Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Brain Tissue Inflammation and Death (Breed Specific) in Dogs

Breed Specific Necrotizing Encephalitis in Dogs

Necrotizing encephalitis refers to brain inflammation accompanied by the death of brain tissue. This condition primarily affects specific dog breeds, notably pugs, Yorkshire terriers, and Maltese. Additionally, it may occasionally occur in chihuahuas and shi-tzus. Symptoms of necrotizing encephalitis vary across different breeds.

Symptoms and Types

Symptoms and types of this condition vary based on the specific area of the brain that is affected, but they may encompass abnormal behavior, seizures, circling, and blindness.


The precise cause of this condition remains unknown.


Diagnosing this condition involves providing your veterinarian with a detailed medical history, including symptom onset and frequency. Following the history, your veterinarian will conduct a thorough examination of your dog. A comprehensive blood profile, including a chemical blood profile, complete blood count, and urinalysis, will be performed, with results typically falling within normal ranges. Radiographic studies, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography scans (CT-scan), usually yield nonspecific findings.

For a more definitive diagnosis, a sample of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord, may be collected and sent to a laboratory for analysis. CSF testing may reveal elevated leukocyte (white blood cell) counts, known as pleocytosis, indicating inflammation, infection, or the potential presence of a tumor. However, a brain biopsy—extracting a small sample of brain tissue for analysis—is the sole method to conclusively identify the cause of the brain disturbance.


Regrettably, there is no targeted treatment currently accessible, and interventions primarily aim to alleviate symptoms. Medications that aim to diminish brain inflammation or moderate the immune system’s over-reactivity may be employed, although definitive treatment options are limited. Additionally, your veterinarian might propose seizure management as part of the treatment plan.

Living and Management

Managing this condition poses challenges as there is currently no available treatment. While certain medications may alleviate symptoms, achieving a complete cure remains elusive. The disease is typically chronic and characterized by progressive symptoms.

Your dog may necessitate prolonged treatment, which could involve administering medication at home. It’s imperative to adhere strictly to medication guidelines, ensuring the correct dosage and frequency to avoid potential overdosing, which is among the leading preventable causes of pet fatalities.

Regular communication with your veterinarian is essential, as adjustments to medication dosages may be necessary over time as brain inflammation diminishes. Your veterinarian will establish a clinic schedule to monitor your dog’s response to treatment and make necessary adjustments to medication and home therapy protocols.

Scroll to Top