General information on Granulomatous Meningoencephalitis
Granulomatous Meningoencephalitis, also known as GME, is an inflammatory disease. While the cause of this remains unknown, fortunately, it is rare in cats. GME causes lesions in the white matter of the brain. These lesions are typically found on the brainstem, spinal cord, cerebrum, or the cerebellum. There are three different types of GME that are related to their different symptoms. The different types of GME are: disseminated, ocular, and focal. Disseminated GME is a build up of mononuclear cells and neutrophils around the blood vessels in the central nervous system and then completely spreads throughout the central nervous system. Ocular GME is the least common form of GME, but its symptoms are the most serious. The blood vessels in the back of the eye will have the same inflammation as the cerebral cells and both eyes will be affected. Focal GME will attack from one or multiple parts of the brain and looks like a granuloma. The focal form of GME may be acute or symptoms may be noticed over a long period of time.
Symptoms of Granulomatous Meningoencephalitis
The symptoms for the different types of GME may vary. Some of the symptoms for disseminated GME and focal GME may be fever, neck pain, poor coordination, meningitis, seizures, depression, or nystagmus. Some of the symptoms for ocular GME may be vision loss, retinal detachment, uveitis, muscle spasms around the spine or glaucoma. Paresis and paralysis may slowly progress over a few month span of time.
Treatments for Granulomatous Meningoencephalitis
Typically steroids may be used to help reduce the inflammation in the brain. In order to give the cat temporary relief, radiation therapy may also be given. Antibiotics are also usually given to help with infections and the cat is usually hospitalized. The length of time for hospitalization may vary.
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Granulomatous Meningoencephalitis - personal experiences
Granulomatous Meningoencephalitis experience by - Carl
My 14 year old female was first attacked by GME 27 months ago when she awakened and could not walk, but somersaulted forward when attempting to do so. Steroid treatment was begun and after 2-3 days, she was much improved. Over time, she manifested other neurological symptoms (could not move in a certain direction, swelling of the eye, loss of all appetite, etc.) and each time steroids seemed to improve the condition until it was finally determined to keep her on a small dose of steroids to keep the condition under control. This worked until the last attack. At that time, steroids were increased as usual to no avail. From the beginning of the last attack, she was gone in just 3 days. Other than that condition, Buffy was a very healthy girl, who will be missed immeasurably.
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