Encephalitis in a dogs: symptoms, treatment, causes

Our pets bring a lot of joy and happiness to your home. Each owner tries to properly educate his pet and control his health. Animals, like humans, are very susceptible to various diseases. One of the most insidious diseases is encephalitis.

Encephalitis is a lesion that occurs against the background of inflammatory processes in the brain in an animal. The spinal cord and the lining of the brain are involved in the destruction process.

If the disease occurs on its own, then such encephalitis is primary. Secondary encephalitis is detected against the background of various other diseases: trauma to the skull, otitis media and others.

Due to the location of inflammatory processes in the organs, the disease is divided into:

- Meningoencephalitis - Inflammation occurs in both the brain and the lining of the brain.

- Encephalomyelitis - The spinal cord and brain are affected.

- Meningoencephalomyelitis - Inflammation processes take place in the meninges and in the spinal cord.

Symptoms of encephalitis in dogs

The disease tends to progress very quickly. An animal may develop a chronic form if the lesion is caused by protozoal pathogens. Granulomatous meningoencephalitis is similar in symptoms and course to the chronic manifestation of the disease.

In the first stages, the motor-motor function is disturbed, the muscles begin to tremble, the movements of the animal are indistinct and disturbed. Over time, the disease develops, its symptoms depend on the lesion of the brain or spinal cord. The animal becomes inactive, blindness and deafness develop , tremors of the head and muscles of the pet's face, as well as twitching of the paws, are observed.

At later stages, respiratory functions are impaired, paralysis occurs, reflexes weaken and, over time, can completely disappear. The animal loses its appetite, its weight drops dramatically, and apathy develops.

In severe cases, necrosis processes occur, nerve cells change, cerebral edema and hemorrhage in various parts of it can be observed.

The death of an animal occurs as a result of a violation of the functions of the head center, namely, the respiratory one. The brain is completely destroyed, the organs fail.

The causes of encephalitis

Encephalitis can be caused by: a disorder of the immune system, infections, heredity, some parasites (for example, tick-borne encephalitis), brain injury, otitis media in the form of suppuration. Immunity from infections, improper drugs, or chronic diseases can lose its normal function. Over time, immune cells begin to attack the brain cells in the body, which is called an autoimmune disorder. In some cases, the immune system works normally, but the destruction of infections is not complete without damage to brain cells, which is a comfortable condition for the reproduction of pathogens.

Otitis media in advanced cases takes on a purulent form. Gradually, pus destroys the ear and skull, penetrating into the brain. Microorganisms begin to eat substances that are necessary for nerve cells, which leads to the death of the latter.

The heredity of this disease is poorly considered. But some breeds are prone to genetic diseases that are associated with brain inflammation.

Injury to the skull can lead to the formation of a blood clot at the site of injury. Blood comes from both the brain and the vessels of the skin. A compacted mass begins to form, due to which edema occurs, which in turn causes the destruction of nerve cells. Neural functions are impaired. And all the physiological processes of the body begin to work in an abnormal mode. As cell pressure increases, coordination problems begin to emerge, and reflexes change. When the swelling reaches the capillaries, the neurons begin to die. This leads to various paralysis.

And since the functions of nerve cells are disrupted, some organs and parts of the body lose their sensitivity. At later stages, the organs of the animal begin to die off, which leads to the development of secondary diseases.

At-risk groups

Groups of dogs of different ages and sexes are susceptible to this disease. Most often, animals that have not reached 2 years of life are prone to infections, since their immunity has not yet fully formed. And also elderly individuals from 8 years old, because with age, the immune system weakens and is no longer able to fight infections.

Encephalitis treatment

To choose the correct treatment method, it is necessary to identify the cause of encephalitis. The first step is to restore the normal functioning of the nervous system with the help of massages, electrophoresis and drugs (for example, proserin). Then the pathogen should be destroyed using antibiotics (for example, ampicillin and others). The next step is to relieve swelling in the brain and spinal cord. Diuretics (mannitol, diacarb) are used more often. The final stage is to combat the development of secondary diseases. Neurotransmitters and hormones are used as treatment to avoid inflammatory reactions.

It is important to monitor the condition of the animal and consult a veterinarian at the first symptoms. Remember that even with timely treatment, the survival rate is 50%.

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