Sunday, December 14, 2014

Canine Brain Tumors: Signs To Watch For


A canine brain tumor is a mass inside your dogs cranial cavity, it may be cancerous or non cancerous. There are different levels of malignancy and depending on the level, the treatment options will vary.The mass may be the main tumor or possibly a secondary tumor, that has spread from another part of the body. Brain tumors are more common in older dogs (and cats too), but can also develop in younger pets. It is important to know the signs, depending on the location the symptoms may vary. 

Forebrain Symptoms-responsible for "thinking," behavior, and final integration of sensory information

  • Behavioral abnormalities such as loss of learned behavior and depression
  • Increased or decreased appetite and thirst
  • Constant pacing or circling
  • Decreased awareness and vision on one side of the body,
  • Seizures
The Brainstem-regulation of motor function (the ability to walk), the level of wakefulness, and the respiratory and cardiovascular systems.   nerves that control movement of and sensation to the face, the eyes, the throat, larynx and tongue, and the muscles of mastication 

  • Head tilt
  • Leaning and falling to the side of the head tilt
  • Drunken gait with loss of balance (ataxia)
  • Circling to the side of the head tilt
  • Involuntary flicking of the eyes (nystagmus)
  • Loss of appetite and vomiting
  • Abnormal eye position (strabismus)
The Cerebellum - The cerebellum controls coordination of movements and interacts closely with the vestibular system to control balance and posture. Signs of a tumor in the cerebellum include:

  • Uncoordinated gait characterized by dramatic goosestepping (hypermetria)
  • Head tremors that are worst when the animal is intent on something (i.e., food) but disappear when the animal is relaxed (intention tremors)
  • Swaying of the trunk
  • Wide based stance
  • The animal's strength remains normal

How is a brain tumor diagnosed? 
If your pet is over five years of age and new neurological symptoms pop up, testing for a brain tumor should be performed. Testing will include a complete physical and neurological examination, routine blood work (to rule out other causes), CT or MRI (MRI will show more detail and is the first choice), possible surgery or biopsy to determine type of tumor.

Treatment and Prognosis
The options for treating brain tumors usually include surgical removal, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and palliative treatment of the symptoms or a combination. Alternative Holistic Care can also be an important part of your pet's care plan.  Holistic supplements that can help are:

  • NeuroFlam- for canine seizures, canine epilepsy, neurological inflammation, and nerve-pain, and muscular nerve pain
  • Dog Brain Booster-can help reduce and prevent dog seizures, help dogs with dementia, brain tumors and other brain disorders.
  • Amazing Omegas-Omega -3 fatty acids play a crucial role in brain
We must stress that most brain tumors can be treated but not cured.  The goal should be to maintain and extend, for as long as possible,  a good quality of life for your pet.  From our experience, pets that use the supplements along with their treatment regimens have a much better outcome.
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