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01731: A Novel Approach to Understanding How Meningoencephalomyelitis Develops In Dogs

Grant Status: Open

Grant Amount: $31,104
Dr. Nick D Jeffery, BVSc, PhD, Iowa State University
January 1, 2013 - December 31, 2014
Sponsor(s): American Maltese Association, Miniature Pinscher Club of America, Inc., Pug Dog Club of America, Inc., Schooley's Mountain Kennel Club, Yorkshire Terrier Club of America, Yorkshire Terrier Club of America Foundation, Inc.
Breed(s): Maltese, Chihuahua, West Highland White Terrier, Miniature Pinscher, Pug, Miniature Poodle, Yorkshire Terrier, Dachshund
Disease(s): Meningoencephalitis
Research Program Area: Neurology

Abstract

'Meningoencephalomyelitis of unknown etiology', otherwise known as 'MUE', is the clinical term for combined inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. MUE affects a wide variety of dogs, particularly small breeds such as the Miniature Poodle, Maltese, Dachshund, West Highland White Terrier, Chihuahua, Yorkshire Terrier and Pug Dog. The onset of MUE is acute and can cause paralysis, seizures, disorientation, loss of balance, blindness, and in some cases can be rapidly fatal. A recent experimental breakthrough has implicated bacteria in the digestive system as triggers for a similar disease in laboratory mice and rats. Dr. Jeffery's novel research will determine whether imbalances in the number or type of digestive system bacteria might also be a cause for MUE in dogs. This research has the potential to open a new approach to treatment of affected dogs and may also produce information useful for treating neurologic disease in humans.

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