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Megan is getting better from GME (K9 Meningitis) 02/01/08

Report on Megan iphone-new-2008-rescues-075.jpg

My precious Cavalier, Megan, was recently diagnosed with GME. This has been an extremely difficult time for me, but I would like something good to come out of it. I am writing to share my experience so that you will be able to recognize GME and get your pet early treatment.

About 4 or 5 weeks ago, I noticed Megan starring at me. Not just watching, but staring. I blew it off thinking that she was just admiring her mommy. She was also getting more lethargic. About 2 weeks before she was diagnosed, I noticed her limping on her left front leg. She seemed extremely depressed. I figured she was upset about all of the rescues coming and going.

I became concerned when Megan’s depression and limp did not get better. I took her to our vet and had blood work done. Nothing showed up. The vet thought Megan was depressed. The next day, Megan started panting more than normal and her heart rate rose. I took her back to the vet and they checked her again, but this time I also had her x-rayed in case there was something wrong with her leg. The x-rays were normal.

A couple of days later, I put Megan on the ground and her back legs seized up. I rushed her to the vet. They kept her all morning and put her on an IV and gave her a steroid. She responded very well. The vet thought Megan had Addison’s disease. It was Saturday, so the vet asked us to bring her back on Monday for a test to make sure.

When I brought Megan home Saturday afternoon, she started pacing the entire house. She would not rest for longer than a couple of minutes before she would jump up and start again. She would pace the house going over and over, always going the same direction. I cannot tell you how disconcerting this was. She was completely restless. It was completely unlike Megan. It was frightening.

By Sunday afternoon, I couldn’t take it. I rushed her to the Emergency Clinic. While we were waiting, my girlfriend Kerri noticed a pattern in Megan’s pacing that was the key to proper diagnosis: Megan would not turn left. She paced by making right turns only. When we told the vet all of the history, he said the pacing pattern ruled out Addison’s. He said this usually indicated a neurological problem on the right side. The vet said that he suspected GME (Granulomatous Meningoencephalomyelitis).

I took Megan to a neurologist in Carrolton the next day. They confirmed the GME. The condition affected the right side of her brain and that’s why she was not responding on the left side of her body. The treatment for GME is to be “blasted with steroids”. The prognosis for 60 – 70 percent is that they will respond to treatment and lead an almost normal life. Some are able to even be weaned off of treatment after 6-9 months. The other 30 percent unfortunately do not respond to treatment. Early diagnosis is critical.

Megan has been home since Wednesday, and she has done so well. She seems to be responding to the treatment. We will be going for a check up in 2 weeks, and the vets will be checking her at least once a month for the next 6 months.

Thank you so much to all of you for your thoughts and prayers. I have had a huge support system around me through this entire ordeal. It has helped to know that so many people care so much for a little dog in Colleyville, Texas. I hope that knowing the signs of GME will help you spot it and get your pet early treatment.

If you have a Cavalier or another kind of dog and are concerned about GME, a type of canine Meningitis, please read on. I am not a vet, but here are some of the possible symptoms and signs that I saw in my dog before the vet diagnosed her with GME:

· Staring, especially at walls

· Depression

· Lethargy

· Loss of appetite for short periods

· Limping

· Endless pacing

· Confusion

· Excessive panting

· Increased heart rate

· Failure to respond or interact with people

· Sudden change in normal routine (Megan stopped following me around)

· Dramatic change in personality (Megan was not at all herself the week before we got the diagnosis).

Pictures of Mega since she came back.

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  • Kerri on February 1, 2008

    I am so thankful that Megan is doing so well!

  • Tammy H on February 1, 2008

    I am so glad that Megan is doing better.

  • sue on February 3, 2008

    Hi there. ive just come across your story while i continue to research this awful GME. My little girl was diagnosed with it last June when out of the blue lost most of her sight(95%) Generally she had no other neurological signs, but had suffered back pain & low exercise tolerance which i now know could have been conected. At the moment she is on a treatment protocol of prednisolone & cytarabine which if its the immune mediated type, they need comination therapy. I am in the uk, I gather you’re in u s a. You could try contaction a dr Sissons at Angell Animal Medical Centre in Boston. He apparently is an expert in treatment of GME. I only wish i was in america because i’d be off to Boston.
    Good luck. Let me know how it goes.
    My advise is not to just rely on steroids alone.

  • Terry on February 4, 2008

    I’m excited that Megan is responding to treatments. It’s great to know that you are so in tune with your precious little one that you would notice the signs when something is different. And the information is you provided is invaluable.

  • Jennifer on February 4, 2008

    So glad to hear that Megan is doing better. She is a beauty!

  • Kerri on February 5, 2008

    Megan has her big check-up tomorrow!

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