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Meningitis is an umbrella term for any neurological disease characterized by inflammatory or infectious disease of the meninges (lining) surrounding the brain.

In dogs, meningitis is usually accompanied with encephalitis, thus the more collective term meningoencephalitis is more commonly used.

Encephalomyelitis involve the brain as well as the spinal cord.

Causes in dogs include:

- Streptococcus spp[1]
- Distemper, Rabies
- Balamuthia mandrillaris
- Aspergillus spp - German Shepherd
- Cryptococcus spp
- Cladosporium spp
- Fusarium spp
- Candida spp
- Phaeohyphomycosis
- Scopulariopsis spp
- Sporobolomyces roseus
  • Immune-mediated
- Steroid-responsive meningitis-arteritis
  • Breed-specific
- Eosinophilic meningitis in Golden Retrievers and Rottweilers
- Granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis in Pointers
- Greyhound meningoencephalitis
- Pug encephalitis
- Necrotizing meningoencephalitis in Yorkshire Terriers
- Necrotizing leukoencephalitis


  1. Messer JS et al (2008) A case of canine streptococcal meningoencephalitis diagnosed using universal bacterial polymerase chain reaction assay. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 44(4):205-209