My Dog’s Recovery from Meningitis

I wanted to share Cooper’s Progress with you guys as it’s been almost two months since Cooper was diagnosed with Meningitis.

My Dog's Recovery from Meningitis
In my last post I mentioned how Cooper became extremely depressed when he was on a high dose of the steroids, he also lost 4 kg in about a week. We were very worried about him at that stage. After a visit to the vet, we quickly started tapering him off the medication. It is extremely important that this is done slowly over a long period of time otherwise there could be a big chance of the meningitis coming back. Each time we reduced the steroids, he got happier and happier. We started on two 20mg tablets a day, then moved to one a day, then half a day, then half every second day and now Cooper is on half a tablet twice a week. Before we reduced the medication, each time we went to the vet for a check up to make sure he was ready for the next reduction and thankfully each time there was an improvement. We saw the vet on Tuesday and he suggested that Cooper stays on the half a tablet twice a week dose for two months and then we see him for another check up before stopping them all together.
My Dog's Recovery from Meningitis
However, after our visit to the specialist vet, we got a reminder from out local vet that Cooper is actually due next week for his vaccinations. The only problem is – you cannot have your vaccinations if you are on steroids as both of these affect his immune system. It could actually cause his Meningitis to flair up again and/or he could have a bad reaction to the vaccination. For a young dog, it is not good to hold off on vaccinations for too long after their due date so we needed to be very careful how we managed this. After speaking to our local vet and our specialist vet – we have decided to push Coopers vaccinations out by three weeks and to stop his steroids all together the week before his vaccinations to make sure he is ok. This means, Cooper will be off the steroids in three weeks time (rather than in two months time). It is then important after the vaccination that we watch him for a good month to make sure he doesn’t relapse or have any bad reactions. So it is still a long road a head – but we can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel. Thank Goodness!!
My Dog's Recovery from Meningitis
No one likes to see their dog unwell and feeling so helpless, it was really hard for us at first. But the recovery has been quick and amazing to watch. Cooper really has been a lucky case. Plus we think it has helped him turn a corner with his training. Whilst Cooper has been on this medication, especially the higher doses, he was the best behaved he has ever been. Cooper is now responding really well to recall in the park, even with other dogs around. This has always been a problem for us. He used to be great with no other dogs but then the second another dog was there, he would ignore us. Now, the steroids make him so food-driven, that I take some special treats with me and before I let him off the lead, I let him know that I have them. And now even if there is a pack of ten dogs playing, if I whistle and hold the treat up, he will come back to me nine times out of ten. So I guess there was at least one positive out of this whole thing!
So the more we reduce the medication, the more we see our crazy boisterous pup coming back and we appreciate it more than ever. Cooper is well and truly back to playing with other dogs and he is loving it! We have even started back at obedience training and he is doing really well. This whole experience has just shown us that we really would do anything for our pup. The unconditional love you get from a dog is just so special. Jase and I love Cooper more than ever and love watching him grow up into an adult dog. 

Mel xox

PS. This article was written in 2013- Cooper is now 8 and he did have one relapse about a year after his first case. But we knew what it was straight away and how to treat it and he has fully recovered.

My Dog's Recovery from Meningitis
Our happy family
PS. Make sure to head to our SHOP if you haven’t already! Spoil yourself and your dog!!
Disclaimer: Cooper and Kids will not be liable for anything that happens to you, your dog or children by following the advice and tips in this article. If you have real concerns or worries about your dog and/or safety of your children, please seek out a professional to come and assess the situation asap.



Comments (25)

  • Jo bo May 4, 2015 at 7:40 am Reply

    Hi me little whippet Skye has been diagnosed with meningitus four weeks ago and still quite poorly up and down all the time reducing steroids but not sure she's improving how long before any great results worried about her

  • Kim Rutledge August 19, 2015 at 9:23 pm Reply

    <3 Love
    Beautiful baby…
    Beautiful fight.

  • Unknown March 3, 2016 at 4:30 am Reply

    hello sister,

    I've read your article and it is very interesting because now my puppy is on serious problem and he is staying at the clinic and I would like to ask you that while he is staying in the clinic for 3 days.
    The first day, I seen he still have power and he can walk as well but after tomorrow he is stay clam and have no power to get up it was yesterday and today is the same.

    Did you recognize cooper?

    Thanks sister

  • Anonymous August 26, 2016 at 7:20 pm Reply

    did anyone have a dog that was "foggy" and like retarded after meningitis treatment? my dog had cytosar (chemo) for his meningitis, but now he can walk, eat, and his eyes trace back and forth when you move his head, but he's in a fog … like not responding to his name. his name is cooper too. let me know.

  • frank dustin November 30, 2016 at 4:45 pm Reply

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    How does he work and where is he from.can I know his contact

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    having schizophrenia knocked me off life and had me living like a mad person, i didn't know how the better part of my life eluded me, my mind was completely split in two, i am very glad my partner sought help and now i am free from all signs of psychosis. I was healed through the herbal medicines from Dr Jose, he is well known for his groundbreaking treatments concerning the brain and mind issues, do not go through this alone, you can contact him via email on joseherbals28@gmail.com

  • Mike July 14, 2018 at 6:25 am Reply

    How long did it take for Cooper to recover fully? We have our dog manny on 40mg of prednisilone, 250mg Atopica and 1000mg Keppra per day. It seems that one of the meds is really affecting him. He’s lethargic all the time, breaths heavy all the time, is hungry all the time and doesn’t even have the energy to jump up on our couch. (At full health he could clear our 4 foot high garden fence).

    He was first dignosed at a specialist vet hospital around 6 weeks ago. He had the typical symptoms. He couldn’t walk, his head was bobbing, fever and wouldn’t eat.

    The change after 4-5 days on the vet hospital was unreal. I couldn’t believe it but I was hoping he would have recovered much more by now.

    Just wondering if the way our dog is at the moment sounds pretty typical of the recovery phase?


    • Cooper and Kids July 17, 2018 at 8:23 pm Reply

      Mike, I’m sorry to hear about Manny. I think it’s worth calling your vet and asking. It was quite a few years ago now so my memory on the finer details isn’t great. I am pretty sure, once Cooper started responding to the meds, it was a pretty quick change in behaviour. So if you’re not seeing that in Manny, it’s definitely worth checking. I do remember that Cooper was on the meds for ages as you need to taper them off them slowly so they don’t have a relapse. And the medication definitely caused things like extreme hunger and thirst, slight depression, it’s meant to make you put on weight but Cooper actually lost weight. Anyways, get a second opinion if you need. Good luck! And keep us posted how you go.
      Mel xox

    • Pam Sutherland June 16, 2022 at 3:41 pm Reply

      My dog Maxi is now 10 years old. She’s a full blood pit bull. She was diagnosed with Meningitis when she was about a year and a half years. The Neurologist vet told us she would have to take Prednisolone for the rest of her life. We have reduced the steroids down to 1 every 3rd day. Over the years she developed low thyroid and her liver function was declining which made her very lethargic and she was so clumsy! We started giving her liver supplements on the day she gets the pred. We also give her a stomach acid pill on that day as well. The thyroid tab has made a huge difference as the thyroid lessons kidney function. It helps for her being so lethargic. It literally helped in about 2 days worth. She’ll have to take them forever. We have tried to lower the dose a few times of the Prednisolone, but we find that when she misses even 1day of it, she can barely walk! All the years of the Prednisolone has kept her ligaments and muscles from developing correctly. It’s very sad. She drinks water constantly, she pants all the time, and has aggressive episodes with our other dog. I wish we would have weened her off the pred when she was younger, but the Neurologist said she’d need it forever. I highly recommend you get a 2nd opinion before you spend the money and the difficult time for the dog before giving your pet a lifetime of these meds. Now she can’t walk without it. Get those liver supplements though. They do help a lot.

      • Cooper and Kids June 19, 2022 at 8:42 pm Reply

        I am so sorry to hear this!!
        Cooper is nearly 10 now and he also had it when he was about 12 months old. We weened him off the meds back then and he has been fine since! had one relapse but no issues in years! so srry to hear you got such. crappy advice!! all the best!

  • D. Hain July 19, 2018 at 12:31 pm Reply

    Our dog Max was diagnosed a week ago with meningitis. He has been fighting a Blastomycosis infection since October 2017. The fear was is this the cause of meningitis. Results of recent test have shown he is blastomycosis free. He is slowly showing improvement. he was hospitalized last week for 3 days for treatment and observation for head pain and not being able to pick up a dog bone on the floor. Admitted with 105 degree fever. He is now home and recovering. Seems tired but shows some sign of improving. He has always been eating and drinking water. He is on antibiotic. No steroid at this time.

    • Cooper and Kids August 10, 2018 at 11:03 am Reply

      Hi, I hope Max is on the mend and continuing to improve each day. Thanks so much for getting in touch.
      Mel x

  • Lisa LEAVELLE August 28, 2018 at 12:20 pm Reply

    I have a dog with meniigitis now. Its been since June 13. About three weeks ago we had made an appointment to have him put to sleep. I decided against it and he struggled badly the following week but has been making good progress the past week and a half. We pray he continues doing well .Its definitely a roller coaster

    • Cooper and Kids August 28, 2018 at 1:06 pm Reply

      oh I am so sorry to hear you are going through this Lisa. My fingers and toes are crossed that your dog has a full recovery. Good luck.
      Mel xox

  • Sharon Locher July 20, 2019 at 6:37 am Reply

    I’m so happy to hear Cooper is doing so well. My Georgia has suspected meningitis. I say “suspected” because her vets have ruled out all other possibilities. She was put on a steroid in early June and within days she was back to her old self.
    About three weeks into treatment, she stopped eating her dry food so I switched to wet food in hopes of stimulating her appetite. She’s always been a food driven dog and the wet food sufficed for a few days. I reached out to the vet again to inform them she was no longer eating. I couldn’t get her pills into her either so off to the vet we went once again.
    She spent five days there and I had them preform numerous tests just to make sure something else wasn’t going on with her. The vets placed an esophageal tube in and she’s receiving food and medication through it. I guess what I’m asking is how long was Cooper on the steroid and how badly was he effected by it? Georgia is listless, lethargic, and weak. She’s not in pain but she’s no where near the dog she’s been her entire life. Any insights you can share would be appreciated.
    Thank you, Sharon L.

  • Nicolle November 21, 2019 at 5:36 am Reply

    My pup at 9 months was just diagnosed with bacterial acute meningitis due to what we believe is bacteria. She doesn’t have any symptoms except for what the x ray shows. The vets are doing surgery on her sinus in a couple days and currently she is on super strong antibiotics and possibly steroids. Do you have coopers backstory. I really could use some hope with all the horrible outcomes and statistics I read. Is he still well?

  • Cooper and Kids July 22, 2020 at 1:19 pm Reply

    I am so sorry to hear that!! Wishing him a speedy recovery! Mel

  • Debbie King October 1, 2020 at 1:30 am Reply

    My 12 yr young Pug was just diagnosed with meningitis after having MRI. We were told for a week it was suspected brain tumor. So far she is doing well on steroids and phenobarbital but don’t want to let my guard down. My heart goes out to all families dealing with this illness. Fingers crossed we hope to have her around for awhile. ❤️

  • Beth Lavely February 16, 2021 at 12:49 pm Reply

    Hi there, my 8 year old pup has had a really scary 3 weeks with the last week being recovery after being in the hospital to stabilize after seizures related to what we now can assume to be Meningitis. She was not stable enough to have a spinal tap, so there are a few things that have not been completely ruled out. I don’t leave my pup’s side and continue to sleep by her side. She has dropped from a healthy 37 pounds to 34 in just a few weeks. I know signs to look out for about her condition to see if she is worsening, god forbid. What I do not know are signs that she might be improving. Also, I have noted that she poops a lot more in addition to peeing a lot more. She’s on prednisone along with 4 other meds and received her first dose of some chemo drug 11 days ago. Can you share any signs of improving condition and any wisdoms about stages in the recovery? Thanks so much.

    • Cooper and Kids February 16, 2021 at 8:34 pm Reply

      Beth I am so sorry to hear this!! please speak with your vet and/or get a second opinion from a specialist if you need to. Good luck and wishing your dog a speedy recovery!!

  • Dasha September 10, 2021 at 11:13 pm Reply

    Thanks a lot for telling Cooper’s story!
    My 7 month old weimaraner got sick about 2 weeks ago and we narrowed it down to meningitis. He is now on steroids and the change is huge from a sad dog in pain to a more curios pup. But he is not to his 100%, not as active as a 7 month old should be. I was scared he is not doing good. But after reading the story and comments, it seems that it is steroids that depress him a little. It is a little sad since he is so young and I’d much rather see him run around and be a kid. But I hope soon enough he recovers and will be back to his normal self!

    • Cooper and Kids September 19, 2021 at 3:02 pm Reply

      Sending love and a speedy recovery!!

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