What is a brain tumor?
Brain tumors are generally classified as either primary or secondary. Primary brain tumors are tumors that originate from the tissues of the brain or the membranes covering the brain (meninges). Secondary brain tumors, which are called “metastases”, are tumors that have spread to the brain from a tumor in another part of the body (i.e., metastasized). Secondary brain tumors may also arise from nearby structures, such as the cranial nerves (high-functioning nerves that arise from the brain. Brain tumors are generally diagnosed by MRI or CT scan.
Dogs are at risk of getting many types of cancer. They can even get many of the same types of cancer humans can get – including brain cancer. This is understandably a major concern for pet owners. You love your pup and want to know how to protect him or her. Thankfully, there are numerous treatment options available today.
The most common form of brain cancer in dogs is a meningioma or a glioma. Older pets (five or more years old) have a higher risk of getting cancer and both sexes are equally vulnerable.
Is there a genetic or breed predispostion involved in the development of brain tumors in dogs?
Some dog breeds appear more likely to develop brain tumors than others. Breeds that seem to be especially predisposed to developing brain tumors in general include the Boxer, Golden Retriever, Doberman Pinscher, Scottish Terrier, and Old English Sheepdog.
Collies, and other dogs with long, narrow heads and noses, are more likely to develop a specific type of brain tumor, known as a meningioma. Meningiomas are benign tumors originating from the membranes covering the brain. Pugs and other short-nosed breeds are more likely to develop pituitary gland tumors and glial cell tumors, which originate from the structural cells of the nervous system. While brain tumors can occur in dogs of any age, most dogs who develop brain tumors are over the age of 5.