A brain tumour is an abnormal growth of cells in the brain. About half of brain tumours in dogs originate in the brain. These are called primary tumours. Secondary tumours are caused by the spread of cancer from another body location to the brain.
Tumours of any kind can cause brain injury from compression, inflammation, infiltration, and oedema.
Management depends on the brain tumour type, location, signs, and treatment cost. Pet palliative care focuses on keeping your dog comfortable with medications to reduce brain inflammation, minimise seizures, and control pain. Definitive care involves surgical removal of a primary tumour, and/or radiation.
Chemotherapy is usually ineffective for primary brain tumours, but research on different treatment modalities is ongoing. Discussing a personalised management plan with your vet and veterinary oncologist is important for the best outcome for your dog.
Your dog’s prognosis depends on whether the brain tumour is primary or secondary, and the severity of clinical signs.
For a primary brain tumour, survival may be between three to six months with only palliative care, or 5 to 28 months with radiation and/or surgery. Unfortunately, dogs with secondary brain tumours usually do not survive for more than a month.
Immediately contact your vet if your dog suddenly collapses, has uncontrollable seizures, experiences difficulty breathing, behaves aggressively, or vocalises in pain.
It is vital to begin end-of-life care discussions before your dog‘s condition becomes unmanageable, or they begin losing their quality of life.
The team at Goodbye Good Boy offers individualised support to help you and your family navigate this difficult time by providing quality-of-life checks, in-home euthanasia, cremation and aftercare services, and personalised memorialisation options. Our services can even be pre-paid to help ease the financial burden at the time of your pet’s passing.
To learn more about our pet end-of-life services, give us a call on 1800 953 619 or visit our website goodbyegoodboy.com.au.
This article was reproduced with permission from Goodbye Good Boy advisor Dr Dani McVety, of Lap Of Love.