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Treatment of meningoencephalitis of unknown origin
It affects mainly young to middle-aged dogs and remains a very mysterious disease: meningoencephalitis of unknown origin. This brandnew article tries to help to understand this disease better - and evaluates chemotherapy with combined cytosine arabinoside and prednisone.

Objectives: The differential diagnosis for young to middle-aged dogs with progressive neurological signs, focal or multifocal computed tomography/magnetic resonance imaging lesions, mononuclear cerebrospinal fluid pleocytosis and negative infectious titres includes granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis, breed-specific meningoencephalitis, infectious meningoencephalitis of unknown origin and central nervous system neoplasia. The terminology meningoencephalitis of unknown aetiology may be preferable for cases that lack histopathological diagnoses. The safety and efficacy of a combination of cytosine arabinoside and prednisone protocol is evaluated, in this study, for the treatment of meningoencephalitis of unknown aetiology in 10 dogs.

Methods: Cases were selected based on neuroanatomical localisation, negative regional infectious disease titres, cerebrospinal fluid pleocytosis and brain imaging. Clinical response was gauged through follow-up examinations, owner and referring veterinarian surveys and review of medical records.

Results: Partial or complete remission was achieved in all dogs; the median survival time for the 10 dogs was 531 days (range 46 to 1025 days), with five of the 10 dogs alive at the time of writing.

Clinical Significance: Prednisone/cytosine arabinoside is a safe empirical therapy for dogs with meningoencephalitis of unknown aetiology; this drug combination may prolong survival time.


Source: Zarfoss, M.,et al(2006)
Combined cytosine arabinoside and prednisone therapy for meningoencephalitis of unknown aetiology in 10 dogs. In: Journal of Small Animal Practice 47 (10), 588-595.




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