Glucocorticoids for Treating Meningitis in Dogs

Meningitis in dogs is a scary and potentially life threatening disease. Fortunately, this condition does not manifest itself often in dogs, and almost always comes about as a result of other conditions. It is therefore generally preventable, although this is not always the case. Meningitis in dog is an infection and a swelling of the brain and spinal cord. Without proper treatment and prompt action, meningitis can quickly result in permanent brain damage, coma and death. It comes about often as a result of other infections that have been left alone and have managed to spread to the internal organs.

Glucocorticoids are a naturally occurring set of hormones in the body. These important chemicals include cortisol and cortisone. These chemicals will literally affect each and every system of your pet's body, and a natural and proper balance of them in your dog's system is crucial to his sustained health and life. A few of the important functions that cortisol and cortisone perform for your pet include the following:

  • Blood vessel dilation and contraction
  • Assistance in the processing of other hormones, like epinephrine
  • Lower stress responses
  • Regulate kidney function

How Glucocorticoids Can Help to Treat Meningitis in Dogs

Glucocorticoids can also be used for medicinal purposes in the dog's body as well. As steroids, these drugs have a similar property set to those of other steroids and their related cousins in the veterinary medical world, NSAIDs (non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs). One of the most important things that glucocorticoids do when prescribed to your dog for medicinal purposes is to act as an anti-inflammatory. In the case of meningitis, where the area around your pet's brain and spine have become inflamed due to an infection, this is a crucial step toward lowering the infection and, ultimately removing the problem from your dog's system.

These steroids also help to assist in immune system suppression, which is crucial for your pet's meningitis as well. Unfortunately, in the case of certain infections, your pet's body may begin to target the infected systems as outside threats, which delays the time in which it takes for the condition to be resolved and for your dog to heal properly. Suppressing the immune system is therefore, in cases like these, a good thing.

Concerns with Glucocorticoids

As with all other steroid based drugs that you inject into your dog's system, there are several concerns that you should have over using glucocorticoids for this function. Among the most important of these are the potential for side effects and short term imbalances of the important hormones cortisol and cortisone. This is why the treatment of any chronic condition is usually limited to non steroid based drugs. Fortunately, however, the side effects are generally minimal compared with the potential affects of meningitis, and the condition is not a chronic one.

Speak with your veterinarian for more information about glucocorticoids and how to use them in treating your pet's condition.