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Dr. K
Dr. K, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 7412
Experience:  11 years experience as Veterinarian
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My dog has symptoms of vertigo (walks like she is drunk), ...

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My dog has symptoms of vertigo (walks like she is drunk), head tilt, ataxia, wide based stance when balancing herself, sometimes leans to one side.   Assuming inner ear infection or vestibular disease. Had an MRI of head and spine today. Will get report tomorrow but was told by stat reading from my vet that she has a brain tumor (location started with a "c" - cerebellum). Blood test was fine on 3/1. What information can you offer. At the moment we are looking in to radiotherapy in MD. Also, after the MRI and anesthesia she was awake but would roll with her head upside down and she needed to carried from the vehicle. She just lays there and she flips from one side to the other literally. Please give me as much information as you have.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. K replied 6 years ago.
Hi ritalowe,
I am so sorry to hear that your dog has a brain tumor.
Did the vet give you any possibility of a name of the type of tumor that it is, or just that it is located in the cerebellum?

Dr. K
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I don't have the report in front of me yet but I was told that it is a malignant glioma. I think the location was the cerebellum but not sure yet if it is the cerebrum.

I just admitted her to a specialty center. Garden State Veterinary Specialists in New Jersey.

If you could give me some insight and further information on this topic it would be great.

Also, she was walking before the MRI and after the MRI she seemed worse. I was told that this was because of the anesthesia but I don't understand it. She was able to stand and walk (even though wobbly) and even come to eat and drink. She was completely attentive and coherent. Now after the MRI she hasn't been able to walk yet and she had the MRI yesterday. When I admitted her at 1am this morning it was almost 24 hours after the anesthesia which she was given about 6:30 am yesterday. She is not like herself alert in a normal way. She still understands when I am talking to her and reacts but her facial and head movements are not the same. Her arms seem stiffer. She flips from one side to the other.
Expert:  Dr. K replied 6 years ago.
HiCustomer
Brain tumors in dogs can be either primary or secondary depending on the cell type of origin. There are some treatment options for dogs with glial cell tumors. Although neurosurgery can be considered for these tumors, they are not easily excised. Irradiation can be used either alone or in combination with other treatments for either primary or secondary brain tumors. The other treatment for glial cell tumors would be chemotherapy. Carmustine (BCNU) or lomustine (CCNU) may result in reduction of tumor size, and in improvement of clinical signs in dogs with glial cell tumors.
I am attaching a client information handount that I use in my practice concerning dogs with brain tumors. I hope that you find it useful.

Click Here


Hopefully, at the specialty center where your dog was admitted there should be a veterinary neurologist or oncologist on staff. They should be able to explain all of your options to you, and what the specific prognosis is for a dog with this type of tumor.
I hope that this information is of help to you, and I wish you the best of luck with your dog. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Dr. K
Dr. K, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 7412
Experience: 11 years experience as Veterinarian
Dr. K and 7 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
You indicate in your email and I quote "I am attaching a clinet information handout that I use in my practice concerning dogs with brain tumors." Then it has an indicator to CLICK HERE. I tried the click here and could not get the information handout to come up. I am asking you to please email me the handout and attach it to the body of the email rather than as an attachment or a click here. I would really like to read this.

I have some further informationsince I just received a copy of the MRI results. I've been told a malignant glioma. Large ring enhancing mass in the left cerebellum, classic for a malignant glioma. Mass is approximately 2 cm in diameter. The mass is not surgically curable. This paragraph is the MRI findings section.

This paragraph is a report from a neurologist who examined the MRI but not the dog and is at the same office as the interpreting radiologist who is in Washington State. MRI was performed here in New Jersey. His first paragraph reads "MR findings were suggestive of a mass lesion at the cerebellomedullary angle. In addition, there appears to be cystic abnormality on the opposikte side adjacent to the flax. This mass lesion is complex in MR appearance with moderate contract enhancement.   While this may be an intra-axial mass such as a glioma, it is also possible that this is a meningioma originating from the tentorium with an associated cystic character. Primary inflammation or hemorrhage is less likely as a diagnosis.

I am not looking to rip you off of the $30.00 fee. I just want my information before I do the accept part.

Thank you for your kind words about my precious dog.
Expert:  Dr. K replied 6 years ago.
No problem about the attachment. I can copy it and attach it into the body of this response.
As for the MRI results, it would certainly be better if your dog had a meningioma as these can be completely surgically cured. I recommend that you take the results of the MRI (includeing the films and the report) to another neurologist/ocncologist who can examine it and your dog as well. They will then be able to give you the best recommendation as to how to proceed with treatment. Many specialist facilities have radiateion therapy right at the center. If you are located in NJ, you may want to consider the Animal Medical Center in NY.


BRAIN TUMORS

BASICS

OVERVIEW
∑ Brain tumors may be classified as "primary" or "secondary"
∑ "Primary brain tumors" originate from cells normally found within the brain and meninges (membranes covering the brain)
∑ "Secondary tumors" are either cancer that has spread to the brain (known as "metastasis") from a primary tumor outside the nervous system, or tumors that affect the brain by invading or extending into brain tissue from adjacent non-nervous system tissues, such as bone
∑ Pituitary gland tumors (adenomas or carcinomas) and tumors arising from cranial nerves are considered secondary brain tumors; the "cranial nerves" are nerves that originate in the brain and go to various structures of the head (such as the eye, face, and tongue)
∑ Brain tumors appear to be more common in dogs than in other domestic species

GENETICS
∑ An unusually high incidence of benign tumors originating from the membranes covering the brain (membranes are the meninges; tumors are "meningiomas") has been reported in cats with mucopolysaccharidosis type I; "mucopolysaccharidosis" is the term for a group of inherited disorders in which particular enzymes necessary for normal cell function (that is, metabolism) are deficient

SIGNALMENT/DESCRIPTION of ANIMAL
Species
∑ Dogs and cats
Breed Predilections
∑ Meningiomas (benign tumors originating from the membranes covering the brain) occur most frequently in dolichocephalic breeds of dog; "dolichocephalic breeds" are dogs that have long heads and noses, such as the collie and Afghan hound
∑ Glial cell tumors and pituitary tumors occur commonly in short-nosed, flat-faced (known as "brachycephalic") breeds of dog; "glial cell tumors" originate from cells that surround and support nerve cells and act as insulation between these cells
∑ Canine breeds that appear to be more likely to develop brain tumors than other breeds include the boxer, golden retriever, Doberman pinscher, Scottish terrier, and Old English sheepdog
∑ No increased likelihood of developing brain tumors has been identified in any breed of cat
Mean Age and Range
∑ Brain tumors occur in dogs and cats of any age
∑ Most frequent in older dogs, with the greatest incidence in dogs greater than 5 years of age
Predominant Sex
∑ Older male cats appear to be most likely to develop meningiomas (benign tumors originating from the membranes covering the brain)

SIGNS/OBSERVED CHANGES in the ANIMAL
∑ Vary with tumor location
∑ Most frequently recognized clinical sign associated with a brain tumor of a dog or cat is seizures, particularly if the first seizure occurs after the animal has reached 5 years of age
∑ Other clinical signs frequently associated with a brain tumor are abnormal behavior and mental status; vision abnormalities (such as blindness); circling; wobbly, incoordinated or "drunken" appearing gait or movement (known as "ataxia"); head tilt; being overly sensitive to pain or touch (known as "hyperesthesia") in the area of the neck

CAUSES
∑ Uncertain
∑ Dietary, environmental, genetic, chemical, viral, traumatic, and immune system factors may be considered

RISK FACTORS
∑ Uncertain

TREATMENT

HEALTH CARE
∑ The major goals of therapy for a brain tumor are to control secondary effects, such as increased pressure of the cerebrospinal fluid within the skull cavity (known as "increased intracranial pressure") or fluid build-up in the brain (known as "cerebral edema"), and to eradicate the tumor or reduce its size
∑ Three methods of therapy for a brain tumor are available at this time for use in dogs and cats including surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy
Surgery
∑ Neurosurgery for complete surgical removal, partial removal, or biopsy of the brain tumor
∑ Meningiomas (benign tumors originating from the membranes covering the brain) may be able to be removed completely (or almost completely) by means of surgery, especially in cats
Radiation Therapy
∑ Radiation therapy may be used either alone or in combination with other treatments for either primary or secondary brain tumors
∑ Careful treatment planning by an experienced radiation therapist is essential to the success of radiation therapy
Chemotherapy
∑ Chemotherapy drugs (such as carmustine [BCNU] or lomustine [CCNU]) may result in reduction of tumor size, and in improvement of clinical signs in dogs with glial cell tumors; "glial cell tumors" originate from cells that surround and support nerve cells and act as insulation between these cells
∑ Cytosine arabinoside (ARA-C) has been used in dogs to treat lymphoma of the central nervous system; "lymphoma" is a type of cancer that develops from lymphoid tissue, including lymphocytes, a type of white-blood cell formed in lymphatic tissues throughout the body

MEDICATIONS
Medications presented in this section are intended to provide general information about possible treatment. The treatment for a particular condition may evolve as medical advances are made; therefore, the medications should not be considered as all inclusive.

∑ Steroids may be utilized to decrease fluid build-up (edema) and, in some cases (such as for treatment of lymphoma), to slow tumor growth; "lymphoma" is a type of cancer that develops from lymphoid tissue, including lymphocytes, a type of white-blood cell formed in lymphatic tissues throughout the body
∑ Some animals with brain tumors will have dramatic improvement in clinical signs for weeks or months with sustained steroid treatment
∑ Medications to control seizures (known as "anticonvulsants"), such as phenobarbital or bromide
∑ Mannitol to reduce increased intracranial pressure (increased pressure of the cerebrospinal fluid within the skull cavity)

FOLLOW-UP CARE

PATIENT MONITORING
∑ Serial nervous system examinations
∑ Serial diagnostic imaging (computed tomography [CT or CAT scan], magnetic resonance imaging [MRI])

POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS
∑ Aspiration pneumonia due to depressed swallowing reflexes associated with increased intracranial pressure (increased pressure of the cerebrospinal fluid within the skull cavity)
∑ Seizures

EXPECTED COURSE AND PROGNOSIS
∑ Information is limited; however, prognosis generally is guarded to poor for animals treated to control the secondary effects of a brain tumor only, without an attempt to eradicate the tumor; the results of one study indicate a mean and median survival of 81 days and 56 days, respectively, following CAT scan diagnosis of a primary brain tumor in 8 dogs
∑ Several studies confirm that the prognosis for a dog or cat with a primary brain tumor may be improved significantly by surgical removal of the tumor, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy (used either alone or in combination)

KEY POINTS
∑ Brain tumors may be classified as "primary" or "secondary"
∑ "Primary brain tumors" originate from cells normally found within the brain and meninges (membranes covering the brain)
∑ "Secondary tumors" are either cancer that has spread to the brain (known as "metastasis") from a primary tumor outside the nervous system, or tumors that affect the brain by invading or extending into brain tissue from adjacent non-nervous system tissues, such as bone
∑ Three methods of therapy for a brain tumor are available at this time for use in dogs and cats including surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy
∑ Prognosis generally is guarded to poor for animals treated to control the secondary effects of a brain tumor only, without an attempt to eradicate the tumor
∑ Several studies confirm that the prognosis for a dog or cat with a primary brain tumor may be improved significantly by surgical removal of the tumor, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy (used either alone or in combination)


I hope that this information helps you.

Dr. K

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