Steroid responsive meningitis-arteritis (SRMA) is a common inflammatory neurological disorder of dogs. This retrospective study evaluated a population of North American dogs with SRMA to explore whether breed differences exist in clinical disease course and treatment response, and examine caregivers’ perception of the effect of SRMA on quality of life (QoL).
Medical records from 61 dogs presenting to NC State Veterinary Hospital between 2003-2017 (n=32) or identified in an AKC Canine Health Foundation survey (n=29) with a diagnosis of SRMA based on results of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis were reviewed. Caregivers were asked to complete an online survey to evaluate the impact of SRMA on the dogs’ and caregivers’ QoL.
Breeds represented most often included the Golden Retriever (n=12), Bernese Mountain Dog (n=10), Wirehaired Pointing Griffon (n=9), Boxer (n=9), and Beagle (n=6). No breed difference in overall severity of clinical signs or CSF findings was identified. A higher CSF nucleated cell count (NCC) was positively correlated with the frequency of disease relapse (P = 0.0032), but no association was found between prednisone dose or duration and disease relapse. Caregivers’ perception of their dogs’ QoL during treatment was associated with the severity of prednisone adverse effects (P = 0.0331).
These results suggest that Golden Retrievers and Wirehaired Pointing Griffons be considered among the breeds predisposed to SRMA. Treatment with higher prednisone doses is correlated with more severe adverse effects and worse QoL, but does not appear to improve clinical outcome. The relationship between CSF NCC and disease relapse warrants further investigation.
North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Jeanie Lau received her bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from Dartmouth College and her veterinary degree from the University of Sydney. Upon graduation from veterinary school, Dr. Lau practiced as an associate veterinarian before completing both a rotating small animal internship and a neurology specialty internship. Dr. Lau is now in a residency training program in Neurology and Neurosurgery at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She is a 2017 AKC Canine Health Foundation Clinician-Scientist Fellow and under the mentorship of Dr. Karen Munana, she is researching Steroid Responsive Meningitis-Arteritis (SRMA) in dogs.
Thursday, June 14
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