Granulomatous Meningoencephalitis (GME) in Dogs and Cats

Common info

Granulomatous Meningoencephalitis (GME) is an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system which leads to the development of a small tumor. When the body's immune system fails in coping with the antigen or disease obstruction, an infection will then experienced in the central nervous system, spinal cord, and meninges. The disease normally found in 6 months to 10 years’ old pets. The common symptoms of Granulomatous meningoencephalitis (GME) in dogs and cats include blindness, lethargy, walking in circles, seizures, paralysis, and severe headache, etc.


Granulomatous Meningoencephalitis (GME) in dogs and cats is still unknown what the cause of the disease. In some cases, however, the disease may be caused by body immune system disorder, bacterial and viral infection, etc.


There are 3 types of Granulomatous Meningoencephalitis (GME) which can be named as follows:

  • The 1st type is called, “Focal” – When being infected, a small tumor will be developed in the cerebrum or at the fossa located between pons and little brain. 
  • The 2nd type is called, “Ocular” – This type of disease will cause a severe disorder in the eyes, leading to acute blindness as the vasculitis will cause uveitis, retinal detachment and glaucoma respectively.
  • The 3rd type is called, “Disseminated” – This type of disease is caused by an accumulation of white blood cells around the veins in the central nervous system.  When having inflammation, an infection will be experienced with a spread made all over the central nervous system.


  • Blindness
  • Paralysis
  • Severe headache
  • Lethargy
  • Seizures
  • Walking in circles 

The symptoms of granulomatous meningoencephalitis (GME)  in dogs and cats vary based on types of the disease, which generally include: blindness, lethargy, neurosis, such as walking in circles, tonic seizures, change of daily routine behaviors, rear leg paralysis or 4 legs paralysis with a severe headache.

Treatment and Prevention

In a severe inflammation case, the patient needs to admit to the hospital for complications prevention purposes. Once the cause of the disease detected, the veterinarian will inject steroids and saline solution into the patient’s vein. This type of medicine shall only prescribe under the veterinarian’s supervision. In the event when disorder occurs in the eyes, irradiation may recommend.

  1. Wikipedia | Granulomatous meningoencephalitis
  2. Petmd | Brain and Spinal Cord Inflammation in Dogs
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  8. Kirk Ryan, DVM Steven L. Marks, BVSc, MS, DACVIM Sharon C. Kerwin, DVM, MS, DACVS. 2011. Granulomatous Meningoencephalomyelitis in Dogs. Compendium. 23(7): 644-651.
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