Seizures and Brain Tumors in Dogs

Written by deanna roddy
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Seizures and Brain Tumors in Dogs
Boxers are more prone to developing brain tumours (boxer dog image by Eva Bell from

A seizure can be a frightening experience for both the dog and the owner. Seizures may be caused by various things including a brain tumour. Both the brain tumour and seizures have a possibility of being controlled if treated correctly.


A seizure is caused by a disturbance in the function of the brain causing abnormal electrical charges from the brain to the rest of the body. Seizures are also called convulsions, ictus or fit, and are categorised by the types of seizures. The two types of seizures a dog my experience are a generalised seizure, and partial seizure. A generalised seizure is one where a dog may lose consciousness, jerk his limbs, fall to the ground, salivate excessively, urinate and defecate. Partial seizures affect only one specific part of the brain causing the dog to twitch, turn his head, bite at invisible flies and exhibit unusual behaviour.


There are many things that can cause a dog to experience a seizure. Some of these include a brain tumour, head trauma, distemper, hypoglycaemia, Lyme disease, renal disease, poisoning and tick bites, according to A veterinarian will need to know information about the dog and what happened before, during and after the seizure to effectively narrow down the cause of the seizure.

Brian Tumor

The College of Veterinary Medicine states that cancer can affect the brain of older dogs (over the age of 5 years old), however, specific breeds such as the Boston terrier and boxer are more prone to develop brain cancer. A brain tumour is a mass in the brain, but is typically used to describe a cancerous mass that develops within the cranial cavity (brain). When a brain tumour is suspected, an X-ray or MRI is needed to diagnose it.

Brain Tumor and Seizures

If a dog has a tumour in the brain, the symptoms may progress gradually, although in some cases they can present quickly. Seizures are the most common symptom of a brain tumour due to increase in pressure of the brain caused by the tumour, according to, and may sometimes be the only sign of the tumour. Other symptoms may include partial blindness, tilting of the head, paralysis, weakness and loss of coordination.


The dog may be given a corticosteroid to control the swelling in the brain along with anti-seizure drugs to help control the seizures. In some cases, surgical removal of the tumour may be needed. Treatment for brain tumours are dependent upon many things including size, type and location of the tumour. With something as serious as a brain tumour, your dog should be seen by an oncologist or neurologist to receive the best treatment, according to

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