An Overview of GME, MUA in Dogs - Types of GME, MUA, Symptoms, Conventional vs. Natural Treatment

In this article:
1.0 What is Granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis (GME/MUE)
2.0 Symptoms
3.0 Your Dog's Diet
4.0 Additional Health Tips

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
 Symptoms can include one of more of the following examples:
  1. Behavioural Changes
  2. Blindness
  3. Circling
  4. Constant pressing of the body with force (hard) against objects
  5. Drowsiness
  6. Seizures
  7. Weakness:
    1. Hind legs – parapresis
    2. Front and hind legs (all four limbs) – tetraparesis
Conventional Clinical Treatment 
Common conventional treatment for GME, MUA includes:
  1. Corticosteriods are the most common drug used.
    • Corticosteroids cause and contribute to multiple serious health issues and conditions. To learn more about corticosteroids go to this article.
  2. Leflunomide a de novo pyrimidine synthesis inhibitor.
  3. Radiation therapy.
Alternative Natural Treatments 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).
When treating and remedying GME/MUA for my clients dogs I do not use corticosteroids or other conventional drugs. I design a comprehensive natural (conventional drug-free) treatment protocol tailored to suit the individual dog's circumstances.

3.0 Your Dog's Diet

Your dog should NOT be on a dry or canned food diet.
Your dog SHOULD be on a species appropriate raw or gently cooked and fresh food diet specifically tailored to suit your dog's requirements.

4.0  Additional Health Tips

4.1 Inoculations

4.1.1 Prevent Over-Inoculation

Do not over inoculate! Inoculations suppress the immune system and as, well, contain:
  1. Toxins
  2. Chemical preservatives which can also be endocrine disrupting and carcinogenic)
  3. Foreign proteins
  4. Immune irritants
  5. Mutated bacteria
  6. Viruses
In addition over-inoculation comes with a considerable risk of major health risks such as those encapsulated under the term Vaccinosis. Vaccinosis includes:
  1. Severe adverse reactions.
  2. Chronic health issues
    The updated guidelines issued by the American Veterinarian Medical Association (AVMA) (initial update 2015, second update 2017), identified that the majority of veterinarians are over-inoculating dogs.

    The AVMA's updated guidelines state that:
    1. Distemper and Parvo inoculations are good for 5 or more years.
    2. Ardenovirus is good for 7 years
    Rabies is the only inoculation mandated by law in North America.  It is not mandated in the UK. Some provinces and states offer a rabies medical waiver.
    Non-core innoculations should be completely avoided.

    4.2 Do Not Use Chemical-Based Insect and Parasite

    4.2.1 Unless Absolutely Necessary

    Chemical based insect and parasite preventatives are potent synthetic chemical pesticides that cause and contribute to health issues and disease in dogs. I do not recommend use of conventional flea, tick, heartworm and worming treatments and preventatives.
    To learn more:

    4.2.2 Healthy Alternatives

    The best approach to insect and parasite prevention is a layered natural approach. There are many articles on natural prevention and treatment on this blog site.

    Holistic Diet, Nutrition, Wellness Services Tailored to Your Individual Dog and Cat
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    Holistic Behavioral Services For Your Dog
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    Article and graphics by Karen Rosenfeld

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