DaDane of DaWeek

 Created: 05/26/08


 – Newest DaDane

 – Previous DaDane

 – Archived DaDanes

 – Copyright Policy


  Available now 
  DaDane of DaWeek
  T-shirts & Sweatshirts

  Coming soon...
  DaDane Notecards &

Great Dane Links Directory



May 26, 2008 — Over the weekend I heard from a gal who is facing an unusual problem. The best I can do for her is publish her letter (with permission) and hope that somebody in the audience might have some experience with canine meningitis.

Hi Ginnie,

I have been a fan of your site since 1997 when I found my first Dane starving on the side of the road. The information on your site was a great help and inspiration to me after jumping (accidentally) headfirst into the world of Danes. Your DaDanes of DaWeek had me rolling, and I have to say my favorite is still Kitty Cones. But you also prepared me for the awful health issues that plague Danes, and often bring a premature death to a breed that already has a short life span. When my first Dane died it affected me so profoundly that I was driven to write a detailed account of what happened. It even was published in DaneWorld magazine.

AkeemMy problem today is with my fourth rescue Dane, Akeem. Last Sunday night he started acting uncomfortable, in a way that reminded me of my last Dane Bailor's "non-typical bloat" (because he didn't swell up in the abdomen, the vet didn't diagnose it until 10 hours later on the operating table, and it was too late). Anyway, we woke our new vet up at 3:00 am and took him in. Again, he wasn't distended much, and he was running a fever which confused the doctor, but he tranquilized, tubed and gave him an anti-inflammatory for his fever. This seemed to relax him, and we thought we were out of the woods, but left him for observation at the vets.

The next day we went to see Akeem and he was looking depressed again. He was walking very stiff-legged and later could not bend his neck without letting out a heartbreaking YELP. My vet immediately wondered if it was a neurological problem, or a blown disk. He decided to give him a myelogram and take a spinal tap while injecting the dye. Turns out he has a very rare form of meningitis that my vet has only seen once in his 30 year career. It's called Localized GME: Granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis. Very quickly it progressed and Akeem couldn't get up, walk, or even hold his head up. He had that blank stare like he didn't even know who we were. It was like we were watching him fade towards a painful death right in front of our eyes.

AkeemJust as I was considering putting him down, our vet suggested we could try giving him a steroid drip overnight, but he wasn't optimistic. It was a miracle — the next morning Akeem could lift his head up and he was happy to see us. Apparently GME is fatal, but it seems our quick response to his discomfort, plus the vet's quick diagnosis and aggressive steroid therapy had brought him back from the brink. By Thursday he was walking around, albeit with a pretty wobbly back end, but amazing compared to just days before. He is home now, but we are watching closely for a relapse of symptoms (basically a fever) and watching his breathing for signs of discomfort. Apparently we may be able to suspend the inevitable with another dose of steroids, but if it is GME it will get him sooner than later.

I was wondering if anyone else out there has ever had a dog with meningitis, and how they treated it. Also any thoughts and prayers would be greatly appreciated. I am sending some photos of 'Keem. I am partial, but I think he is beautiful and would make a great DaDane of DaWeek; and I would be honored and grateful if you thought so too.

Thanks again for your time and efforts in supporting the Great Dane community!

Lara Oles Kemmerer

©2002-2008 by Ginnie Saunders. All rights are reserved. No part of this web site may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means — electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system — without written permission from Ginnie Saunders. To learn more about copyright issues on the web, visit the Web Law FAQ., Inc.   
PO Box 50314   
Columbia, SC 29250   
(803) 783-3169   

Go to DogWare!