Q:

Do dogs get meningitis?

A:

Dogs can get ill with canine meningitis. There are various types of meningitis that affect dogs, including meningoencephalitis, meningomyelitis and steroid responsive meningitis.

According to PetMD, meningitis is the inflammation of the meninges or membranes surrounding a dog's central nervous system. Meningoencephalitis is the inflammation of the meninges and the brain, while meningomyelitis is the inflammation of the meninges and the spinal cord. These types of meningitis are usually caused by bacterial infections that originate in other parts of the dog's body.

Partnering for Pets states that steroid-responsive meningitis is thought to be an autoimmune disease, and although the condition responds well to steroid treatment, the cause of the disease is unknown.

Symptoms of meningitis in dogs include fever, vomiting, stiffness of the body, neck and legs, pain and seizures. Diagnosis is made through a spinal tap, and the spinal fluid is sent for analysis.

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