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Encephalitis in Dogs and Cats / Inflammation of the Brain in Dogs and Cats

Encephalitis in Dogs and Cats / Inflammation of the Brain in Dogs and Cats

Herbal nutrition to help address conditional needs related to symptoms of encephalitis and inflammation of the brain in dogs and cats.

Encephalitis refers to inflammation of the nervous system, related to the brain and spinal cord. Encephalitis can affect the brain only, or may also affect the spinal cord, referred to as myelitis, and/or inflammation of the meninges membranes, referred to as meningitis, which covers the brain and spinal cord. 

Encephalitis is divided into two categories:

Infectious causes related to exposure to bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungus and tick borne diseases (rickettsial diseases such as Lyme disease).

The second and most common category is idiopathic encephalitis, in which the cause is unknown, or idiopathic, and remains undiagnosed. Symptoms of encephalitis can appear suddenly as well as progress rapidly with little if any warning.

Common causes include unknown origin (idiopathic), immune mediated disease or disorder; complications related to vaccination (vaccinosis); viral infections such as distemper, parvovirus or rabies infection; bacterial infections involving both aerobic or anaerobic infection; fungal infections such as aspergillosis, blastomycosis, histoplasmosis and parasitic and tick borne infections such as Lyme, ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. 

Common symptoms include



Behavioral changes 


Reduced responsiveness

Reduced interaction

Head tilt to either side

Paralysis of face

Uncoordinated movements

Uncoordinated circling

Unequal size of pupils (referred to as anisocoria)

Smaller sized pinpoint pupils

Reduced consciousness

While not exclusive, German short-haired pointers, Maltese, and Yorkshire terriers are all found to be predisposed to encephalitis.

Herbal Remedies  - (listed in order of relevance and recommendation by holistic vets)

Herbal treatments are used to help reduce swelling and inflammation in the body, including the brain, spinal cord and surrounding tissues; may help limit pathogen progression in the animal body; may help protect the blood brain barrier (some herbs can safely cross and support the blood-brain barrier); may help reduce symptoms of pain and inflammation; natural plant chemicals include anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, antibiotic, anti-septic, anti-fungal and may help balance immunity when it has been compromised, important in cases of immune mediated encephalitis; may help support healthy circulation and overall health; may help as an adjunctive support in the treatment of degenerative diseases and may help strengthen and support healthy joints.

I Feel Good –  (learn more) contains plant based adaptogens, which helps nutritionally tone the animal body, helps boost or balance immunity as needed, including soothing an over-stimulated immune system or boosting an under performing immune system, helps to reduce all forms of system-wise metabolic and oxidative stress that undermine immunity; helps support water regulation and fluid balance in the body; helps reduce all types of inflammation, provides dermal support and growth of healthy cells and tissues in the body’s defense mechanism, reduces the histamine trigger for contact allergies, seasonal and chronic allergens, pathogens, skin rashes, infections, hot spots, inflammation, swelling, hair loss, itching and geriatria (dull coat, lethargy); for all types of arthritis, including Degenerative Joint Disease, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and symptoms associated with rheumatism, including pain, strains, injuries, muscle pain, swelling and lack of mobilityreduces all types of inflammation, particularly from the heart to brain; plus contains prebiotics and probiotics useful in balancing digestive health and function plus much more. Recognized as one of the most important medicinal plants in the world, particularly related to supporting balanced immunity and limiting inflammation and inflammatory conditions.

Shake Ur Groove Thing  (learn more) promotes healthy bowel function, purification, gentle parasitic detoxification and body clarification; waste and toxin removal, including pesticides, environmental toxins found inside and outside the home, chemicals related to flea and tick products and drugs regimens such as NSAID’s and synthetic glucosteriods and corticosteroids; helps remove inorganic synthetic and derivative compounds from an animal’s cell walls to help reduce toxic load in the body; also used for cramping, pain, constipation, gas and bloating; helps support a correct balance of native intestinal flora and helps calms the digestive system; promotes immune balance and helps to limit inflammation, which is important in disease prevention; used holistically for anal fissures, fistulas, hemorrhoids, food allergies and hypersensitivities and as a general skin support. 

Serenity Zen Dog & Cat - (learn more) is used for its multi-level nutritional and plant botanical support that works on all animal body systems to help soothe, relax, calm, balance and provide pain relief to nerves and muscles (Adrenal, Cardiovascular, Digestive, Excretory, Respiratory, Autonomic and Central Nervous Systems); may be useful for stress, anxiety and behavioral disorders; may be helpful in reducing the effects of allergies, digestive colic, storms, fireworks, travel, boarding, vet visits, separation, restlessness, irritability, depression, hyper-excitability, aggression, sadness and fear; to help address and reduce pain; to help maintain normal electrical balance in the brain, to reduce neuro inflammation,  and to modulate inflammatory response throughout the animal body.

Hepa Protect – (learn more) helps support proper liver function and metabolism, bile production and flow, helps rehabilitate and repair the performance and health of the liver, kidneys, bladder and gall bladder, helps rehabilitate and detoxify the kidneys and liver; helps tone and balance the connective tissue of the liver, kidneys and bladder; helps normalize liver enzyme levels; helps regulate kidney acid/alkaline levels, for all types of stones and gravel of the liver, kidneys, bladder and gallbladder, including oxalate and struvite crystals and stones;helps reduce uric acid, for gall bladder inflammation, gall stones and gallbladder infections, for renal colic and renal calculi; helps to protect red blood cell formation, useful in diseases such as ehrlichia and ehrlichiosis.

Conventional Remedies:

Your vet will perform a complete physical examination as well as a biochemistry profile, urinalysis, and complete blood count. The results should determine the underlying cause of the encephalitis.

If your dog or cat has an infection, a complete blood count may show an increased number of white blood cells. Viral infections may decrease the number of lymphocytes, a type of white cells (also known as lymphopenia). And abnormal reduction in platelets (small cells used in blood clotting) is a good indicator of thrombocytopenia

To confirm lung involvement and related complications, your veterinarian may take chest X-rays, while MRIs and CT-scans to evaluate brain involvement in detail.

Your veterinarian may also collect a sample of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which is then sent to a laboratory for cultures.  If culture assays are unsuccessful, a brain tissue sample may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis, but it an expensive and sometimes risky procedure for senior and immune compromised animals.



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