Signs of a brain tumor in a dog

Updated April 17, 2017

The most common type of brain tumour a dog suffers from is called a meningioma tumour, according to Mar Vista Animal Medical Center. This tumour invades the meninges, which are the outer membranes lining a dog's skull. If small enough, it's possible that the tumour can be surgically removed because it is growing from the skull inward toward the brain. Therefore, early detection of a brain tumour is key in successful treatment.

Behavioural Signs

A dog with a brain tumour begins to exhibit personality changes suggesting a mental disorder. Aggressive dogs become docile while docile dogs become aggressive. Dogs act compulsive and constantly pace or circle, bark nonstop and develop an eating disorder. Some dogs get depressed or become disoriented. Signs of disorientation include the dog getting lost or suddenly not knowing its owner.

Digestive Symptoms

Changes in the dog's appetite also suggest a brain tumour. Such changes include a decreased desire to eat, which may be related to, or separate from, a difficult time swallowing, drinking incessantly and vomiting. Unlike the desire to eat compulsively, as discussed in the behavioural symptoms above, these digestive symptoms tend to demonstrate that the dog is actually not feeling well physically.

Neurological Changes

Neurological symptoms of a brain tumour are also symptoms of other neurological conditions such as a stroke or epilepsy. If the dog exhibits neurological signs of a brain tumour, its owner will notice lameness on one side of its body, paralysis in the face or dragging of the toes, a tilted head or face pressed against surfaces, and perhaps the most frightening, tremors and seizures.

Sensory Complications

Dogs with brain tumours lose certain senses, such as their ability to smell things and sight--some dogs actually go blind. They may also experience heightened sensitivity, particularly when you touch them. If a dog lashes out when you try to pet it, or seems to feel pain, this suggests hypersensitivity to touch.

Strength Reduction

Dogs with brain tumours lose certain strengths, both neurological and physical. They begin to walk slower or have an altered gait. Owners should also pay attention to sudden losses of balance, falling, hesitance or difficulty climbing or jumping and pain. All of these symptoms suggest a myriad of health problems, including a brain tumour, according to Vetinfo.

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