Brain tumors are common and often seen in middle age and older dogs however they can also affect the younger ones too. Seizures are one of the signs that a brain tumor may be present.

The most common types of brain tumors that are often found in dogs are astrocytomas, oligodendrogliomas and meningiomas. Tumors tend to be widespread on multiple sites on the brain rather than one spotted position.

Some of the tumor arise directly from the brain tissue while other types spread to the brain by bloodstream since the brain control an extensive blood supply.

The severity of the brain tumor depends mainly on the brain location where the tumor arises and how fast they grow. Canine seizures can also be caused by other problems such as low blood sugar levels or heart problems.

Breeds that are prone to brain tumors:

  • boxers
  • boston terriers
  • golden retrievers
  • doberman pinschers
  • scottish terriers
  • old english sheepdogs

Boxers and boston terriers tend to develop pituitary and glial cell tumors which are commonly called neuroglia while breeds with long nose have a predisposition to benign tumors (meningiomas)

Dog brain tumor symptoms:

  • behavior change
  • lethargy
  • irritability
  • compulsive walking
  • walk in circle
  • loss of habits that have been trained before
  • facial paralysis often cause by tumors in the lower part of the brain (brainstem)
  • lower intelligence
  • partial or fully blindness indicated that there is a tumor in optic nerve or hypothalamus
  • low energy level
  • decreased activities
  • seizures often caused by tumors in the cerebral cortex
  • confusion
  • disorientation
  • wobbliness and tremors indicated that there is a tumor in the cerebellum region of the brain that play an important role in the integration of sensory perception
  • loss of the sense of smell often cause by a tumor in the sensory system used for olfaction (olfactory system)

Dogs can carry brain tumors for a few years before they started to show signs and symptoms because of slow growing rate of tumors inside the brain. By the time the owner takes their dog to their veterinarian for examination, the tumor has already grown and reached a considerable size.

Author

  • Dr. Winnie earned a Master in Biology from St Georges University, and graduated from the University of Pretoria's Veterinary School. She is a full-time Veterinarian specializing in internal medicine for companion animals.