General information on Meningitis
Meningitis primarily affects the central nervous system. It is an infection in the lining of the spinal cord canal and the brain and causes them to become inflamed. Meningitis is primarily caused by either a viral or a bacterial infection. In rare cases meningitis can be caused by blood-born bacteria. Meningitis is a serious condition.
Symptoms of Meningitis
Some of the symptoms for meningitis may be fever, pain, stiffness, back spasms, extremely sensitive to the touch, and a stiff neck. The cat may also be showing signs of lethargy, loss of appetite, tilted head to one side, chin tilted toward the back, aggressiveness when touched, or exhibiting signs of pain when touched. In some advanced cases of meningitis the symptoms may be blindness, depression, paralysis, seizures, general confusion, and agitation. The cat may also experience ataxia, which is when the cat is unable to control and coordinate its movements.
Treatments for Meningitis
The treatment for meningitis is dependent on the cause of the meningitis. Your veterinarian may perform a spinal tap to diagnose and determine the cause. In many cases, your veterinarian will prescribe immunosuppressant drugs to reduce the swelling and hopefully eliminate the meningitis. Unfortunately, it is common for these drugs to not work in cats and, therefore, the best treatment is to find the underlying cause and treat that to make the infection go away.
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Meningitis - personal experiences
Meningitis experience by - deannah
My cat has meningitis, he has a rare form in cats which is immune related and only normally found in dogs. After being ill for several months and seeing several vets including a specialist his condition was misdiagnosed and as a result one night he collapsed and became unresponsive. He was rushed to the emergency service who informed me he had a brain injury and was going to die , placed in intensive care and the next day he underwent a MRI and a spinal tape at which point it was confirmed he had meningitis and a severe swelling to the brain. After several weeks in intensive care Harley came home but he was physically damaged by the incident - he had lost the use of his back legs completely. Since then Harley has had a continuous regime of treatment including steroids, atopica and chemotherapy treatment - all to suppress the meningitis. It is now eight months later and although he will always need treatment, the cat who all the vets said would die from this has improved and is now walking.
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