Remote secondary injury in the thalamus has been observed following cortical infarct, however the mechanisms are not well understood. We used the distal MCAO stroke model (pdMCAO) to explore the cellular and temporal gliosis response in secondary thalamic injury in mice. At 3 days post-stroke (PSD3), primary infarct was limited to the cortex, with no infarct in the thalamus. However, at 2 weeks after stroke (PSD14), the ipsilateral thalamus demonstrated degenerating and severely damaged neurons. Staining for GFAP (astrogliosis) or IBA-1 (microgliosis) was first apparent in the ipsilateral thalamus by PSD3, and showed a progressive increase through PSD14. The number of activated microglia was increased within the thalamus at PSD14, reflecting proliferation of resident microglia as well as infiltration of peripheral monocytes. Interestingly, astrogliosis within the thalamus was enduring, as it was still evident at two years post-stroke. Furthermore, the astrogliosis at two years (but not at 6 weeks) demonstrated glial scar-like characteristics. Lastly, we demonstrated that post-stroke treatment with an NMDA receptor antagonist (memantine) reduces gliosis in the thalamus at PSD14. These findings highlight the development of lasting secondary injury in the thalamus following cortical stroke and support the value of memantine treatment in the mitigation of this injury.