What Symptoms Would I Expect To See In A Dog That Has A Brain Tumor?

What is a brain tumor?

Primitive or secondary tumors of the brain are the most common categories. Primary brain cancers develop from the brain’s own tissues or from its surrounding membranes (meninges). Metastases are a kind of brain tumor that has spread to the brain from another section of the body (i.e., metastasized). The cranial nerves are an example of a neighboring structure that might potentially give birth to a secondary brain tumor. Imaging techniques such as MRI and CT scans have proven invaluable in diagnosing brain cancers.

Canine brain tumors: is there a family history or breed predisposition?

It seems that certain dog breeds are more susceptible to developing brain tumors than others. In dogs, the Boxer, Golden Retriever, Doberman Pinscher, Scottish Terrier, and Old English Sheepdog seem to be at higher risk than other breeds for developing brain tumors.

A kind of brain tumor called meningioma is more common in collies and other dogs with long, thin heads and noses. Benign meningiomas develop in the membranes that surround the brain. Pituitary gland cancers and glial cell tumors, which begin in the nervous system’s support cells, are more common in pugs and other short-nosed dog breeds. Dogs of any age are susceptible to developing a brain tumor, while the average age of a dog diagnosed with a brain tumor is 5.

When does a brain tumor show up?

Seizures are often the first symptom of a brain tumor in a dog. When a dog is five years old or older and suddenly begins having seizures, a brain tumor should be among the possible diagnoses. Possible additional warning symptoms of a brain tumor include:

  • Abnormal behavior/mental activity 
  • Abnormal vision 
  • Circling 
  • A wobbly gait 
  • Head tilt 
  • Hypersensitivity to neck pain 

Why do some dogs get brain tumors?

However, several variables, including nutrition, the environment, genes, chemicals, viruses, stress, and the immune system, have been hypothesized to contribute to the development of brain tumors in dogs.

How do doctors go about removing malignancies from the brain?

The diagnosis of a tumor’s specific kind is crucial in determining the most appropriate treatment(s).

There are three ways of treating brain  tumors in dogs:

  • Neurosurgery is performed by an experienced, board-certified veterinary surgeon.  
  • Radiation therapy, is administered alone or in combination with other treatments.  
  • Chemotherapy medication, may shrink the tumor and improve clinical signs. 

The fluid accumulation may be treated with steroids, and tumor development in the brain can be slowed by their usage. Steroid medication may alleviate clinical indications of brain tumors in certain dogs for weeks to months. Additionally, anticonvulsant medication may be recommended.

How long should a dog with a brain tumor be monitored for?

Periodic checkups, with or without further imaging, are the norm in follow-up care. If the dog has trouble swallowing because of the tumor’s increased pressure in the skull, it might develop aspiration pneumonia by inhaling food and/or water.

A dog with a brain tumor often has a guarded to bad prognosis. Several studies have shown that surgical excision of a primary brain tumor, radiation treatment, and/or chemotherapy may dramatically improve a dog’s prognosis.