Meningitis happens when the meninges become inflamed or infected. The meninges are the delicate tissues surrounding and protecting the brain and certain areas of the spinal cord. Meningitis further causes inflammation to the spinal cord or brain, bringing about neurologic symptoms. And this condition is common among domestic cats.
Cats suffering from meningitis are often sick and weak. They manifest muscle pain, unbalanced gait, stiff neck, fever, and severe sensitivity to extreme temperature and touch.
Aside from the above mentioned manifestations of cats suffering from meningitis, they also experience
- Lack of appetite
- Lethargic spells
- Their limps become rigid
- Stiff neck is manifested by head tilting going to the back, instead of from side to side
- Because of their extreme sensitivity to touch, they can become aggressive or cry with pain when touched
Those in advanced stage would suffer from extreme depression.
To treat meningitis in cats, it has to be accurately diagnosed first. And it is often difficult to diagnose meningitis in cats. Once found positive for meningitis, appropriate treatment has to be administered in an instant.
- To initiate the treatment plan, the vet would administer corticosteroid drugs. Sometimes, even if the disease is not confirmed and fully diagnosed, this mode of treated is started. Corticosteroids would relax the central nervous system and depress the effects of inflammation, especially when this is caused by a virus.
- High spectrum antibiotics are also given to fight off the bacteria causing the infection. Strong antibacterial medication that can cross over the barrier in the brain and blood are given in high dosages for a considerable amount of time, to fully kill the causative microorganisms.
To minimize and manage the harmful effects of meningitis in cats, supportive nursing treatments are also provided. Therapies including pain meds, dietary and nutritional supplement, intravenous fluid treatment, and anticonvulsant or anti-seizure drugs are offered depending on the severity of symptoms and the needs of the cat. This supportive course of treatment may be administered for weeks to months, depending on its effects and the disease progression.