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Pet Bucket Blog

Dogs and Meningitis

 by jaime on 21 Aug 2014 |
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Meningitis is a serious condition that affects the central nervous system in dogs just as it is in humans. Meningitis is the inflammation of the meninges, the membranous layers that protect the outside of the brain and spinal cord.

Meningitis is incredibly painful and without early medical intervention, it can be unfortunately fatal.


  • High fever
  • Stiff muscles
  • Muscle spasms
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Stilted gait
  • Depression
  • Lethargic
  • Nausea
  • Rigidity of muscles (neck and limbs)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Inability to bend legs
  • Poor coordination
  • Move in uncontrollable circles

In severe cases, symptoms may also escalate to:

  • Extreme depression
  • Blindness
  • Progressive paralysis
  • Seizures
  • Confusion
  • Agitation
  • Aggression


Generally meningitis is a secondary complication to a disease that has started elsewhere including viral, bacterial, parasitic or fungal infections.

Other causes include:

  • Exposure to chemical toxins
  • Infected bite wounds on the head or neck
  • Bacterial migration to the brain from infected sinuses, nasal passages or middle ear infections.

Any dog of any breed, age or gender can be affected by meningitis, however newborn pups are particularly at risk. Meningitis is incredibly serious and immediate veterinarian attention will be required to give your dog the best chance of recovery.

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