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J Vet Intern Med. 2008 Jul-Aug;22(4):961-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-1676.2008.0137.x.

Epidemiology of necrotizing meningoencephalitis in Pug dogs.

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  • 1Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA.



Although the histopathologic features of necrotizing meningoencephalitis (NME) have been described previously, little information is available concerning the signalment, geographic distribution, seasonal onset, treatment, and survival of affected dogs.


Sixty Pugs with NME and 14 contemporaneous control Pugs with other intracranial diseases (non-NME group).


Pugs that were euthanized or died because of intracranial disease were prospectively obtained. All dogs had necropsy, histopathology, and testing for various infectious diseases and were subsequently divided into NME and non-NME groups. Signalment, geographic distribution, seasonal onset, treatment, and survival were compared between groups.


In Pugs with NME, median age at onset of clinical signs was 18 months (range, 4-113 months). A greater proportion of female dogs were present in the NME group (40/60) compared with the control group (6/14). Pugs with NME had a significantly lower mean weight (7.81 kg) than control Pugs (9.79 kg) (P= .012). Mean survival in Pugs with NME was 93 days (range, 1-680 days), with dogs receiving any form of treatment living significantly longer than those that were not treated (P= .003). Anticonvulsive drugs were the only treatment significantly associated with longer survival (P= .003).


NME appears to be a common cause of intracranial signs in Pugs, based on the high proportion of NME dogs reported in this population. Pugs with NME are most commonly young adult female dogs. Although further investigation is needed to determine the optimal treatment of NME, anticonvulsive drugs appear to beneficially affect duration of survival.

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