Monday, 23 September 2013

GME in Dogs, Support via Diet and Other DIY Health Interventions

In this article:
1.0 What is Granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis (GME);
2.0 Symptoms;
3.0 Dietary Support;
4.0 Additional Health Supporting Interventions.

1.0 What is Granulomatous
      meningoencephalomyelitis (GME)

Granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis (GME) or eningoencephalitis of unknown etiology (MUE) is an acute inflammatory disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS) and causes the formation of granuloma(s). Granuloma’s are a ball-like mass of immune cells formed by the immune system in an attempt to block the passage of foreign substances. The resulting wall may occur in a single location or involve multiple locations such as the brain, spinal cord and surrounding membranes. GME can cause severe and sometimes irreversible damage to the CNS. There are multiple forms of GME...

1.1 Forms of GME (MUE)

1.1.1 Focal GME
  • A chronic progressive condition which typically takes 3 to 6 months to fully develop;
  • Focal GME mimics the effects of space-occupying tumors/masses;
  • Affects either the brain, or;
  • The spinal cord.

1.1.2 Multifocal GME (also called Disseminated GME)
  • An acute progressive condition, which typically takes 2 to 6 weeks to fully develop;
  • Affects the brain, or;
  • Brain and spinal cord;
  • Most common locations affected are the;
  • Lower brain stem;
  • Cervical spinal cord;
  • Meninges;
  • This form kills 25% of its victims within the first week. 

1.1.3 Occular GME
  • This form can be acute, progressive or static;
  • Affects the eye region of the body;
  • Either affecting the eyes unilaterally (one eye is affected) or bilaterally (two eyes are affected).
In all three forms of the disease neurological issues and pain from damage to the meningeal (protective spine and brain membranes) often result.

2.0 Symptoms

2.1 Symptoms vary by type of GME / MUE…
  • Behavioural Changes;
  • Blindness;
  • Circling;
  • Constant pressing of the body with force (hard) against objects;
  • Drowsiness;
  • Seizures;
  • Weakness of;
  • Hind legs – parapresis;
  • Front and hind legs (all four limbs) – tetraparesis;

Conventional Clinical Treatment 
  • As commonly prescribed by conventional veterinarians... 
      • Corticosteriods are the most common drug used;
      • When used for a prolonged period of time corticosteroids can cause major debilitation and death - for an insight into the uses, side effects and dangers of this class of drugs read here.
    • Leflunomide a de novo pyrimidine synthesis inhibitor may be used;
    • Raditation therapy may also be used.
Alternative NaturalTreatments to Corticosteroids 
  • There are many natural alternatives to Corticosteroids that do not have the adverse side effects of the steroidal and non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)... 
    • For a comprehensive guide to anti-inflammatory, immune system boosting alternatives read here.

3.0 Dietary Support

3.1 The Main Diet

Make sure that your dog’s diet (food and treats) are 100% grain-free - no corn, no soy, no rice, no wheat etc. Grain is an inflammatory. As well, the grain used in pet food is often contaminated with aflatoxins, chemical-based preservatives, and other toxins and carcinogens such as artificial food colouring and artificial flavouring, all of which are immune system suppressors and renal system stressors. A dog with GME simply cannot afford to have their system further placed under stress.

You need to keep your dog’s immune system as strong as possible and reduce exposure to ingested toxins.

In support of this requirement it is a very good idea to get your dog completely off of commercially made processed dog food and instead...

3.1.2 Feed Your Dog… Homemade Cooked or Raw Food Diet
  • Home-Made grain-free, nutrient rich, immune system supporting food;
  • You can use this recipe, or
  • Feed a good quality bones and raw food diet (BARF),
  • and... Go Organic

Go organic with your dog’s food – as much as you possibly can. Your dog with GME needs his/her exposure to ingested toxins eliminated as much as is possible!

If for whatever reason you are not able to cope with homemade or raw food then choose a better quality grain-free commercial processed dog food such as Orijen, Acana or Evo.

3.1.3 Important Dietary Supplements

You should also supplement your dog’s daily diet with the following…

Berries - Fresh or Frozen Thawed (mashed/chopped)
  • Blackberries, blueberries, mulberries, raspberries, strawberries;
  • Daily amount...
    • 1 tbs for tea cup dogs;
    • 1/8 cup for small dogs;
    • 1/4 cup for medium dogs;
    • 1/3 cup for large dogs.

Coconut oil


  • A good source Omega 6-fatty acid with many health benefits – read here to understand more about benefits, how to choose a good product and on introducing coconut oil to your dog’s diet.
  • Daily Dosage:
    • ¼ teaspoon for every 10 lbs of body weight twice daily, or 
    • ½ teaspoon for every 10 lbs of body weight once daily.

Papaya - Digestive Enzymes
  • You can use fresh finely minced Papaya or purchase a good quality supplement with no fillers, no slipping agents, etc.
  • The enzymes in papaya:
    • Help to irritate and destroy worms in the animals GI Tract;
    • The enzyme papain aids in the digestion of proteins and also helps alleviate allergies;
    • Papaya promotes the health of the cardiovascular system;
    • Papaya helps provide protection against colon cancer;
    • Papaya has anti-inflammatory qualities (important if your dog suffers from conditions such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, etc.);
    • Helps to prevent macular degeneration;
    • Papaya is:
    • A rich source of antioxidants including:
    • B vitamins;
    • Carotenes;
    • Flavonoids;
    • Folate;
    • Vitamin A, C and E;
    • Minerals:
    • Magnesium;
    • Potassium, and are:
    • And excellent source of fibre. 
To Prepare the Papaya...

  • Remove the skin of the papaya;
  • Remove the seeds;
  • Finely chop or mince by hand or using a food processor or blender;
  • Or use in powder form (in which case dosage would be as per manufacturers’ instructions).
How To Add Papaya to Your Dog’s Diet
  • Mix the papaya in with your companion animal’s regular food.
Minimum Dosage fresh Papaya
  • Small Size Dogs  - ½  tsp to 1 tsp
  • Medium Size dogs – 1 tsp to ½ tbs
  • Large Size Dogs – ½ tbs to 1 tbs

Honey - Raw Unpasteurized

  • Honey provides a diverse spectrum of health benefits and is viable immune system supporting food. But you must use raw un-pasturized honey. Pasturized honey should not be feed to dogs.
  • Daily Dosage:
    • ¼ tsp for every 20 pounds of body weight.

  • Kelp strengthens the immune system;
  • The best kelp is that which is most contaminant and toxin free:
    • Deep sea kelp;
    • Norwegian kelp.
  • Maximum Daily Dosage:
    • Small size dogs and cats - ¼ tsp
    • Medium size dogs - ½ tsp
    • Large size dogs – 1 tsp


  • I suggest using the real thing i.e. plain all natural yogurt, kefir – read this article to understand how to choose a healthy product and daily dosage;
  • Or, choose fresh sauerkrautread this article to understand how to choose a healthy product and daily dosage;
  • Or use a good probiotic supplement –read here to find out how to identify a poor quality probiotic supplement (which unfortunately most probiotic supplements are) from a quality product.

Tart Red Cherry Juice
  • You can offer your dog a little tart red cherry juice on a daily basis, either in a bowl on its own or mixed with food;
    • Use only unsweetened, no sugar or artificial sweeteners;
  • Tart red cherries contain antioxidant compound called anthocyanins that have been identified as having a high antioxidant capacity and are inflammation reducers – comparable to well known pain medications such as aspirin. 

Fish Oil - Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  • Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory, immune system supporting, brain function supporting, stress alleviating – you can read more about that here and here.
  • Use;
    • Norwegian Krill Oil, or;
    • Norwegian Cod liver Oil
    • Or Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil;
    • Do not use fish-farm sourced fish oil.
  • Daily Dosage:
    • 1/8 tsp/day for extra small dogs;
    • 1/4 tsp a day for small dogs;
    • 1/2 tsp day for medium dogs;
    • 3/4 to 1 tsp for large to very large dogs, or;
    • Follow the manufacturer’s directions.

Rooibos Tea

  • Is an immune system supporting herbal tea. You can read about its health benefits, dosage and feeding guidelines in this article

  • Turmeric is an immune system supporting herb. You can read about its health benefits, dosage and feeding guidelines in this article

4.0  Additional Health Supporting

4.1 Inoculations

4.1.1 Prevent Over-Inoculation

Do not over inoculate! Inoculations suppress the immune system and as, well, contain:
    • Toxins;
    • Chemical preservatives which can also be endocrine disrupting and carcinogenic);
    • Foreign proteins;
    •  Immune irritants;
    • Mutated bacteria, and;
    •  Viruses.
In addition over-inoculation comes with a considerable risk of major health risks such as those encapsulated under the term Vaccinosis. Vaccinosis includes…
  • Mild adverse reactions to vaccination;
  • Severe adverse reactions;
  • And Illness.
The following are some of the mild adverse reactions caused by inoculations:
  • Conjunctivitis;
  • Fever and, other;
  • Flu-like symptoms;
  • Hair change;
  • Hair loss;
  • Inflammation and swelling at the injection site;
  • Lethargy;
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Sneezing;
  • Stiffness;
  • Soreness;
  • Oral Ulcers.
The following are some of the severe adverse reactions caused by inoculations...
  • Allergic hypersensitivity;
  • Allergic uveitis;
  • Anaphylactic shock;
  • Behavioural change;
  • Granulomas and abscesses;
  • Hives;
  • Lameness;
  • Swelling of the face;
  • Neurological damage;
  • Respiratory Disease;
  • Vitiligo;
  • Weight loss, and;
  • In breeding females – reduction of milk production, and…
Finally some of the Illness caused by inoculations...
  • Abortion – spontaneous;
  • Anaphylaxis;
  • Autoimmune arthritis;
  • Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia;
  • Congenital abnormalities in foetus;
  • Encephalitis;
  • Fetal (embryotic) Death;
  • Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy;
  • Infertility;
  • Myocarditis;
  • Polyneuritus;
  • Seizures;
  • Tjyroiditis;
  • Cancer - Injection-site sarcomas.
As your dog's health is already under severe strain it is important to limit additional adverse health triggers...

According to the updated guidelines of the American Animal Hospital Association:
  • Core inoculations such as:
  • Distemper and Parvo are good for 5 or more years;
  • Ardenovirus is good for 7 years;
  • Rabies is the only inoculation is that usually mandated by law;
  • In many locals rabies is a 2 or 3 year inoculation.
Non-core vaccinations such as Leptospirosis have become routine as more allopathic veterinarians push these non-core and normally unnecessary vaccinations on their clients. If your veterinarian wants to give your dog or cat non-core vaccinations ask them to give you their reason and then do some objective research before adding more inoculations.

The next upcoming trending push by veterinarians is inoculating for Lyme disease – if you do not live or walk your dog in areas frequented by high traffic of wild life (i.e. deer), Lyme disease inoculations should not be even a remote consideration.

4.2 Do Not Use Chemical-Based Insect and Parasite

4.2.1 Unless Absolutely Necessary…

Chemical based insect and parasite preventatives are powerful pesticides that are toxic and carcinogenic – they tax the immune system, the renal system and more. You can read more about that here.

4.2.2 Healthy Alternatives

There are many natural herbal, homeopathic interventions that can be used - both ingested and topical – you can find an entire series of articles on that here

5.0 Holistic Support

Holistic Wellness and Behaviorist Services

Do you need holistic advice to support your companion animal's health and well being? Become a client. Book your consultation. My professional holistic nutrition, wellness and behavioral services are available to you:
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Article and graphics by Karen Rosenfeld