Biggie is a gorgeous 7 month old Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross who came to see us at the clinic because one morning he was suddenly reluctant to move and was in pain. Poor Biggie would yelp when he was picked up and seemed unable to move around.
Dr Claire examined Biggie and discovered that he had a high temperature but he was in too much pain to do any further examination. It was decided to admit Biggie in hospital for the day to monitor and provide some pain relief. After a further examination during the day, Biggie’s pain was more localised to his neck and back. We were concerned he had developed meningitis.
Meningitis is usually an infection causing inflammation in the Meninges, which are found in the lining of the spinal cord. The disease is quite rare and it is mainly seen in younger dogs, usually with a sudden onset, just like in Biggie's situation.
To properly diagnose Meningitis a sample of Biggie's spinal fluid was needed. We referred Biggie to the Melbourne Veterinary Specialist Center, where he had further diagnostic tests and meningitis was confirmed.
Biggie has the form of meningitis in dogs that is caused by inflammation without infection. He was started on an anti-inflammatory medication to which he has been responding well and is now back to his lively self. Over time we will gradually lower Biggie's dose so he will eventually no longer require the medication.