Brain tumors, although is an uncommon disease in pets, can develop in both dogs and cats. However, they seem to occur more often in canines. While there are different types of tumors that can develop in your pet's brain, prognosis is usually grim no matter what the type may be. When diagnosed and treated early though, your dog or cat may be able to enjoy a much longer life.
How Brain Tumor Affects Your Pet
Brain tumors are classified as either primary or secondary. While primary tumors are typically solitary, secondary tumors are those that have metastasized from other areas of the body. Tumors can also be either benign or malignant; however, in either case, prognosis can be grave due to secondary conditions. Pets with brain tumors may develop excessive intracranial pressure or cerebral edema, both of which can be fatal. Additionally, most animals that have brain tumors experience frequent seizures, varying degrees of pain and/or vision loss. Some pets slip into comas before passing away.
Common Symptoms of Brain Tumor
Symptoms of brain tumors may vary depending on several factors including the tumor's location, its rate of growth and your pet's age. Additionally, it is essential to note that symptoms of brain tumors are progressive and worsen over time. With that said, it is extremely important to take note of any signs your dog or cat may exhibit. Symptoms: Behavioral Changes, Seizures, Staggering Gait, Twitching of the Eyeballs, Limb Weakness, Tilting the Head to One Side, Facial Paralysis, Disorientation/Confusion, Coma, Vision Problems, Sensitivity of the Head and/or Neck, Loss of Smell and Fever.
Treatments for Brain Tumor
Your veterinarian will need to perform a tissue biopsy to determine whether or not your pet has a brain tumor. MRI scans, X-rays and ultrasound imaging may be necessary as well. There are basically three types of treatments for animals with brain tumors, and they are surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The goal of these treatments is to get rid of the tumor or reduce the size of it. It is also essential to control any secondary pet health concerns such as cerebral edema, seizures and abscesses. To help control these secondary problems, your vet may prescribe such medication as anticonvulsants, corticosteroids and/or antibiotics.
As stated above, while brain tumors are not common in pets, they do seem to occur more often in dogs than in cats. Additionally, some breeds of dogs are more predisposed to the condition, and there are some factors that can leave your pet vulnerable to brain tumors. These breeds and factors are listed here: Boxers, Boston Terriers, Bulldogs, Old English Sheepdogs, Golden Retrievers, Scottish Terriers and Dobermans.
When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.