Any dog neurologist will do their best to help a patient with encephalitis. Still, encephalitis is a very complicated neurological condition because many patients show clinical signs similar to other problems. A veterinary neurology specialist may need to analyze cerebrospinal fluid to identify the disease accurately.
Encephalitis in dogs results in the inflammation of brain tissue, and it may come as a result of several causes such as fungal, parasitic, or bacterial infections. It is not common for your pet’s central nervous system to become infected with anything that will result in the inflammation of their brain tissue. However, infections can spread from other parts of your pet’s body, including sinuses or ears.
You should be very attentive to any changes in your pet’s behavior if they got bitten after a fight with another animal. Pay attention to some of the signs that something may be wrong:
- Neck pain and rigidity
- Head tilting
These are common to many other conditions, but as the disease progresses and symptoms are more apparent, the disease becomes more challenging to treat, putting your dog is at an increased risk. Act as soon as possible and get help for your dog to save their lives.
How Your Dog May Get the Disease
Many cases of Encephalitis don’t have an identifiable origin, but we can trace back some cases to fungal, parasitic, or bacterial sources in the case of your dog. Sinusitis, ear infections, and urinary infections could spread to your dog’s central nervous system resulting in Encephalitis.
Some types of ticks are more likely to spread diseases that result in Encephalitis, and parasites entering your dog’s Nervous System can create the same result. Neurologist specialists are also careful about immune system disorders that can’t differentiate between your pet’s healthy cells from an infection or foreign bodies.
Some small breeds of dogs have a reportedly higher susceptibility to this neurological disorder. We warn all owners to consult with a veterinary neurologist regularly, but you should be even more attentive if you have any of the following breeds of dogs:
- Shih Tzu
- French Bulldogs
What a Dog’s Neurologist Does in These Cases
When you take your dog to the veterinary clinic, we will perform regular examinations like blood tests or urinalysis. Still, these are not enough to determine if your dog is at risk of developing Encephalitis.
Your dog’s neurologist will consider any genetic susceptibility to this type of disorder and recommend additional tests if there is any indication that your dog’s central nervous system may be infected.
Diagnosing Encephalitis requires correctly identifying the clinical signs, a combination of tests, neurological examinations, and advanced imaging like an MRI in conjunction with a Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) analysis.
The veterinarian team will recommend treatment that manages your pet’s clinical signs. Depending on the origin of your pet’s condition, your vet neurologist may recommend broad-spectrum antibiotics, corticosteroids, or antifungals.
Be prepared to consider nursing care because many patients may be in critical condition needing intra-venous fluids, anticonvulsants, and anti-inflammatory drugs. Some dogs would benefit significantly from supportive care or nursing, so make sure to ask your veterinarian about the arrangements you can make to help your dog.
The Need for Supportive Care
Dogs who suffer from the more advanced stages of Encephalitis could develop additional symptoms that require constant monitoring and care. Dogs may need supportive nursing for their intravenous intakes, take their medication at the right intervals, and make their lives easier.
Keep in mind that dogs may lose balance, suffer seizures, and develop blindness. You could try to clear the areas where your dog rests and cover some of the walls with padding. Help reduce your dog’s stress levels by carefully announcing yourself and keeping them in a quiet area.
Get in contact for professional help to manage IV lines, avoid dehydration, and schedule regular physical therapy sessions. You should also take note of any changes in behavior to let their veterinarian neurologist know.
Stay in contact with the team caring for your dog to stay in the loop, and try to coordinate visits as often as you can if they have to receive treatment away from home.
Get in Touch With a Dog’s Neurologist
Here at Brightcare, we have experienced staff to help diagnose your pet. If you see any of the symptoms we mentioned before develop in your pet, make sure you give your dog’s veterinarian a call, so they refer you to a neurologist specialist.
We have the equipment necessary to perform all the analyses required by your dog to determine if they have Encephalitis or not, so give us a call if you think your dog’s health is in danger. Remember that treating your dog as early as possible is key to overcoming this dangerous disease and that recovery will depend on how quickly you act when you suspect that your dog has this type of infection.
We are happy to help, so don’t waste any time and get in touch with your veterinarian as soon as you can.