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Dog brain tumor symptoms

Brain tumours are most often seen in older dogs, although they can affect pets of any age. The most common types of brain tumours seen in dogs are astrocytomas, oligodendrogliomas and meningiomas. Symptoms that guardians are most likely to see include seizures and changes in the pet's behaviour, personality and intelligence.

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Seizures are one of the primary symptoms of brain tumours in dogs. Any time an older pet has a seizure, it should be evaluated for a brain tumour.


Changes in your dog's behaviour are also likely symptoms of a brain tumour. These include reversals in personality, such as docile dogs suddenly becoming aggressive or more assertive dogs suddenly becoming docile. The dog may eat or bark compulsively, and may exhibit depression.


A symptom of a brain tumour in dogs is often a marked loss of intelligence. Dogs may be unable to find their way home, may not recognise your voice or face or may be unable to use the pet door.

Additional Symptoms

Additional symptoms may include loss of vision or even blindness, an abnormality in the dog's gait, facial paralysis and loss of balance. Other signs of a nervous system disorder may be exhibited, depending upon where the tumour is located in the dog's brain.


The symptoms a dog with a brain tumour exhibits vary based upon where in the brain the tumour is growing. As the tumour gets larger, symptoms generally become more pronounced.


Boxers, Pugs and Boston Terriers are more likely to develop pituitary and glial cell brain tumours than other breeds. Dobermans, Scottish Terriers and Golden Retrievers are predisposed to develop meningiomas.

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About the Author

Bethney Foster

Bethney Foster is social justice coordinator for Mercy Junction ministry, where she edits the monthly publication "Holy Heretic." She is also an adoption coordinator with a pet rescue agency. Foster spent nearly two decades as a newspaper reporter/editor. She graduated from Campbellsville University, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in English, journalism and political science.

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