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Inflammation of the
protective covering of the brain
But bacterial causes of meningitis is still a problem:
Bacteria gets into the blood stream from wounds, surgery, through an unhealthy gut wall, heart disease (endocarditis) and gum disease.
With a little luck, our immune systems and antibiotics will destroy these bacteria and all will be well. But sometimes the bacteria win.... or at least survive in enough numbers to continue circulating in the blood until they find a place to establish breeding colonies in the liver, lymph nodes or other places in the body.
The body has further defenses (the blood-brain barrier) designed to keep bacteria from getting into the central nervous system.... but bacteria are opportunistic little organisms and sometimes they not only survive the gauntlet but get into the central nervous system and make it up to the brain and it's rich, rich, supply of oxygen and nutrients.
The only definitive diagnosis is from a culture of the the cerebral-spinal fluid.
But we often surmise the problem from the symptoms. One of which is seeing pus inside the eye (uveitis).
Antibiotics and prayer. The prognosis is often grave.
On this page
A little about meningitis
Other diseases that affect the brain or central nervous system on other pages:
Cardiology Heart disease in Cats, Cardiac Hypertrophy, Valvular disease, Cardiac Insufficiency, Congestive Heart Failure, Heartworm Disease, and a little history about the milestones in treating heart disease
Cats: general information page and directory of diseases and problems specific to cats including vaccine recommendations, leukemia, feline viral infections, feline upper respiratory disease and cats that just aren't feeling well.
The meninges is the sheet of protective tissue covering the delicate brain. In the picture of a human brain to your left, the pathologist is peeling the meninges back with his forceps.
Infection or inflammation of the Meninges is called meningitis and it is a very painful and disorienting disease.
Viral infections like distemper and rabies were a common cause of meningitis in the United States, but thanks to aggressive vaccination programs, these disease are no longer common in Western countries.