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Bacterial meningoencephalitis and ventriculitis caused by migrating grass awns
Plant foreign bodies in feet, nose or ears are very common in certain breeds. Fortunately, in most cases the detection and removal of the foreign body is curative. But if plant foreign bodies start to migrate to the brain the sequela are fatal, as this very impressive recently published case report illustrates...

Regional suppurative meningoencephalitis and ventriculitis of variable chronicity was diagnosed in three young dogs residing in Colorado.

Grass awns were grossly identified in the right occipital cortex of one dog and in the right lateral ventricle of another.
Intralesional plant material was microscopically evident in the dura mater overlying the right occipital cortex of the third dog.

One grass awn was identified as a floret of Hordeum jabatum.

In each case, aerobic culture of brain tissue identified multiple isolates of bacteria.

The dogs presented with clinically variable, rapidly progressive neurologic dysfunction, including tetraplegia, depressed mentation, and episodic extensor rigidity, ataxia, circling, stupor, vocalization, and head-pressing.

Encephalitis due to bacteria introduced from migrating plant foreign material is a potential sequela of intranasal, periocular, or pharyngeal foreign bodies.

Source: M. M. Dennis, L. K. Pearce, R. W. Norrdin and E. J. Ehrhart (2005): Bacterial Meningoencephalitis and Ventriculitis Due to Migrating Plant Foreign Bodies in Three Dogs. In: Vet Pathol 42:840-844 (2005)



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