Canine Encephalitis

By Renee Barber, DVM, PhD, DACVIM

  • $27,710.51

    Funded. Goal: $35,000.00

  • 53

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  • 224

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All contributions will be collected automatically until Dec 31, 2019, 12PM EST.

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Meet Lexi

Lexi came to UGA when she was just 3 years old for a sudden onset of seizures. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) testing revealed she had inflammation of her brain, or encephalitis, caused by an abnormal immune response. She was treated with the best medications available to stop inflammation and seizures but unfortunately, her seizures could not be controlled. Lexi was confirmed to have a form of encephalitis known as necrotizing meningencephalitis, or NME.

What is Canine Encephalitis?

Lexi is not alone. Immune-mediated encephalitis is a common problem in dogs, mostly in young to middle aged toy and small breeds such as pugs, Maltese, Chihuahuas, and Yorkshire terriers. It can however happen in any breed at any age. Signs of this disease include behavioral changes, seizures, vision deficits, circling, and loss of balance or difficulty walking.

Immune-mediated encephalitis is difficult to definitively diagnose and the current treatment is with immunosuppression and, when needed, anti-seizure medications. While some dogs respond well to treatment, others do not or frequently relapse. Unfortunately, those dogs that do not respond well do not survive.

About Our Research

Our laboratory investigates all forms of immune-mediated encephalitis, including:

  • Disease diagnosed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis, known as MUE.
  • Disease diagnosed by brain biopsy, which can be classified into three variants: GME, NME (formerly known as Pug Dog Encephalitis), and NLE (formally known as Necrotizing Encephalitis of Yorkshire Terriers).

Two major breakthroughs in this field have been discovered by our laboratory:

  1. We have done extensive research to rule-out infection as a possible cause of these disorders, which were long thought to  be the underlying reason for this disease.
  2. Most importantly, we have shown genetic links in pug dogs, Maltese, and Chihuahuas with the identification of specific DNA variants that contribute to disease development. One of our main research goals is to continue this genetic research to identify specific genes that are causing these diseases.

How Your Gift Helps

Continued and expanded research in immune-mediated encephalitis is critical to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring of patients as well as to ultimately develop disease prevention strategies.

Your tax deductible gift will directly help us achieve the major goals of our research going forward.

Meet the Researcher

Renee Barber, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (Neurology) is an Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery at UGA.

 

 

GivingQuestions

Contact Gordon Thomas | Veterinary Medicine

gordon.thomas@uga.edu | 706.206.7751

  1. Steve Porter & Sandy Bingham-Porter
    $1,000.00 02/19/18 @ 10:38 am
  2. Margaret Turner Herring on behalf of her beloved pug Maddi
    $200.00 02/19/18 @ 10:39 am
  3. John & melanie Barnes
    $100.00 02/20/18 @ 10:17 am
  4. Liz Felberg
    $250.00 02/20/18 @ 5:16 pm
  5. Anonymous
    $100.00 02/21/18 @ 5:04 pm
  6. Sophia and Andrew Underwood
    $100.00 02/27/18 @ 2:57 pm
  7. Gabi Roubicek
    $25.00 03/21/18 @ 4:03 pm
  8. Stacy Nagatani
    $100.00 03/24/18 @ 1:58 pm
  9. Danielle Ryan
    $25.00 04/08/18 @ 1:05 pm
  10. Danielle Ryan
    $25.00 04/08/18 @ 1:16 pm
  11. Pam Whitener
    $100.00 04/08/18 @ 1:24 pm
  12. Catherine Urquhart
    $100.00 04/08/18 @ 1:46 pm
  13. Catherine Urquhart
    $100.00 04/08/18 @ 1:57 pm
  14. Samantha Flannigan
    $50.00 04/08/18 @ 3:46 pm
  15. meg kelley
    $100.00 04/08/18 @ 4:30 pm
  16. Pam Whitener
    $100.00 04/08/18 @ 4:34 pm
  17. Samantha Flannigan
    $50.00 04/08/18 @ 6:07 pm
  18. Meg Kelley
    $100.00 04/08/18 @ 6:11 pm
  19. Tonia Holibaugh
    $500.00 04/09/18 @ 12:00 am
  20. Jane turner
    $25.00 04/09/18 @ 12:37 am
  21. Tonia Holibough
    $500.00 04/09/18 @ 12:41 am
  22. Allyson Rubin
    $100.00 04/09/18 @ 7:31 am
  23. Sharon Pearson
    $100.00 04/09/18 @ 10:47 am
  24. Sharon Pearson
    $100.00 04/09/18 @ 11:48 am
  25. Allyson Rubin
    $100.00 04/09/18 @ 1:19 pm
  26. Anonymous
    $100.00 04/11/18 @ 6:17 am
  27. State Farm on behalf of Steve Porter
    $1,000.00 04/11/18 @ 3:25 pm
  28. Lifework's Foundation: George & Patricia Bullard
    $6,000.00 04/11/18 @ 3:44 pm
  29. American Maltese Association
    $6,610.00 04/11/18 @ 3:51 pm
  30. Yorkshire Terrier Association
    $200.00 04/11/18 @ 3:53 pm
  31. Lydia Tuggle
    $50.00 04/22/18 @ 9:43 pm
  32. terre williams
    $250.00 05/08/18 @ 2:32 pm
  33. Ulrich Investment Consultants
    $250.00 05/09/18 @ 3:18 pm
  34. Leigh Braun
    $1,000.00 05/25/18 @ 10:44 pm
  35. Dragica Hunter
    $1,000.00 06/18/18 @ 10:39 am
  36. Roberta Maloney
    $50.00 06/19/18 @ 4:26 pm
  37. Vicki Fierheller
    $500.00 06/24/18 @ 11:31 am
  38. IN MEMORY OF ANNABELLE JACKSON
    $1,755.00 07/23/18 @ 12:33 pm
  39. Anonymous
    $250.00 07/28/18 @ 12:22 pm
  40. Victoria Edmondson
    $50.00 09/18/18 @ 2:08 pm
  41. IN MEMORY OF ANNABELLE-Mrs Polly Reynolds
    $444.00 09/26/18 @ 12:11 pm
  42. IN MEMORY OF ANNABELLE-Ms Sandie Lewis
    $75.00 09/26/18 @ 12:17 pm
  43. In loving memory of Lisa and Annabelle.
    $3,144.60 10/17/18 @ 7:34 am
  44. Jane Marston
    $100.00 11/02/18 @ 7:52 am
  45. Catherine Urquhart (Polly Reynolds)
    $60.00 11/06/18 @ 5:13 am
  46. Tammy Griffin
    $50.00 11/07/18 @ 7:59 pm
  47. SOUTHEND ON SEA DISTRICT CANINE SOCIETY ESSEX UNITED KINGDOM
    $164.00 12/22/18 @ 5:29 am
  48. IN MEMORY OF ANNABELLE-Mrs Polly Reynolds MRS PAULETTE REYNOLDS
    $132.91 12/22/18 @ 5:40 am
  49. Scarlett Godwin - In loving memory of Mogely Godwin
    $25.00 12/23/18 @ 4:18 pm
  50. Margaret Senica
    $100.00 12/26/18 @ 5:12 pm
  51. Mallory Canary
    $25.00 12/27/18 @ 1:15 pm
  52. Rachel Iozzia, in loving memory of our pug Rocky
    $250.00 01/26/19 @ 2:59 pm
  53. Martha Kirkpatrick
    $25.00 02/13/19 @ 11:49 pm

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