Steroid Responsive Meningitis in Dogs

Meningitis in dogs, like the same condition in human beings, is a very serious and often fatal disease. This condition refers to an inflammation of the meninges, which are membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. Though these membranes can become inflamed for a number of reasons, each of the diseases are called meningitis. However, the different nature of different types of meningitis will make it so that not every case can be treated in the same way. Therefore, it's important to know what type of meningitis your pet has, if he suffers from this condition, so that you can go about treating him the proper way.

Steroid Responsive Meningitis Overview

Steroid responsive meningitis is also called aseptic meningitis. This type of meningitis can be treated or addressed with steroid medicines, as the name suggests. This is in contrast with other types of this condition which cannot be treated in this manner. When your pet has this condition, it may be very difficult at first to determine the cause of his symptoms. There are very few symptoms initially, and the disease is oftentimes not recognized until it has progressed a fair amount. The earlier that you can detect your pet's meningitis, the better the chance is that you'll be able to treat it.

Symptoms of Steroid Responsive Meningitis

The symptoms of steroid responsive meningitis include the following:

  • Fever
  • Neck and back pain
  • Lethargy
  • Unresponsiveness or loss of consciousness

If you notice these or any other types of symptoms that are unusual for your pet to be displaying, it's possible that your dog is suffering from meningitis. Take note of his symptoms and take him in to the vet as quickly as possible in order to ensure that you deal with them in the proper way.

Diagnosing Steroid Responsive Meningitis

After making an initial evaluation of your dog's physical symptoms and outward signs of disease, your vet will continue with other methods to confirm that he is in fact suffering from meningitis. The most common tests that are performed include a complete blood panel and count, as well as a neurological examination and a spinal tap. The spinal tap is the single best method of diagnosing meningitis, as it can demonstrate the nature of the spinal fluid that is located in the meninges.

Treating Steroid Responsive Meningitis

Immunosuppressive medicines are oftentimes the best means of addressing steroid responsive meningitis. These drugs include corticosteroids and are designed to reduce the inflammation at the site of the meninges to allow normal processes to occur once again. Though these medicines can cause side effects, they are by far the best option that you have against steroid responsive meningitis. Most vets record beneficial results within about two days of initial administration of these medicines.

Meningitis of any kind is a serious and potentially fatal condition. Do not hesitate to take your pet in to the vet and to address his health concern as quickly as possible.