My Dog Has Meningitis!

Home From Emergency And A Soft Spot To Share

Since my last ‘memoir’ post quite a few weeks back about little Indy’s trip to hospital for a suspected ‘raw chicken bone obstruction’ further medical events have unfolded which ultimately has resulted in Indy being diagnosed with “Steroid-Responsive Meningitis”.

Meningitis is a very serious life threatening condition in which symptoms can wax and wane for weeks and sometimes even months before a correct diagnosis is made.  Without early, swift and aggressive treatment the outcome can be devastating.

What Were His Symptoms?

Indy had just been de-sexed and given his 1st booster vaccinations a few days prior.  After coming home from hospital he was his usually bouncy and happy self.  Around 3 days later things suddenly changed.

He became very lethargic, trembling, completely uninterested in playing, squinting eyes, reluctant to lift his head and unwilling to go outside; when he did he would just stand still in the one spot. This unusual behaviour quickly escalated to yelping in pain whenever I would pat him or attempt to pick him up.

Head Down & Reluctant To Play

Head Down & Reluctant To Play

I called the vet and explained Indy’s behaviour in detail.  The vet thought Indy may have behaviourial issues; he prescribed “a very safe drug” (Endep) to treat it.  I looked up “Endep” only to discover it can have some very nasty side effects. Safe? Not in my opinion!

I decided against the drug prescribed and rather sourced a second opinion at Monier Vet.

After a thorough examination the new vet recommended an antibiotic injection (Norocalv) in-case of a possible infection, anti-inflammatory injection (Reliven) to reduce his fever and antibiotic tablets (Clavulox) to take home.  Indy was booked in again the following morning for a re-check to see if the fever had reduced.  I was given very clear instruction that if Indy was to change in anyway overnight I was to take him to Animal Emergency Service.

The following morning Indy still had a fever and was dehydrated.  IV Fluids and further tests were necessary to get to the bottom of his “Pyrexia” (unexplained fever) and treatment in Emergency as 24/7 care was highly recommended.   Indy was a very sick boy.

How Was It Diagnosed?

Emergency vet; Dr Alex Hynes went through Indy’s entire medical history, including his recent trip around 8 weeks prior to emergency also for “Pyrexia”.  With this recent history of on and off again fever, lethargy and taking into account his age his symptoms were classic for Meningitis.

The test to check for Meningitis is called a “Cerebrospinal Fluid” (CSF) collection, which looks at the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord and it does not come without a number of potential risks; ‘Bleeding into the spine’, ‘Paralysis’, ‘Brain Damage’ and ‘Seizures’.  A few other tests were run to rule out any other conditions before going down the path of a CSF.

Intensive Care In Emergency

Intensive Care In Emergency

Indy had; Pain Relief, IV Fluids, Bloods – PCV/TP and venous blood gas, CBC/Biochemistry, Sterile Urine SG/Clinistix and Abdominal Ultrasound all of which came back with no markers of any other medical condition, including “Lyme Disease” (bloods were sent to the USA) and Distemper.  The next step was the CSF test.

The Cytology (Smear) from the CSF indicated a positive result for “Meningitis”.  

After “Cerebrospinal Fluid” (CSF) Test

After “Cerebrospinal Fluid” (CSF) Test

What Is The Treatment?

There are a few types of Meningitis, the most common being “Steroid Responsive” and the other “Bacterial”.  Both are treated with different medications.  Indy was treated for both common forms until the results came back a few days later.  He had “Prednisone” for the steroid responsive Meningitis and “Tribressen” antibiotic to penetrate the blood brain barrier to treat the bacterial form of Meningitis.  Because Indy had recently had his heartworm preventative, they also ran tests to rule out “Parasitic Meningitis”.  The parasites become nomadic after worming treatment and that is when symptoms can arise.

Indy’s diagnosis: “Steroid Responsive Meningitis”.  

So What Now?

When Indy came home he had to be monitored very closely for seizures.  I have never felt so sick with worry.  Amber knew something was wrong and for the following week refused to leave his side for a minute.  Thankfully he never had a seizure and has responded really well to the steroid treatment.

Amber Refuses To Leave Indy's Side

Amber Refuses To Leave Indy’s Side

Steroids do have a few side effects such as increased thirst and urination, increased hunger, panting (especially dogs), general loss of energy, developing or worsening of infections (especially bacterial skin infections) and vomiting or nausea (less common).  It can also increase the risk of Pancreatitis and Gastrointestinal Ulceration.   Dogs may suffer from all or just some of the side effects depending on dosage, age, response etc.

Indy is extremely hungry all the time and has put on some weight.  Because of Indy’s new tendency to steal food, quite literally ripped from Amber’s mouth, dinner time is offered in separate rooms.  This is the only way I know for sure each is getting their daily nutritional allowance and to prevent food guarding and disputes.

Waiting For Dinner To Be Prepared!

Waiting For Dinner To Be Prepared!

The first few weeks Indy had no energy at all and seemed really reluctant to do anything.  It was so sad to watch my usually very cheeky and playful boy looking so sad and depressed. However the last few weeks I have seen great improvement and my cheeky boy is starting to shine again.  He is slowly becoming like his old self.

Indy was also seen be specialist Dr Terry King at the Veterinary Specialist Services who provided such wonderful care; while our new regular vets at Monier Vet are carefully managing the condition under Dr King’s guidance.  His medical plan ideally is to reduce the high dose steroid to none.  He is currently on 5mg a day and the dosage will reduce every 4 weeks by ¼ a tablet.  Then we move over to 1mg tablets, again reducing by ¼ a tablet every 4 weeks, until hopefully he requires no medication at all.

It is extremely important that this is done at a very slow and controlled rate which should take around 6 months.  Reducing the medication too quickly or stopping altogether is extremely dangerous and comes with a very high risk of the Meningitis returning quickly and aggressively.   I remain in regular contact with both specialist and general vet to give them a report on Indy’s progress and to be provided direction prior to each dosage reduction.

We have started the 1st stage of the steroid reduction and am relieved to say that Indy is doing really well.

Not 100% Himself. But Doing Well!

Not 100% Himself. But Doing Well!

Is It Contagious?

No.  It is not contagious and can not be “passed on” to you or your other pets.  Canine Meningitis is not like the contagious form that human’s contract.

Could It Come Back?

Yes.  There is a chance that Meningitis can return.

The specialist advised generally 50% of dogs with “Steroid Responsive Meningitis” respond very well to treatment and eventually become drug free, 25% are able to reduce to a low dose of Prednisone for life and the remaining 25% very sadly have a ‘roller coaster’ ride and battle with the disease for the rest of their lives. Some succumbing to the disease or a secondary one.

Will Indy Recover?

Sometimes Meningitis can be linked to a number of other conditions.  In 6 months time, when Indy is drug free, the specialist has recommended further blood work to rule out another underlying condition.  With that said he was very optimistic with Indy’s response to treatment so far, he should make a full recovery.

To the team at Monier Vet, Animal Emergency Service, Veterinary Specialist Services and personally to Dr Alex Hynes & Dr Terry King for everything you all did for Indy. For without each and everyone of you Indy would not be with me today.

I will keep you updated on Indy’s progress both on this blog and on our facebook page.

I would love to hear from anyone else that has a dog with Meningitis.

Enjoying A Nap...Just The Way He Likes It!

Enjoying A Nap…Just The Way He Likes It!

Has Your Dog Just Been Diagnosed With Meningitis?
This Message Is For You:
After Indy diagnosis I became totally consumed with scouring the internet for anything encouraging I could find on Meningitis.  It was hard going, their are so many articles and the majority are very upsetting and so heartbreaking that you find yourself at the point of total helplessness.  You may feel that all is lost.    I have spoken to so many people; family, friends and complete strangers who have had their own dogs struck down with this terrible condition. 

The one very important thing I have learned is
–  Every dog’s journey with Meningitis is different.
Do not give up.  There is hope.

 
A very special ‘Thank You’ goes to Josie’s Story for all of your advice and encouraging words when I needed them most.
Josie your strength is inspiring!  I dedicate this post to you.
Update: Josie crossed the Rainbow Bridge in 2017.  RIP Warrior Princess 2007-2017 Beautiful Josie

 

To “Brandy” and her loving family – who never gave up. Amber and Indy were Brandy’s fur-friend.
Diagnosed with “Meningitis” and then a further secondary disease “Chiari Syndrome”.  Such a brave and strong girl, but the fight was just too much.

In Memory of Brandy

Author Bio: Nikki is pack leader at Pressplay Pets, a blog for the modern age pet parent interested in health & care, news, reviews & personal accounts of unconditional love & at times heartfelt pain of pet parenting. She is also proud mum to cute and cheeky Papillons ‘Amber’ and ‘Indy’ and one crazy Rainbow Lorikeet named ‘Ralph’! Follow my Facebook and Twitter.


 

Pressplay Pets a blog for the modern age pet parent interested in health & care, news, reviews & personal accounts of unconditional love & at times heartfelt pain of pet parenting!

 

Sharing Is Caring!
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Follow Us!
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinyoutubeFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinyoutubeby feather

You may also like...

69 Responses

  1. Adriana says:

    I just lost my precious Nemo today and after reading your blog, I feel strongly it could have possibly been to Meningitis. He had a very stiff neck, yelped at times, was unable to stand on his own without stumbling after a while, he was eating but not drinking water, trembled and had a eye twitchy thing going on, he also seemed “gone” when looking at his eyes. He used potty on his own but could only stand for a bit.. I am so angry and sad that the vet did not rule out this ugly disease and sent him off with NSAIDs for a slipped disc. I wish I would have read this blog earlier. I am also sad that I did not know about this.

    • Pressplay Pets says:

      I am so very very sorry that you have lost Nemo. What you have described sounds so much like Indy (including the slipped disc “diagnosis”).

      It truly breaks my heart when I read of pets that are misdiagnosed and lives lost to this terrible condition. This too could have been Indy and the reason I shared his journey; in the hope more dogs lives could be saved :(.

      My thoughts are with you xxx

  2. Jo Elliott-Pressland says:

    Thank you for writing about your experience,we are at the start of treatment for morris, our year old whippet. He presented with pain and high temperature three times, the second time we had a csf tap with a negative result. But after painkillers for a few weeks was back to normal. Then about three months later presented with the same symptoms. This time was treated as srma despite not repeating tests as the vets don’t think it is anything else. He has started his steroids but we have already had to go back a step as he doesn’t seem himself. He is better than he was but I don’t have my morris back yet. It’s encouraging to read that indy took a few weeks to start returning to himself, as I think I assumed that the steroids would instantly bring back normal morris. So hopefully we will see an improvement soon. It’s so heartbreaking to see my bubbly, playful pup so disengaged with myself, my other dogs and the world itself. It seems like there is such a lack of information out there for what to expect during treatment. He is so quiet and reluctant to do pretty much anything. And that scares me, he looks so depressed all the time. Hopefully an even more gradual reduction of steroid dosage will help his progress and bring my boy back.

    So thank you for sharing your experiences, it helps when you are dealing with a disease that requires trial and error and no one has hard and fast rules. I hope indy maintains good health, and that everyone else going through this gets the best results possible.

    • Pressplay Pets says:

      Since he has responded well to the steroids the vets will be able to direct you how to slowly reduce to a management dose (or if Morris is lucky no steroids at all!). When the dose lowers that is when you will start to see the old Morris 🙂

      Seeing them so depressed and disengaged is very heartbreaking; I know.

      All the best with Morris and let us know how he goes.

  3. Ela says:

    Thank you for sharing. My duck tolling retriever has been battling with meningitis for 4 months now. It has been great to see her gradually becoming her bouncy, happy self again but unfortunately she has had several relapses. We are now back up to the full dose after patiently bringing it down to a quarter. Longer walks seem to have triggered the symptoms. It’s very upsetting to go back to the beginning again, I really hope she can get through this.

    • Pressplay Pets says:

      It is interesting how each dog is different; yet all have a similar issue that something triggers the symptoms again. For Indy it is “stressful” situations; ones that he finds stressful (eg attending a large dog walk with hundreds of dogs). I hope she is doing better now and you are working out what works and does not for your pup.

  4. Carolyn Kuptz says:

    I am in the middle of this horrible experience. My Louie, a 5 month old Teddy Bear, was a normal into everthing pup one minute and within a half an hour he went down hill. I immediately took him to my vet. He sent me to an er vet. That night I had to leave my critically ill baby in their hands. Yesterday hevwas transfered to their sister er that had a mri machine. He wad quicly diagnosed with meningitis. He had a mri, spinal tap and a whole batch of different tests done. As of today he is starting to come around. Sitting uo and doing a little walking but still in the er. My heart is breaking seeing the little angel so sick. He is still not responding to my voice, his eyes are starting to track. I cant believe how fast this came on. Any encouragement you can give me would be gratly appreciated?

    • Pressplay Pets says:

      Carolyn I am so very very sorry that you Louie has been struck down so quickly by Meningitis. I hope he is starting to show some improvement…the one thing I know personally and have heard from many other fur-parents is not to give up to early. They can go worse before they get better. I wondered if Indy would ever be like his old self ever again….but in time he was. He is now doing really well.

  5. Kristi says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. My 10-month old, pit/lab puppy is currently spending the night at a specialty clinic and will have a spinal tap tomorrow morning to confirm meningitis. Sadie was spayed while we were on vacation and was fine when we picked her up last Tues. afternoon. Wednesday morning she was extremely lethargic, could not easily move her head or bend down enough to eat. She was also running a low fever. Our vet treated with antibiotics, but Sadie did not improve. I did some research on my own and came across several articles about canine meningitis. Her symptoms seemed to fit the profile. As we ruled other things out, our vet agreed that meningitis was a definite possibility. We all agreed this morning that Sadie should see a neurologist as soon as possible. Luckily, she was able to be seen today at a clinic about 90 min. away. I am praying that we are starting treatment early enough and that Sadie recovers completely. I miss her fun and crazy personality!

    • Pressplay Pets says:

      I am so glad that you got onto the diagnosis so quickly. This is why I did Indy’s story; to help people “discover” this terrible condition before it is too late. Sadly many vets do miss the symptoms….mainly because they fit so many other more common conditions. Please let us know how Sadie is going.

  6. Christine says:

    Hello All – our little Maltese was diagnosed with MUA in 2014, went on steroid treatment and fortunately made a complete recovery.
    Mr Cherubini, a specialist in Veterinary Neurology stated at the time that ‘due to anecdotally reported relapse associated with routine vaccination, we suggest avoidance of any further ‘booster’ vaccinations – unless extremely necessary or in the case of an outbreak of some of the diseases fir which we do vaccinate’
    I have paid for a blood test to check her current immunity, if that comes back negative I will have to decide whether to risk vaccination.
    Has anyone else been advised to avoid boosters?

    • Pressplay Pets says:

      Yes, my vet has recommended we look at Titre testing from now on; she is very cautious about giving him vaccinations. Amber had her 1st booster – which last 3 years; I will be testing her levels in 3 years. As for Indy who has been diagnosed with Meningitis he has only had his 1st year vaccination (he had a 3 yearly one) so is not technically due until next year. I plan to test him at that time.

  7. Taylor Oneal says:

    Hello all, thank you for adding me to this group! I need some advice for tomorrow as I am pretty convinced our baby girl has a meningitis of some variety. Most of the classic symptoms, 1.5yr old pekingese, our loving cuddle bug is so lethargic, psuedo-anorexia, bouts of vomiting, leg twitching, awkward gate, and the like but the eye movements and gazes have done me in. Developed after a food change last weekend so we assumed sensitivity, behaved accordingly to no avail. Three days of symptoms caused an early morning trip to the vet weds. We’ve been treating for gastrointestinal since but after listing all symptoms I’m strongly convinced. I’m concerned about my vet running us through the diatribe when I want to start steroids asap and move on to CSF testing once we’re home as we’re prepping to move from Colorado to Florida this month!!! My wife has 12 yrs vet tech experience with our vet in Florida and I want all treatments coming from them as they’re trusted and fAir. Also, finances are tighter than usual with a cross-country move. Advice on getting straight to the business with the temporary Vet? Thank you!

    • Pressplay Pets says:

      I am so sorry to read what your going through right now with your little dog. Have you been able to convince the vet? I can appreciate that the vet might not want to rush into a CSF test as it does come with a number of risks. But is necessary to do to confirm meningitis. At the end of the day you know you dog better than anyone so just say you want the test done along with starting steroids. My dog was also put on a special antibiotic (incase it was the bacterial kind of meningitis) that can go through the brain barrier until the test results returned. So maybe discuss that also. Just to be on the safe side. Let us know how you go!

  8. Kate fletcher says:

    My 3 month old puppy was diagnosed with meningitis a few days ago. We were lucky we caught it early, he had no other symptoms than seisures, and he was very well in himself outside of the fits. He seems to be responding well to all of medications, but has less energy, is very hungry and thirsty and wees a lot! But I’m feeling positive with how he’s progressing and I’m keeping my fingers crossed

    • Pressplay Pets says:

      Hi Kate, I am so glad to hear you were able to catch the condition early and that he is responding so well to treatment! Yep Indy had the same side effects. But once the steroid dosage is reduced he will start to go back to normal. Thank you for letting us all know how he is responding to treatment; it is so important that people know that many dogs pull through Meningitis. Let us know how he goes. Cheers Nikki

  9. Sophie says:

    My dog became ill on his 1st birthday. He started vomiting and was very lethargic. Within a few hours he was being sick every 20 minutes and couldn’t walk without stumbling and crashing into things. We rushed him to the vet who gave him fluids and everything else. They tested for meningitis the next day and said it didn’t look good and told us to prepare to lose him. They started him on high dose steroids and after a few days he gradually got a little bit better. He wouldn’t eat on his own for almost a week and wouldn’t even lift his head from the ground. He stayed in the vets for almost 2 weeks but was allowed to come home when he could eventually walk again. It was the happiest moment when he took his first steps again. It was like he was learning to walk all over again. The vet recommended the same treatment (lowering the steroid dose very gradually) he had lost a lot of weight during his time in the vets so it wasn’t a big deal that the medication made him gain weight. It is now 8 months since he became ill and he is 100% back to his old self. You would never know anything had ever been wrong with him. The vet recommended not getting any more vaccines for him as this can trigger the meningitis to return. You just have to stay hopeful but it really is an awful thing for you to go through. Anyone who has a dog recently diagnosed, just know it can get better!

    • Pressplay Pets says:

      Hi Sophie, Thank you so much for sharing your success story. I have received so much response from desperate dog owners who are going through the very stressful beginning; it is nice to finally hear some good news that my readers can get further encouragement from.

      It is a long bumpy road but when they are stable it is like nothing ever happened 🙂

      Interesting what your vet said regarding vaccinations. My vet is also concerned about vaccinating Indy again. He had the 3 yearly one done and is not “due” until next year. I will be doing titer testing on him and Amber from now on. Fingers crossed they have received another puppy vaccine to cover them for life. We don’t have the rabies vaccine in Australia – but I have also read some devastating links to that and meningitis.

  10. Linda says:

    My little jack Russell Sassy only 2 years old was diagnosed with meningitis back in August 2016 after many weeks of vets visits, initially they thought she had a back problem, it was an MRI scan that showed the inflammation of the spinal fluid. Sassy was prescribed prednisolone 5mg per day, after 2 days it was like a miracle, her symptoms were relieved and so was I. After a few months we reduced the meds to 2.5mg once a day and again one month later we reduced it to 2.5 mg every 48 hours. It was then we realised that Sassy’s symptoms were returning so we upped the dose to 2.5 kg every 24 hours, she was ok for two weeks and then the horrid symptoms returned again!!!

    We are now back on the full 5 mg dose of prednisolone and 25 mg of Atopica also known as Ciclosporin. We are on day two and so far the symptoms haven’t been relieved, I’m am so anxious so see her suffering and wanted to know if anyone else has tried this combo of drugs and how long it took to work.

    • Pressplay Pets says:

      Hi Linda, I am sorry to hear that Sassy has been diagnosed with Meningitis. Indy is only on Prednisolone. I am not aware of the drug Atopica/Ciclosporin helping Meningitis patients? I too would be interested if anyone else has found this product to help.

      Indy too has had a few flare ups of Meningitis symptoms – for Indy it seemed to happen around the time I reduce the pred dosage and also when a “stressful” event occurred. EG: I took him and Amber to a HUGE dog walk raising $ for a shelter. There were thousands of people and dogs. They had fun but I think on a whole it was too much for him and within days the symptoms returned. It occurred a second time; this was a less stressful event but it was a new place I took him. Again the symptoms returned.

      Each time I called the specialist who confirmed my suspicion that it was connected. He said that he had seen it happen far to many times not to believe it was connected. So I was thinking maybe think back when you were reducing the dosage did anything happen that could have helped contribute.

      Please let me know how Sassy goes.

  11. Jake says:

    As a physician, I recognized some of the signs of meningitis in our 11 month old Dane mix, but they didn’t become certain until very late in his course. When he started to look unusual, we took him to the vet and found no explanation for his condition. He’d had some diarrhea, but was resolving. No fever, no white count, no chemical shift in blood profile, nothing. He continued to eat, pee, and poop, but his neurologic deficits continued, most concerning to me of which was squinting and light sensitivity. He was placed on antibiotics, and he remained relatively stable until yesterday, when he suddenly had difficulty with walking, standing, and seemed to be favoring his neck. We rushed him back to the vet (for the 4th time in 4 straight days), and the subspecialty veterinarians continued to baffled by his presentation — particularly absence of fever and other usual signs of acute illness. He was kept in the hospital overnight, for close monitoring, and MRI/CSF sampling to be done today. Sadly, at 2AM last night, he went into sudden cardiac arrest and he was lost. We are devastated.

    In retrospect, I’m not sure anyone could take a different approach given his unusual presentation. But high dose steroids and heavy hitting antibiotics may have helped. But hindsight is 20/20 and our poor boy is no longer suffering. From a human-medicine perspective, this presentation was highly unusual, and none of the symptoms of meningitis seemed to fit. But this is really the only possible diagnosis for him: viral or granulocytic/fungal meningitis.

    I feel for everyone else who has dealt with this. We are crushed.

    • Pressplay Pets says:

      I am so very very sorry to read what your beautiful dog went through and to finally have such a devastating outcome. Meningitis can be difficult to diagnose in the very early days and I am saddened that Meningitis has taken yet another pup.

      Thank you for telling us your story as I truly believe that it is so important for many more fur-parents to be aware of this condition and the symptoms so that hopefully more dogs can be saved.

      My thoughts are with you 🙁

  12. Laarni says:

    My 4 year old dachshund mix was diagnosed with meningitis about 8 hours ago. It’s been a long past couple weeks… Symptoms ranged all over the place (lack of appetite, fever, ulcers on tongue, then to insatiable appetite and a bloody nose). We went to the vet 4x prior to this most recent hospitalization. Never got a formal diagnosis until today… We just were treating the various symptoms. Yesterday, thought she had a turn for the better until she had a seizure. Rushed her to the emergency vet where they kept her overnight for monitoring until the specialists could see her and more testing could be done. She has several seizures overnight. They did an MRI and csf eval and confirmed meningitis. She started steroids and a 16 hr infusion of cytosar earlier today. Plus she’s on two anti-seizure meds. I’m a mess. I made her a DNR… Praying she remains stable through the night and responds to treatment come morning time…

    • Pressplay Pets says:

      I am very sorry to read that your pup has been diagnosed. I hope she has started to respond to treatment?

  13. Rodrigo Camilo says:

    I tought my dog have Meningitis. Symptoms are same you described. I adopted him, i found him abandoned in a street, very sick in last April. He had a strange kind of fungus in skin..long term treatment. After finished he got flu…i turn my laundry into a emergency room for him…recovered…weeks later (10 days ago) he started tilting their head..and got worse. Diagnosis are bad here (no MR or Tomo here) but i and my vet suspect are meningitis. He prescribed some corticoids for him. I felt he got better. Now he dont walk but always hungry and eat or water is not a problem. Other behavior is his legs muscles are super rigid and if i show food he relax…this is my only window now between me and him.Sooner he eats, turn rigid and his eyes look to nowhere again. I will never give up from Pupi…and yes is an very emotional rollercoaster. Just sharing this to let go a piece of this from my shoulders…and encourage others to continue. Today is day 11 from our battle. Thanks, Rodrigo – Brazil.

  14. Kat says:

    Thank you for sharing your story! We have a Duck Tolling Retriever – Fletcher who was diagnosed with SRMA 3 weeks ago, he’s 18 months old. We had to visit the vet 3 times in 3 days before we were referred to a specialist who inferred meningitis straight away. We knew it was something more than just an infection like originally diagnosed. Fletch is responding well to the Steroids and is on 40mg per day…we have an appointment at the vet tomorrow to see how things are tracking. The hardest part for us is the total personality change. Fletch is usually just like your Indi – full of beans and very cheeky. I work from home and he usually follows me around the house. These days he sits by himself in another room sleeping. He perks up for walks but still doesn’t run or chase and won’t walk far. His biggest change is he seems to hate other dogs at the moment. Usually he is the annoying pup wanting to say hi to every fur friend he meets but he is not interested in any other dogs at the moment.
    The hunger and excessive drinking/weeing is manageable but it’s so heartbreaking that we seem to have lost our lovable goof. Hopefully as we start to reduce the dose he will start bouncing around stealing all my favourite underwear again!
    There is a support group for his breed on Facebook that might be helpful to others who read your blog – I know I have had lots of people contact me giving me advice and sharing positive experiences which I found really helpful.
    Tollers with auto immune and cancer support group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1463900193893308/
    Hopefully some others can find some comfort here, best wishes to you all and your fur friends. Love Fletch and Kat xx

    • Pressplay Pets says:

      Hi Kat and Fletch! I am relieved that your specialist was able to quickly diagnose Meningitis. A timely diagnosis means a lot in terms of a positive response to treatment. Yes I know 110% just how you are feeling right now with your boys personality change. I truly felt that I was now left with a dog thats personality was a shell of his former self. He hated his big sister Amber so much that I was heartbroken that this might be how it is now. Amber was so desperate to play whilst Indy just growled and snapped at her. Indy has reduced to 1mg every 3 days and this will now be his life long maintenance dose. I would have preferred to get him down to nothing, but, each patient is different and responds differently. For Indy each time I reduced it lower then his current dose his personality changed. He became quiet and depressed. The specialist was always so worried the meningitis was raising it’s head again. But even with a very low does Indy has returned to his old self 🙂 I know that your boy will return. It just takes a little bit of time.

      Thank you for the facebook link I will have a look 🙂 Hopefully others will see it also and find comfort they are not alone.

  15. Annesofie says:

    My four year old French bulldog Aja has just been diagnosed with meningitis and it is just going up and down all the time. I feel so bad for her, last night she had an attack where she could not breath nor move and she vet herself. I really hope she will do better in sometime. I just love her so much sometimes I wonder if it is for my own sake that we keep on fighting this nasty sickness or for hers.
    Regards Annesofie, Denmark

    • Annesofie says:

      Unfortunatly she did not live through the night 😥

      • Pressplay Pets says:

        I am so very very sorry to read that your Aja has not survived this terrible condition. It really does break my heart to read another beautiful soul taken. My thoughts are with you xx

  16. Kirsty says:

    My pooch Minnie border was diagnosed October 2015 with steroid responsive meningitis when she was 11 months old … Managed to get her down to 2.5mg every 3rd day then she relapsed so currently back on 5mg every other day. Does anyone else experienced separation issues with dogs that’s had or got meningitis?

    • Pressplay Pets says:

      I am very sorry to read that your dog Minnie has steroid responsive meningitis. I have found that with Indy when he has had a relapse it has been a week or two after decreasing the steroids and he might have a stressful experience; for example, dropped the meds and 1 week later we attended a massive dog walk to raise money for the RSPCA. Indy seemed to find the event a bit overwhelming. 2 days later he relapsed. The specialist confirmed that this type of thing happens more often then not to consider it linked.

      So now when I reduce his medication I ensure for a few weeks afterwards Indy’s routine is without any change or stress. Fingers crossed that keeps working. As for separation issues? I’m not sure, Indy does not cope well on his own but I don’t know if that is just Indy’s personality?

      I would love to also know if anyone else can answer your question!

  17. Kerri says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. Our beautiful seven month old Snuffey died peacefully last week. we went to specialists, and the vets a million times. She was given steroids each time and would bounce back after a couple of days but we did find over time in between shots that she was getting worse and worse and slower and slower. Slept alot and was quieter. We only see this now, now that she is gone. We went the homeopath way as well. I have just had a report sent through and it appears Snuffey had a post vacinnation meningitus. Apartently toy dogs are having severe reactions to the Leptoguard vacinnation as it is very “live”. She got sick a day or two after each shot and never got better. She had neurological symptoms like a tilted head, one of her eyes would sink in her head, her back legs wouldn’t work properly and when she could walk it was like she was croacked. I am so pleased we let her sleep when she needed to, gave her lots of cuddles and at times feed her with a syringe. She was very loved to the end when she passed away quickly and peacefully. Her little body had had enough.

    • Pressplay Pets says:

      I am so heartbroken to have read the passing of your dog Snuffey. Meningitis is a terrible condition and each dog seems to have a different journey. RIP sweet Snuffey xxx

  18. Janie says:

    Hi Nikki-

    I am so sorry to read about Indy! My dog Beverly (Bevi) was just diagnosed with Meningitis. She had 2 seizures which were around 5 minutes long with a break of around 5 minutes in between. She had an MRI & a spinal tap. I am going to make an appointment at the vet ASAP. It is likely that I am going to go the homeopathic route as it is a lot safer. Her bones cannot take steroids and antibiotics are so hard on the system.

    I hope all goes well!
    All the best,
    Janie
    from http://www.essentiallydogs.com

    • Pressplay Pets says:

      Oh Janie I am soooo sorry to read this! They say everything has just 6 degrees of separation…I hoped this would not be the case for Meningitis. Yes I know I have been struggling with the idea of Indy being on Steroids, especially since I try to keep their diet etc so chemical free (and raw :)). It was 100% though the only option for Indy, it did save his life. He did not need to remain on antibiotics as his was not bacterial. His dose is decreasing slowly, I hope he will be steroid free in the near future. PI know how hard you work on keeping your babies as chemical free and natural as possible, please let me know how Bevi goes. All the best Nikki

  19. Veronica Blockowicz says:

    Thank you for sharing Indy’s story and continually answering people. My dog Boomer was just diagnosed with Meningitis. While I do not doubt the diagnosis, my vet (actually Neurologist) said that he does not have Bacterial Meningitis. He has steroid responsive meningitis. Yet, he still sent him home on a very powerful course of antibiotics as well as steroids. They also said to restrict all activity for 2 weeks. I hate to have Boomer on medication he may not need as it is rough on his stomach. He must feel sick just being on Steroids and antibiotics. My feeling is if it is not bacterial according to the spinal tap, although he did not send it out he only looked at it, why have him suffer with more medicine. The other question I have is if you had restrictions on activity. My feeling is to let Boomer do what Boomer feels like doing. I am not saying I will be running him in a 5k but he loves his walks so much. I want to take him on walks. What is your feeling on this?

    • Pressplay Pets says:

      It is a better diagnosis that he has Steroid Responsive rather than Bacterial which more difficult to control. In regards to the steroids…it is 100% what saved Indy’s life! I know it is a horrible medication. But for many dogs they only need to remain on it at a high dose for a few months and gradually reduce to either a minimal dosage or none by around 12 months. My Indy has had a few hicks ups as he dose gets very very low and he keeps having to go back onto it; but not a high dose like when originally diagnosed. The vet is starting to consider he may require a very small dose for ever (possibly 1/2mg every 3 days); but once again we are dropping the dose over a few months and touching base with the specialist for guidance. I would naturally prefer him to be on nothing; but sometimes that just is not the case. Your vet will likely stop the antibiotics once it is 100% confirmed not bacterial.

      For his tummy I would try and get him onto some probiotics to help the tummy lining. As foul smelling as it is I give Indy (and my other girl Amber) “Lamb Green Tripe” every day. Not sure where you live and what product you can get your hands on; but I offer raw/frozen “K9 Natural” from NZ. My sister’s dog who was diagnosed with Meningitis years before Indy used to have “Slippery Elm” sprinkled into her food. Both products are so good on the gut and colon.

      In regards to activity. You will find that the high dose Boomer has probably been prescribed will mean he actually will not want to do anything at all! Indy was like a shell of himself; sad, depressed and grumpy! I was panicking that this was his new personality; but I can 100% say that once the dose reduced, the Indy I knew came back. He is now totally like his normal self; he does not feel sick that is for sure. I would give Boomer the 2 weeks to get over the spinal tap. That is a major procedure and the last thing he needs is strain on his neck if going for a walk and pulling etc. Please don’t give up on him if he must remain on the steroids for a little while yet.

      I wish you all the best and if I can offer anymore details on Indy’s journey please let me know. 🙂

    • Alison says:

      Hi Folks, thank you for sharing your stories. We are getting very discourage with our sweet pups illness. He has been diagnosed with meningitis. He started his treatment 3 days ago. When can we expect to see any sort of improvement?

      • Pressplay Pets says:

        I found with Indy it took a couple of weeks for him to really seem better. But it took months for him to become is old self; that was only once the steroids were reduced. Hopefully some of our readers will give some feedback on how their own dogs journey went in the beginning. Each dog is different. Please let us know how your dog goes.

  20. Hazel says:

    Thank you so much for this article of hope. I’ve found nothing but scary horrific articles on this horrible disease that is currently affecting my beautiful 9-month old black labrador, Poppy. We caught it very early and started treatment immediately, her MRI was perfect but she has moderately high cells in her spinal fluid. It is heartbreaking although I have faith that she is going to get through it.

    My thoughts and prayers are with all dogs and owners going through this terrifying ordeal.

    • Pressplay Pets says:

      Hi Hazel, I am so glad that you are being so positive. Most dogs do pull through, especially when diagnosed and treated early, it is a long road to recovery and so many feel like it will never end. But I know that for Indy, even though he did become like a shadow of himself (both in weight and then in personality) he finally started to become his old self again (around 6 months after the steroids had been reduced) and he is now 12 months later 100% his cheeky self. I would love to know how Poppy’s journey goes. Please keep us all up to date. It is amazing how many dogs are diagnosed with this condition. Early and aggressive treatment with steroids is the key!

  21. Toni Martin says:

    Thank you for sharing our story.Certainly sounds similar to ours. I am in the middle of researching and so glad I found your ‘little ray of sunshine’. Our nearly 3 year old may have meningitis. The last test should return tomorrow to see if it may be valley fever. All I know is our boxer Daisy is in a lot of pain. Can’t pin point an area. Or just when we think we have it’s no longer as sensitive. All of her muscles are so tensed that her back is arched. Poor girl. I hope we can get her diagnosed and treated soon. Even the pain killers just aren’t enough to keep her comfortable. But no fever, but she seems to get soooo cold at times and just shivers.

    • Pressplay Pets says:

      Hi Toni, I have never heard of valley fever? But I sure know how unforgiving meningitis is for a dog. It is heartbreaking and if it is meningitis I would think the shivering is one of the same symptoms Indy had. Has the vet started steroids yet? The one thing Indy’s vet did after doing an spinal tap was start treating both forms with antibiotics (not the usual kind the one that penetrates the brain) and steroids. Once they worked out it was the steroid responsive kind they stopped the antibiotics. Please let me know what Daisy is finally diagnosed with and if you have any other questions please just ask. If I can help I will.

  22. Laurie Manning says:

    My baby, Poppy, a six year old Lhasa Also had spinal surgery 3 weeks ago after a herniated disc was diagnosed, she was slow to recover but made progress and regained the use of her back legs, she developed an ulcer on her eye and had a stitch put in to keep the eye closed and help in heal, the stitch came out two days ago. She was walking and getting stronger and was due to come out of hospital yesterday evening but the vet called yesterday morning and said she was going down hill and they believed she has meningitis, we went to see her yesterday evening and it was devastating, I feel so helpless. They started her on steroids yesterday, we pray for some improvement in the morning. She should have another MRI in the morning to confirm diagnosis/rule out anything else.we are so afraid for her. I can’t sleep with the worry and we miss her so much but know they are doing all they can for her. Has anyone else had experience of a dog developing meningitis after spinal surgery? I’m clutching at straws right now

    • Pressplay Pets says:

      Hi Laurie, I am sorry to hear the terrible journey Poppy is going through. It is interesting that you say about spinal surgery and meningitis. They actually thought Indy had a disc issue initially because he yelped when his spine was pushed, he was given anti-inflammation medication. It seemed to settle, so I arranged to have him neutered a few weeks later. Suddenly all the symptoms returned but much much worse. He was going down hill so fast, after spinal tap they worked out not a spinal issue but rather Meningitis. High steroids is what saved Indy. He has been on them (reducing every couple of months) for the last 12 months. Please don’t give up on Poppy. I know with Indy I was wondering if he would ever be the same again. He was like a totally different dog. Depressed, cranky and did not want to be touched. As the steroids was reduced, around the 6 month mark he started to become his old self again. Indy is still on steroids 1 year later but the dosage is very very low. He is 100% back to his old self! If you are not seeing a specialist that treats Meningitis I highly recommend that you do. It is a touch and go condition but if managed well you can have a good outcome. Please let me know how she goes.

  23. Carlene says:

    It is comforting to read all your stories. Our little furry boy Rusty started getting weak in his hind legs then gradually the front legs and unable to lift his head or wag his tail. He looked very miserable. We took him to a second vet yesterday, the other thought it was his spine and put him on anti inflammatory. By yesterday he could barely stand or walk and was not interested in food and had trouble swallowing. The vet recommended antibiotics and to give him water every hour. After seeing him in hospital we decided to leave him there to be put on a drop. We researched Meningitis and contacted the Vet after reading Indie and Coopers story. He has been commenced on the Steroids as well as the Antibiotic. Curiously like Cooper he does not have a Temperature and so far no fits. We are both in a state of shock as it happened so quickly

    • Pressplay Pets says:

      I am so very saddened to hear about your boy Rusty and his possible Meningitis diagnosis. Yes this disease can be very quick. I am so relieved that you spotted Indy’s story and suggested Meningitis to the vet. Early treatment is so important. Please let us know how Rusty goes with his treatment.

  24. Asti says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. Our 5mth old lurcher is having his mri / spinal tap this morning – meningitis is top of the list. Such a shock. My thoughts go out to all owners and dogs that have gone through this. x

    • Pressplay Pets says:

      I am so very sad to hear that your pup has to experience a spinal tap 🙁 I hope it went well? Please let us know the outcome. xx

  25. Tina Wainscott says:

    I’m glad to find your post, and happy that your pup is doing good! We were lucky to get a quick diagnosis. Our boxer mix pup showed signs yesterday morning, and by mid-afternoon, I made a vet appointment. She was lethargic, didn’t eat or drink, whimpered, though I couldn’t find a tender spot. Had I found your blog during the morning while I was looking for what might be wrong, I would have made the appt immediately! Your dog’s symptoms were spot on with mine.

    But the good news is that she was given Clavamox and Metacam and was eagerly eating at 930p that night and lifting her head for the first time. She has the bacterial form. This morning she is almost back to normal, though if she bends her neck she yelps. We weren’t told about any continued treatment, other than the two weeks of anti-inflammatories. I wanted to give an outcome for this form for those who find your very helpful blog.

    Thanks for posting it!

    • Pressplay Pets says:

      I am so glad to read your dog is doing much better and that my Indy’s story has been of some help! Please let me know how your girl goes 🙂

  26. Rose says:

    My dog was 11 when she got her meningitis after having her vaccinations. (shes always been a little over-weight, never turned her nose up at food and is a whippet) At first she got really ill; wouldn’t get up straight be in pain eating, drinking, walking etc. We went to our vets and they didn’t know what were wrong except all her organs were as healthy as a 6 year old dogs’. So we put her on steroids and were told at first it couldn’t be meningitis or cancer *sigh of relief*. She started getting better, happier and then after 3 weeks she couldn’t even get out of her basket. We took her back and upped her steroids and giving tramadol. Small miracles started to happen but no good changes. She could eat a little but always brought it up again later in the week, walks were now a once a week event. After an inconclusive MRI and blood scan as well as a bunch of other scans. It took nearly 1 year to finally get referred to a specialist and our vet realised she couldn’t find out what was wrong, after which my dog was so ill and high temperature and very clingy as well as near on 10 visits to the same vet. After five days in the specialist we were then given a letter telling us what caused it and how she will cope. The meningitis was caused by an allergic reaction to her booster jabs. Now an some very good steroids and tramidols which we have now been able to lower down to every other day *woop* she runs like a bullet again and eats whilst keeping to a healthy weight. I still worry about the day the pills no longer work or her engine burns out because of the steroids and the great advice and knowledge we finally received I’m happy with the way she is and even more happy to know what it is. Shes been at her happiest since the specialist visits and continue to get happy even with a few bold patches and a few new grey hairs.

    I remember reading the letter and seeing that she need a complex carb (?) diet as well as vitamin B rich food. My mum (used to racing greyhounds in her younger years and being a kennel made throughout most of her 20s) said ‘how the hell am i gonna shove bread down her throat on a daily basis’. Throughout all of it my mum was there with the jokes, the chocolate and tissues. I’ve had my baby girl since i was 7 and was the most scared to hear she had meningitis. When she was younger she’d run along the mud flat so fast she’d end up running on water. She’d jump of the pier and roll around in the sand. Chasing rabbits and getting stuck under beach huts. I’m just glad shes getting her ‘need for speed’ back even if it means minus the antics.

    • Pressplay Pets says:

      It is very sad to read that it took so long to diagnose your dogs Meningitis. Old age Meningitis is quite rare as it usually affects young dogs around the age of 1 year. With that said my sister’s dog also was mature aged, the vet at the time was so surprised he wrote a thesis about it! Thank you for sharing your story with all of us and I hope you girl has many more years with you 🙂

  27. Kevin and Mags says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your story! Like you mentioned, it’s quite difficult to find good and specific information about dog meningitis online. It’s also great to hear that Indy is doing so well, and it gives me hope for our pet.

    Our 8-month old Corgi puppy was just diagnosed with meningitis. His CSF is still in the lab (for over a week now…), so we’re unsure of the cause, but he has responded really well to his prescriptions of prednisone (steroids), Enrofloxacin (Baytril), and Clavamox (both antibiotics). At this point we’re still not sure if it’s Steroid-responsive or bacterial.

    Do you remember if they identified the cell types in Indy’s CSF sample? Our pup Chip had lots of neutrophils in his, and the symptoms sound very similar. While we’re waiting to hear back about whether there might be parasites, bacteria, or fungal agents causing this immune response, I was just hoping to find out more about what the presence of high levels of neutrophils (as opposed to other immune response cell types) in the spine might suggest.

    Thanks again!

    • Pressplay Pets says:

      Hi Kevin and Mags! Thank you for your message and I hope Indy’s story has given you hope of your pup getting through this terrible disease. I can not remember what the cell types were however it was finally determined Steroid Responsive Meningitis. After more then 6 months Indy finally stopped steroids a week ago, however, a few days later turned off his food. The specialist decided to er on the cautious side and Indy has gone back onto a very very low dosage of 1mg a day (split am/pm) for a week. Yesterday, dropped back again to 1/2mg once a day. The specialist can not be sure it was Meningitis raising its head again, but we will try again to stop the steroids over the next couple of weeks.

      The specialist did say that some small dogs titter along on what is usually considered just a “Pysiological Dose” but it seems to keep the symptoms at bay. Fingers crossed he was just having a off day and in a few weeks can finally be steroid free.

      I wish you all the best with your pup. Keep positive, if it is steroid responsive just always remember your pup may be very down and not seem at all anything like your former pooch. But don’t worry he will be his usual self again in time as the dosage is reduced 🙂

      Please let me know how he goes.

  28. Deborah says:

    omg… I think I just lost my 10 year old papillon to meningitis.., just this week…, after reading your blog. The trouble is he was being treated for a soft trachea problem that had just developed. As a result of this he had been having little fits.., waking up because he couldn’t breath but not very often. Then he started having them constantly.., he was on cortisone, heart tablets and diuretics to lose weight as well. He had started to improve after a week or so of this treatment, then he suddenly started vomiting one night. He was unsteady on his feet and hanging his head and doing little yelps.., the Vet wanted to eithanse him pretty much straight away.but ended up giving him a cortisone inejection and antibiotics. after one day on pain killer and sedatives there was no improvement and we felt no other option but to have him put to sleep. It’s been such a shock and I can’t stop crying…! I feel like we could have saved him somehow…., I loved him so much, my little buddy. We just had our other dog euthased 4 weeks although he was quite ill for sometime and it was a blessing in the end.., I feel the universe hates me right now… I will get another Papillon eventually but I need time to grieve.., my beautiful Basil.

    • Pressplay Pets says:

      I am so very sorry to read about your little boy Basil. Meningitis is a terrible disease that so many people are unaware their dog can contract. And still sadly some vets may not diagnose it early enough before irreversible damage has already occurred. With Indy they had a suspicion it was Meningitis and did a spinal tap. Before the results came back started treating him for both forms with high doses of Steroids and special antibiotics that is the only kind that can penetrate the blood/brain barrier. Indy ended up thankfully with the Steroid responsive kind, which has a much more positive treatment rate.

      It is just so heartbreaking for you to have lost two fur-babies in such a short time frame. I too know how you feel, having lost my cat Morticha and my other Papillon Corey only 3 months apart in 2012. I still cry to this day when I think about them. You did everything you knowingly could for Basil, we trust our vets and hope that they can and will make the correct diagnoses early enough and implement treatment. Sadly sometimes they don’t.

      Yes in time your own heart will mend just enough to bring a little heartbeat back into your home. Thank you for telling me Basil’s story.

  29. Julie says:

    My husband and I got a Masti-Dane puppy at about 10 weeks old. We had struggled with the addition after spending 10 years caring for our beautiful sweet Great Pyronese/Newfoundland mix after a botched knee surgery. Painful as it was, we were trying to heal and move ahead. We aquired the puppy we named Zues at about ten weeks. We took him to our Vet for a checkup and his 2nd set of shots at 12 weeks. He was diagnosed with a yeast ear infection and started on flea and heartworm meds. He was the sweetest loving puppy we could have asked for. We fell head over heels in love with him. We were treating him for the ear infection with Vet prescribed drops. At 13 weeks we came home to a very sick puppy who could barley get up and go outside. He was urinating on himself and would not eat. We took him to the Vet and he was placed on intravenous fluids and monitoring. He also had a very high fever of 105. When we went at the end of the day to check on him, he couldn’t even lift his head and displayed signs of extreme pain even though he was on pain killers. We were devastated. We made the decision to stop the horrendous pain and let him go. We were obsessed with what could have cause this and sent bodily samples to a pathologist to be tested. After many tests that proved negative, the Vet determined that Zues had meningitis. I guess even when you do everything right, sometimes it not enough. We would love to get another dog but are still just in such pain from this. Nothing but sorrow. So sad. This disease is awful.

    • Pressplay Pets says:

      I am so sorry to read about Zeus. Yes Meningitis is a terribly cruel disease and catches most pet parents by surprise. It seems that the earlier the diagnosis the better the outcome. But because the signs are so non-descriptive it often is overlooked as a number of other conditions. You never forget your fur-babies, but in time your heart will mend just enough to bring another one into your life. Thank you for telling me Zeus’s story 🙁

    • Kerri says:

      HI I just read your post. Our seven month old puppy has just passed away with post vaccination meningitus. Vets specialist have tried to help but only steroids would help and then eventually they stopped working and Snuffey had had enough and died peacefully after a four month illness. We feel bad about vacinating her but you sometimes have no choice. We are getting a new dog and we will wait until nine weeks of age before vacinnating. I do think dogs are over vacinated. Just one in a thousand thing I guess. Sorry to hear about your Zues. I think people like you should have dogs and other people who mis treat them shouldn’t. Dogs definately become part of the family.

  30. Hi Girls,

    Thank you so much for ‘Brandy’s Dedication’.
    We still miss her very much each day.
    I’m so glad to hear Indy’s doing so well. Keep up the good work Indy !!!
    Love DEB and RAELENE

    • Pressplay Pets says:

      Brandy was a beautiful gentle and CRAZY girl all in one 🙂 We were so happy that Amber had such a gentle friend her age to play with.

  31. Clowie says:

    I didn’t know dogs could get Meningitis. Best wishes for a smooth recovery.

    • Pressplay Pets says:

      Before my sisters dog contracted it I also had no idea. It is a terrible disease, however, I am hopeful that since it was diagnosed early and that Indy has responded so well he should be all good in no time. Thank you for your kind message 🙂

  32. Sheridan says:

    How very lucky Indy is to have you as his mum. Thankfully you got a 2nd opinion.
    I too was terrified you would loose him . I was so sad for what I thought was going to happen
    You are amazing as are the Vets and Specialists all involved with getting your Beautiful Indy back up on his feet.

    • Pressplay Pets says:

      I was so worried also. Knowing what my sister went through with her dog Rascale years ago and then again recently with my friend with her young dog Brandy, who was not much older than Indy. I was a mess :(. We have a long way yet to go, but little Indy has some of the best specialists around guiding us.

      • Tiiu says:

        Thank you for sharing your story about Indy. How is he doing now?
        My sweet Champ is staying at the emergency clinic overnight tonight following his many tests due to his hind leg weakness. The neurologist suspects meningitis for a variety of reasons and will start him on steroids tomorrow (since he had an anti-inflamatory yesterday). It will be a little while before we know exactly what is wrong. I too have been scouring the web for information and I find your statement that every dog has a different journey with meningitis a relief, actually. Our Champ has so few of the symptoms, but xrays and the CT scan ruled out any spinal problems. He is a rescue dog so I know little about his history except that he was chained up for the first 3 years of his life. And he has small pieces of metal imbedded in his flesh around his back. So he can’t have an MRI. God knows what happened to him. Anyway, thank you for your post. It has given me hope.

        • Pressplay Pets says:

          Thank you for your message and I do feel for you right now. It is a scary ride and I wish Champ all the very best. And yes each dog’s journey is different and when you read all the scary stuff on the net it can and does make you feel their is no hope.

          But I can say that Indy is doing really well, he started on 10mg of prednisone (steroid) a day and for Indy during those high doses he was a totally different dog. He became very quiet, grumpy had zero interest in playing or really anything. I was starting to think that this was how he was going to be from now on. But as the dosage was lowered in .25mg every 4 weeks. He slowly started to become his old ‘pre-meningitis’ dog again.

          Now 6 months later he is currently on 1/2mg every 2nd day for the next 4 weeks and then the specialist decides if he comes off totally or the dose is stretched out again further in days. The secret is very small reductions and very very gradual. He has put weight back on (when diagnosed he was only 2.3kg and now a healthy 3.3kg).

          Please let me know how Champ goes, and I will keep you both in my thoughts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *