showed signs of neck pain. They took xrays, did blood and urine work, but could not figure out what was wrong with him. They suggested we take him to a specialist. We took him to a neurologist first thing Monday morning. She did a spinal tap and determined he had steroid responsive meningitis. She began treatments immediately and he was able to go home the next day. He will be on a steroid treatment for 2 weeks and will slowly be weened off of it. It was a very scary ordeal, but the vet indicated his prognosis is excellent. Hope this help some of you that have had to deal with this or may in the future.
Here is my experience with Meningitis....My Australian Cattle Dog was diagnosed with steroid responsive meningitis at 8 months of age. I went to the barn one morning and found him with a sitff neck, unwilling to eat and generally lethargic. Initially, I thought he had been kicked by one of my horses but that was quickly ruled out when I took him to the vet and his x-ray came back clean. The vet suggested that it might be a neurological problem which she was not properly equipped to diagnose at her clinic. She suggested that I take him to the Emergency Hospital. Within a few hours, Duster's symptoms had significantly worsened to the point that he laid down on his side and screamed in excruciating pain. His breathing was rapid, his temperature had skyrocketed to 105 and he was clearly in grave distress. I rushed him into the Emergency Hospital, and he was seen by a neurological surgeon who immediately diagnosed him with meningitis based purely on his physical symptoms. I was doubtful at first, but a spinal tap confirmed it the following day. His white blood cell count was 41 (normal is 16). Duster remained in the Intensive Care Unit for 5 days, on IV pain management and fluids. When released from hospital, he remained on prednisone for over a year. We experienced 2 relapses within that year, one was severe causing him to be hospitalized again for 2 days in intensive care and the other was less severe, triggered by an attempt to wean him off the steroids too quickly. In August 2008 (Duster was now 2 yrs old) he was weaned off the prednisone and was doing extremely well. Last week however, I made the decision to have him neutered since he was displaying some aggressive tendencies towards my 2 other neutered older dogs. My local vet performed the neuter after consulting with the emergency hospital that diagnosed Duster. Prior to surgery, a blood test was done and his results were normal - I was told to keep in mind however that surgery could trigger a relapse due to the stress on the immune system. Well, the worst happened - Duster was neutered on Monday, seemed to be recovering normally on Tuesday, but by Wednesday, after not wanting to eat his breakfast, he was showing the telltale symptoms: neck stiffness, spinal pain and lethargy -- Duster was relapsing again. I immediately brought him to the emergency hospital. His white blood count was 36, temp 103 - he remained in hospital for 24 hours and released today with another prescription for 4 months of prednisone. I have nicknamed him my "Prednisone Puppy" - the fortunate thing is that his disease responds extremely well and very quickly to prednisone treatment,,,he is usually back to his active, rambunctious self within 24 hours of his first dose,,the unfortunate thing is that due to this chronic disease, the vet recommends that he NOT be administered yearly vaccinations, therefore he remains vulnerable. Duster is 2 1/2 years old and has had a rough start in life -- the treatment of his disease over the past 2 years has been costly - almost $6000. But his loyalty, companionship and love have been worth every penny spent. For those of you out there who are frustrated that many vets seem to know very little about this dreadful disease, consider this - my vet told me that one of the reasons is because most owners resort to having their dog put down rather than to commit themselves to spending the money necessary to treat/manage the disease. I hope that sharing my experience will help someone out there.
Hey Daisy Dew: Just to let you know, my little Shih Tzu of 4 years could not walk on his back left leg one night. After seeing several vets, and finally going to a canine neurologist, and $3,000 for spinal tap, MRI, and other tests, he was diagnosed with canine meningitis. Dr. Ducote in Carrollton, Texas put him on a high dose of Prednisone, and he was on it for about 7 months, and then the Dr. started tapering the meds off little by little. As of December of 2010, he was off the Prednisone, and he has been doing great! Like he's a new dog.
Symptoms when he was sick was he could not use his left rear leg, walking sideways (and I do mean sideways), when he was looking at something, his head would drift to the right, and he would have to jerk his head back every few seconds. He wasn't a happy camper, but all I did was give him total and complete love. Oh, it was tough for most of 2010, but I sincerely believe that the love and care, along with the meds, made the difference.
Hang in there. If it's canine meningitis, then get on Prednisone ASAP. Or, contact Dr. Ducote in Carrollton, Texas to discuss the situation. She is terrific, and treats a lot of small dogs with this same problem.
I sincerely hope your little one comes out of it OK. My thoughts are with you.
Hello. 2 months ago my jack russell terrier experienced the same. No fever but suddenly became lethargic, lost back legs, tremored terribly- i could tell that he was in some serious pain. He was 10 at the time but still acted like he was 3 - Henry's crazy:). He stayed overnight at vet, pumped with meds and steroids, it didnt help. The next morning i rushed him to the emerg clinic. He underwent ivs, spinal tap, mri, more blood tests...and about 5 full days of icu..it was heart wrenching for me! Finally, he began to make progress, as they couldnt get him to eat...i knew bologne would work:) and it did! A day later he was eating and drinking and i took him home. Funny thing is they were still trying tomrule out gme(meningitis), or a bacterial infection. He was on 2 antibiotics for about a month, and those end in mid august. Henry also just finish 2 months of predisone this past sunday. He has been 99.99 percent until wednesday this week when suddenly i saw the signs reappear after a walk...the slowing down, tail between legs, moved just a bit more off balance. I rushed him to the vet and weve started up all meds again. Today(less than 24 hrs later) hes doing much better...obviously i caught it early before a full relapse. Im scared though and im afraid to ever take him off the steroid predisone. What are your thoughts? Ive read so much info on the internet that i dont know what to believe. Thank you so much for your story. I have emailed a couple folks on this site but unsure if they will get them.
Oh by the way, henry turned 11 in mid August. I still need help understanding how long he should take predisone. In the vet visit this week i was given about 10 days worth. Im very scared to take him off the pred. Any help is greatly appreciated as i think the drs are mystified by this disease as it seems to not be very common. Thank you again!
We have just had a similiar experience with our 10 years old West Highland terrier. Gus is very active on the ranch and is a constant field companion to our LGDs for the Alpacas. Last weekend, all of a sudden, he could not jump into the doggie door or even get up the single step into the house. As the weekend progressed, his condition deteriorated. Monday we were in the vet's office and he said he suspected his spine had a pinched nerve as by then, his one back leg was no longer supporting him. WE took him into another dog clinic to have some tests to determine where the back problem was and to have it operated on but the mylogram (sp) and X-rays were inconclusive. The vet there put him on IVs with antibiotics and steroids and kept him overnight. The next afternoon, we took him into Dallas to a dog back specialist who also could not see anything on the X-rays and told my husband they suspected meningitis however, due to having the mylogram, they can't do the spinal tap. Back to the original vet who prescribed pain meds, antibiotics and steriods but wondering if Gus is getting a high enough dose to knock it out. He is moving around and able to mostly supplort himself on his back legs. He does not have full bladder control yet. At least we know that this is not an isolated case and I have learned alot from this group's pain with treating this affliction.
Hi I've just been reading about everyone's experience with canine meningitis as I was searching for info on it. We just lost our beautiful 4 yr old red border collie to what appears to have been a bacterial strain. We were overseas at the time and had friends house/dogsitting for us. Red developed sore front paws and vomiting so they brought him to the vet. He had a very high temp so the vet kept him in and put him on a drip overnight. When he got there the next morning the drip had blocked so they had to start it up again. His temp remained high but started to come down a bit and he started to show signs of improvement. The next morning the vet got in and our beautiful Red had deteriorated overnight, showing signs of organ failure and pretty much comatose. We got the phone call and of course had to agree to stop his suffering. Our friends brought round some of our clothes so he could smell us before he went. He howled and then was gone. The pain of losing a beloved pet like this is horrible and learning from this experience, I would just really recommend getting your pet to a vet as soon as possible and having them monitored 24/7 to ensure treatment can start as soon as possible and someone is there if something goes wrong, like a blocked drip. The vet was pretty distraught as he hasn't seen such a rapid deterioration before, looks like this is becoming a more common disease. The meningitis was confirmed from blood tests just don't know the cause.The vet seemed to think that Red's illness started off as septicaemia from an insect bite and the bacterial meningitis was secondary but I don't think we'll ever know for sure. My thoughts are with everyone who's lost a pet, its so difficult because they love unconditionally.
Greeting from Ireland .I am in tears reading all your posts. My collie cross got Meningitis end of Jan 2012 while we were away .My vet was very quick and put her on steroids , after a while we we tried to give them to her every second day but she just go sick again , walking sideways , in a lot of pain and she seems to get a big lump on her head when she is bad. We had to put her back on the steroids everyday but now even they do not seem to be working , We can only go for a little walk every day and only yesterday she just fell to the ground and I had to carry her home. Has anyone else had the experience that the steroids just stop working ? We have basically been told that we have to decide when we think she can not cope anymore which is something that is horrible to think about !!!
If your pet is showing signs of weakness in rear and/or front legs, knuckling with sudden onset, go to your vet immediately as you may need a referral to a Veterinary Neurologist. I work for one and we see this in many breeds and blood work as well as an MRI is needed to aid in diagnosis. If the diagnosis is meningoencephalomyelitis-immune mediated, the neurologist will generally put the dog on a dose of a corticosteroid (Prednisone) and will start the dog on cycles of a chemo drug called Cytosar. You will also need to have blood work done periodically to make sure that there is no damage being done to the bone marrow. We have many patients receiving this treatment and while there is a possibility of relapse, all of our patients over the past 3 years are doing remarkably well. I just adopted a rescue (French Bulldog) who is undergoing this treatment. During this time, you don't want your pet to receive vaccines because the dog has a compromised immune system and that just adds to the problem. Many people have never heard of veterinary neurologists but they are equipped and well qualified to handle treatment. Google to find one in your area or contact a college or university with a veterinary school (they are cheaper).
My Henry has just been diagnosed with possible meningitis. Not sure what kind, but the emergency vet has started the steroids overnight and we will get him tested in the morning. Hopefully we have caught it in time, poor little mite is only 6 months old and deserves what l can give him. Cost wise it could break the bank but try explaining that to the kids! Anyway l am in for a sleepless few nights until this is resolved and diagnoses and treatments are confirmed. Thanks for the posts, it helps to know that we have a good chance to get Henry through this.....
I hope he doesnt have it. It is very hard to explain it to young children :( Ask your vet about something called 'Care Credit'. It is a credit that is used similar to a credit card to help with unexpected vet bills. It allows you to make payments to pay it off.
They do have to do a credit check, but a friend of mine just had to use it herself due to an Emergency with one of her dogs, and to her surprise, she qualified despite credit issues.
If the bill grow large or it gets out of hand, even if it is as little as $100-200 short of what you can cover, it is a great thing to check into.
Keep us posted on how he is.
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It is about learning to dance in the rain.
My 2.5 year old mini schnauzer contracted meningitis. His story seems to be a bit different because he did not recover quickly from his initial round of steroids. One day he was walking and the next day he was not and so I took him to the vet. He had an mri and csf taken the next day (had to go to a teaching hospital in a different city). So, that first day of treatment = no improvement. Next day -- worse. Next day, slight improvement in the morning ramped up to significant improvement by the end of the day! The following morning, more improvement, so I was able to take him home that afternoon. I was extremely frightened because the vet thought so sure that it was SMRA and then NO improvement for so long. She thinks now that it is because his case was so severe that it took longer for the drugs to kick in. Now he is home and walking, bounding in many cases!, but he is still not himself yet. He does not really want to be touched or snuggle and he is possessive over toys (which is very opposite of his prior behavior). He sleeps most of the time. When someone comes over he has shades of his old self --happy and prancey! But, I worry that he is in pain and that something is still wrong. Or is this normal variation in recovery!? It seems like most of the blogs and comments do not talk much about the phase right after the major treatment or that they have their old dog back (normal behavior). I pray that Custers will get back to his old self!