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Ask Drhollowayvet Your Own Question
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 882
Experience:  Relief Veterinarian at Aloha Animal Hospital
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My 11 year old boxer waked s head really hard on the iron

Customer Question

My 11 year old boxer waked his head really hard on the iron railing in August. Immediately he developed a large bump on his head over his eye. It never went down. He had an X-ray the vet said it showed a fractured skull. He started having seizures March 5. He had 2 more after that in 4 days. We took him to the vet. She told us he had a brain tumor. The eye on the side of the lump is blood red. We did not give him an MRI because we can't afford it. He is now on phenobarbital and Valium to control the seizures. I have read that a head injury can cause seizures. We were going to put him down. I am hesitant because we don't have an MRI to prove 100% that it is a tumor and not just a head injury. Any thoughts
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Drhollowayvet replied 1 year ago.

Hello this is Dr. Holloway but you can call me Dr. H for short. I am sorry to hear about your pets current health status. Here is my viewpoint: Typically with brain trauma that results in seizure activity, as the condition is treated medical (with steroids typically to get the swelling to subside) the seizures will eventually subside as the swelling goes down over the course of a week or two depending on the extent of the injuries. With a fractured skull however, pieces of skull can cause chronic swelling and herniation of the brain resulting in prolonged clinical signs (seizures, ataxia, nerve injury leading to the eye on that affected side and visible swelling). Skull fractures should be stabilized surgically to reduce the risk of continued herniation because skull bones in an older dog will either not heal properly or take 4-6 weeks to heal themselves, plus a constant state of brain swelling is a serious life threatening condition.

If the seizures occurred at the exact same time as the injury then I have no reason to suspect a tumor is involved here; however, the outlook is still poor because of the extent of the injuries, especially if Max is not responding to medical treatment very well.

Is he still have uncontrolled seizure activity?

How is his quality of life?

- Dr. H

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He has not had a seizure in a week it is being controlled by phenobarbital and Valium. His head injury was in August and he didn't have his first seizure until March 5. We took him off the you think if the swelling is due to the brain injury he should be back on the steroids? I noticed when he went on the steroids the redness in his eye got better. Or do you think it is a brain tumor
Expert:  Drhollowayvet replied 1 year ago.

I do not expect a brain injury to take this long to show symptoms typically it is immediately after the injury so brain injury would not be at the top of my list. Steroids are only given for about 2 weeks or until the symptoms subside. If he was doing better on steroids then yes this is an indication to perhaps stay on them as this can help reduce the progression of swelling if brain tumor is the cause. Which based on this description and the additional information you gave, brain tumor is at the top of list as cause of all of this unfortunately. - Dr. H

Expert:  Drhollowayvet replied 1 year ago.

Steroids are indicated in both cases of brain injury swelling and to potentially slow growth of a brain tumor.

Expert:  Drhollowayvet replied 1 year ago.

Is there anything else I can help you with today concerning Max? Or any questions about the information given so far?

If not please don't forget to provide me a rating by clicking on the "Rate my Expert" button at the top of your screen. This is how I am credited with taking the time to assist you with your pet concerns. Thank you so much and take care.

Best regards,

- Dr. H