Having arrived at our Underwood hospital incredibly sick, Basil’s recovery was nothing short of a miracle. More common in dogs than cats, Immune-Mediated Polyarthritis (IMPA) is an inflammatory disease that affects the joints, causing pain, swelling and difficulty walking. It can stem from a number of causes and has a variety of cures dependant on how the condition presents itself.


Six-year-old miniature schnauzer Basil had a brief history of progressive loss of appetite and weakness. He was seen by his regular vet one Saturday after an episode of falling over. By Sunday his condition had worsened enough to be rushed into our hospital.

Shortly after arrival, Basil collapsed and his neurological signs worsened including the inability to move and differing pupil size. He was connected to an ECG heart monitor to try to rule out a cardiac issue, and luckily for Basil, he had a normal heart rhythm.


After being quickly assessed by the veterinarians, Basil was transferred into Pet ICU for close and continuous monitoring. Upon further testing, his ultrasound and blood tests all returned as normal and so a possible spinal issue was suspected.

Basil was transferred to the Medicine Specialists at Veterinary Specialist Services for further investigation and an MRI. To keep comfortable he was kept on fluid therapy and pain relief overnight while being monitored. After assessment by the team at Veterinary Specialist Services the following day, Basil begun steroid and antibiotic treatment on the suspicion that he could have polyarthritis (IMPA), or meningitis, considering his symptoms.

Miracle Recovery

Miraculously throughout the course of the following evening and proceeding days, Basil suddenly showed rapid improvements. Nurses who had seen him on the first day were astounded at how much he had improved over just a few days. By Wednesday, four days after admission, Basil was back to his regular self and able to go home with his owners. His diagnosis ended up being a severe case of IMPA, which can occur from a variety of issues ranging from, but also not limited to, gastrointestinal upsets, parasites and abnormal growth of tissue. It is an inflammatory response and is often referred to as an autoimmune disease.

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