Chi Cha is a 6 year old female Akita who became suddenly paralysed in both back legs in May this year.  There was no history of trauma or any other obvious reason for the paralysis with the only presenting symptoms being paralysis, weakness and a fever.  She was referred to Queensland Veterinary Specialists in Brisbane to have her spine examined with an MRI.

After a prolonged round of diagnostic tests, the veterinary specialists diagnosed her with a rare condition called Eosinophilic Meningitis. This is a type of auto-immune disease where the immune system itself attacks the spinal tissues. The conventional treatment for this condition is to use immunosuppressant medicines (Azathioprine, Cyclosporine and Cortisone) in high doses.

Chi Cha Dog Paralysed Legs Fever Eosinophilic MeningitisChi Cha improved a little at the start of their treatments, but still could not walk very well, and could not empty her bladder on her own because of the spinal weakness and so she remained in hospital for a prolonged period. Because she was on such high doses of immune-modifying drugs that suppressed her immune system and was unable to urinate properly, she then got a severe infection in her bladder. This was treated by the specialists with very strong antibiotics over quite a long period. She was on anti-fungal drugs as well.

All of these allopathic medicines slowly eroded her healing powers and she lost all feeling in her back legs for the second time, and was again hospitalised at the specialist veterinary hospital in Brisbane. This time after a 12 day stay Chi Cha was given a grave prognosis.  Euthanasia was recommended but her family couldn’t give up home and so they brought her home as a paraplegic, with the specialists saying they could do no more for her.

We began holistic treatment with regular acupuncture treatments and a homeopathic remedy called Apis. This remedy is made from a bee sting, and we will use it in some cases of meningitis if it suits the whole picture of the animal.  Chi Cha had a number of characteristics that matched the remedy picture well.

Once we began this remedy, we could see that Chi Cha began to show some more interest in the world, and over the following 6 weeks, as we continued with the Apis, we were able to wean her off all the drugs which were causing her so many side effects. We also started her on some Coenzyme Q10 to help with nerve healing and some Chinese and Western herbs to add some strength back into her system.

She slowly began to move her back legs again and was able to toilet herself. Now, 4 months later, she is back running about in the back yard like a normal dog.  We are so pleased that we were able to assist Chi Cha’s body to regain its usual strength and function and return her quality of life.  Her recovery was long and difficult at times, but with dedication and hope, Chi Cha’s family now have a healthy happy dog again.


A note in this case is that Chi Cha’s parents had the foresight to take out pet insurance, and many of the medical costs in this prolonged and difficult process were covered by their insurer.  Please consider pet insurance for your pet – in unforeseeable circumstances such as this, it can provide so much relief to know your costs are covered.