Encephalitis in Dogs: Symptoms and Diagnosis

What is It?

Encephalitis is inflammation of the brain.

What Causes It?

Encephalitis can be infectious or non-infectious.

Infectious can result from bacterial, fungal, viral, or parasitic.

Non-infectious is likely a result of an auto-immune disease.

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What Are The Symptoms?

  • Depression
  • Fever
  • Dizziness head tilting
  • Walking in circles
  • Seizures
  • Change in personality

Is it Life Threatening?

Yes. Even with immediate treatment either classification of encephalitis can be fatal.

Are You Covered When Your Pup Gets Sick?

How is It Diagnosed?

A vet will perform a physical exam and a medical history questionnaire. A blood count, bloodwork and urinalysis will be conducted. Imagining with CT scans and MRI will give an in-depth look at your dog’s brain structure and function. A spinal tap is likely necessary for a firm diagnosis.

What Are The Treatments?

The treatment of this condition relies heavily on the origin and severity of the swelling. Bacterial infections will be treated with antibiotics.

In other cases, medicine to help reduce inflammation may be used in conjunction of immune suppressing medications may be necessary. Some dogs will not respond to treatment and some will.

You will need to follow up with your veterinarian regularly.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pup’s condition, please make an appointment with your veterinarian. Or, consult a virtual vet here.