Brain Tumors in Dogs
One of the most challenging things as a pet parent is learning that your beloved dog has a severe health issue. A brain tumor in dogs is definitely a scary diagnosis. Suspecting that your dog has a brain tumor or getting a diagnosis of brain tumors in dogs is undoubtedly very upsetting. It is imperative that pet parents research brain tumors in dogs and become as educated as they can. This is especially true if your pet has received a diagnosis.
In this article, we will go over everything that you may need to know about this health concern. At Innovetpet, we understand that pet parents are genuinely worried about their pets, and we want you to be educated and well-informed on any health problems or concerns that you may have about your furry friend.
What Exactly is a Brain Tumor in Dogs?
First of all, a tumor is the wording that refers to abnormal cell growth in the body. A brain tumor would apply to abnormal cell growth in the brain. Brain tumors in dogs can grow in the brain but could also be in another part of the cranium.
Brain tumors in dogs can affect any dog of any age. There are some breeds that are more susceptible to having canine brain tumors. Also, it usually occurs in senior canines more than in younger ones.
Two kinds of brain tumors are found in canines. They are termed as primary or secondary, and the diagnosis will have a lot to do with the treatment that is recommended by the veterinarian.
Two Kinds of Brain Tumors
The two kinds of canine brain tumors are primary and secondary. The differences between them will be explained as well as what types of treatments are typically experienced.
Secondary Brain Tumors
A secondary brain tumor is a kind of tumor that has come from cancer that was formed in another part of the body first. Secondary dog brain tumors occur when cancer spreads to the brain. This process is called metastasis. It can come from any type of cancer. Unfortunately, a secondary brain tumor means that cancer has spread and is no longer contained. This can occur if a diagnosis has not come quickly or if the treatment for the originating cancer has not worked in the way that was hoped. Therefore, secondary brain tumors generally have a poorer prognosis than primary brain tumors.
Primary Brain Tumors
Primary brain tumors in dogs are when the cancer cells originate in the brain or cranium. If discovered quickly, a primary brain tumor can have an excellent prognosis. If you suspect that something is not right with your dog, it is vital to get them to your trusted vet as soon as possible. That way, if anything is wrong, it can be treated immediately and possibly have a positive outcome.
What Are Canine Brain Tumor Symptoms?
Getting a diagnosis means that there is a better chance of resolving any health issues that have been found. The symptoms of brain tumors in their early stages can be hard to distinguish from other common health issues. These are called non-specific symptoms.
Non-specific symptoms can make it hard for pet parents to know if something is very wrong with their dog. That's why, as a concerned pet parent, evaluation from a trusted vet as soon as possible is crucial in figuring out if something serious is going on and if immediate treatment is needed.
Top Symptoms of Brain Tumors in Dogs
Here are some of the most common symptoms of brain tumors in dogs:
- Loss of balance
- Tilting of the head
- An unbalanced gait
- Less vision
- Total loss of vision
- Changes in appetite
- Loss of weight
If you notice that your dog is displaying some of these symptoms, it is imperative to get them to the vet as soon as possible. It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your beloved pet. Getting them into the veterinarian is the best course of action.
The symptoms and behaviors will be much more noticeable as the tumor progresses. Your dog may have increased numbers of seizures, lose his or her balance more often, or even display a changing personality. Therefore, early treatment is absolutely vital to the prognosis of canine brain tumors.
What Causes Dog Brain Tumors?
There are really no proven reasons to why dogs get brain tumors. There are only theories that scientists and medical experts have come up with. For example, the theories of canine dog brain tumor origination are that they come from diets, chemicals, genetic components, weak immune systems, and environmental toxins.
It is hard to figure out exactly how a dog gets a brain tumor without more research and evidence. As the years pass, more research comes out and perhaps someday the scientific community will figure out what causes them and how to cure this disease forever.
Which Dog Breeds Are At Higher Risk for Brain Tumors?
Some dog breeds have a more substantial risk of developing brain tumors than others. The breeds that have a higher risk of brain tumors in dogs are Boxers, Doberman Pinschers, Golden Retrievers, English Sheepdogs, Boston Terriers, and Collies.
This means that pet parents of these breeds will have to pay closer attention to their dogs and look for any signs that something is not right. Having this knowledge is important for pet parents and is why it is highly encouraged to research breeds and potential health issues that could be encountered.
How Do Dog Brain Tumors Get Diagnosed?
A veterinarian will ultimately make the diagnosis of dog brain tumors. They will often take a list of symptoms and form a possible diagnosis based on those symptoms. To confirm that they are correct, a vet will order blood tests and usually will perform x-rays and/or MRI's as well. This is to be entirely sure that the diagnosis is correct and to have a look at the brain tumor. They will want to measure the size of the tumor, figure out what kind of tumor it is, and verify where it is located. Many vets will order a biopsy to determine whether it is a benign brain tumor or a malignant one. They do all of this to ensure that their diagnosis is correct and to begin forming a treatment plan.
The veterinarian will want to form a treatment plan based on a variety of factors. For example, they will take into account the general health of your pet, whether they have a secondary or primary tumor, and any other factors that they feel are important to take into account.
The most favorable treatment is total tumor removal. This is when they can get all of the tumors out of the body. Sometimes, partial removal is all that is possible. Total removal is possible when the tumor is in a location that it is safe to remove and the veterinary surgeons feel confident that they can do it. Partial removal occurs when the tumor is in a position where it could be very difficult, even life-threatening, to attempt a total removal. A veterinarian will explain why they feel a particular treatment option is best and their reasoning behind it. Feel free to ask the vet any questions that you may have. Most vets will answer your questions as well as they can so that you understand what your pet will be going through and what you may need to do as far as aftercare. Unfortunately, there are times when the tumor cannot be removed. When there is no removal possible, the veterinarian will often recommend chemo or radiation treatment. Also, the veterinarian may recommend a chemotherapy or radiation treatment even if there is removal performed. This is on a case-by-case basis.
These types of treatments can very tough on your furry pal. There are often side effects to surgeries, chemo, and radiation treatments and they can be very horrible. Pets will often suffer at least some side effects after operations and procedures. One of the most common side effects is a loss of appetite and nausea. It can be tough to watch your furry friend going through this. Your veterinarian will likely prescribe medications that they feel will benefit your pet's recovery after canine brain tumor treatment.
What Happens After Canine Brain Tumor Treatment?
Canine brain tumor treatment can be a lengthy process. However, when the treatment is over, many pet parents wonder what comes next. After treatment for brain tumors in dogs, there will be follow-up appointments to check on the general health of the pet and to make sure that there are no signs that there are any recurring cancers or tumors. They will likely have more appointments than usual for a period of time after the treatment has concluded.
It will be a time for pet parents to pay extra attention to their pet as the recovery process can be difficult. There can be issues with swallowing, nausea, and general malaise. Some dogs will also have little to no appetite for a while. These are common issues after cancer and tumor treatments. A veterinarian may want to see your pet if they are experiencing some of these symptoms. They may be able to prescribe your pet something to help them get through the recovery process and lessen their symptoms.
What Is The Prognosis For Brain Tumors in Dogs?
Giving a prognosis for brain tumors in dogs is sometimes tricky. Your trusted vet will provide a prognosis based on a number of factors. Some factors that veterinarians may use for a prognosis of brain tumors in dogs are the age and health of the pet in general, whether the tumor is primary or secondary, and other factors that they feel are important.
The time and prognosis will vary from one case to the next. It is imperative that you follow the veterinarian's recommendations for treatment and ensure that you attend all follow-up appointments. Other than that, pet parents should make their dogs as comfortable as possible and spend time with their furry friend whenever they can.
Can Brain Tumors Be Prevented?
The origin of brain tumors has not been verified and therefore makes them very difficult to prevent. In most cases, there is nothing that a pet parent can do to prevent canine brain tumors. Some scientific research believes there is a link between environmental toxins and cancer. Therefore, keeping chemicals and toxins away from your pets can be helpful for their overall health. Also, feeding them a diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals is excellent for their health. Dogs that have high-quality food are generally healthier than those that do not.
Are There Natural Options For Canine Brain Tumors?
Canine brain tumors are very complex and serious. Certainly, following the veterinarian's treatment plan is of vital importance to the recovery of your dog. However, there are some natural options available for pets that are dealing with cancer and brain tumors. A popular natural alternative for brain tumors in dogs is CBD.
CBD is an extract from hemp and works on the endocannabinoid system in the body. The endocannabinoid system has a direct impact on the nervous system in the body. CBD has very positive effects on the body in both humans and animals. For example, CBD has been shown to shrink tumors and eliminate or lessen cancer cells. There have been numerous studies pointing to this phenomenon and is why it is a terrific all-natural option for pet parents that have a dog with cancer.
CBD can also lessen or eliminate seizures, and this has been proven in scientific research. Certain types of seizure disorders are especially helped with CBD. If your pet has had seizures, CBD can be a tremendous help in eliminating or lessening the number of seizures that they suffer.
Pain from brain tumors or other health conditions can also be lessened with CBD. CBD decreases inflammation in the body, and that inflammation is a big part of why there is pain. Less inflammation is imperative to pets that are suffering from cancers, diseases, and other ailments.
If your dog is undergoing chemotherapy or radiation, it is very likely that they will suffer from nausea or loss of appetite. CBD can increase the appetite and reduce nausea and make it possible for a pet to feel much better as they are going through these difficult treatments. It can make it possible for them to regain their appetite and not have to suffer through horrible nausea that can be very hard on the body.
A great way to give your pet this all-natural product is by giving them CBD Oil For Dogs. CBD oil for dogs is specially formulated for pets. It is easy to figure out the proper dose and can be easily mixed in with food or given as a sublingual. This is an organic and toxin-free option that you can give your dog while they are going through brain tumor treatment and a wide variety of other health problems. It can even help manage anxiety in pets that have anxiousness on a regular basis. Pets that are undergoing treatment for cancer often have anxiety for a while afterward, and this organic product can assist with that in a way that almost nothing else can. Dogs that have other forms of anxiety can be helped as well. For example, many dogs have separation anxiety and travel anxiety. CBD can be given to help manage their anxiety on long trips or to help them if their pet parents are going to be gone for a while. This is a huge benefit to both the dog and the pet parent as anxious pets can be very hard to comfort.
Final Say on Brain Tumors in Dogs
If you have found out that your dog has brain tumors, you are likely worried and looking for information. This is why, here at Innovetpet, we provide as much information as possible to pet parents that want to know what they are facing. Our furry friends are like members of our family, and we love them as such. It's completely understandable and totally normal to be vastly concerned and want to be equipped with knowledge for the journey ahead.
Brain tumors in dogs can be treated, and sometimes, they can be treated so well that your dog ends the journey being tumor-free and cancer-free. This is the ideal outcome, of course. It is imperative to be as confident as possible and follow any veterinary recommendations and care guidelines to the letter. Dogs can tell when their pet parents are anxious, so being calm is very helpful to your pet, and to yourself! After all, you need to be strong for your precious pup while they undergo what could be a very long and arduous process. For pet parents that are stressed, there are some very helpful online support groups for pet owners that are going through various challenges, and they are entirely free. Also, there are local and national charities that can help with unexpected veterinary bills that you cannot afford and they are easily found online and may be able to assist you if you are worried about paying for veterinary bills.