Lawn Fertilizers And Herbicides
Lawn Fertilizers partnered up with herbicides make up the compound term weed-n-feed.’
The problem regarding these substances is that they’re inorganic, and thus posing a potential risk to anyone who inhales it.
However, likely unknown to many, research shows that the herbicides may form malignant lymphoma in dogs and is said to be potentially harmful even if an application only takes annually.
Specifically, professional lawn products may increase the chance of lymphomas both in canines and humans alike.
Even if you don’t use lawn products, your neighbors might and may still pose a threat to any dogs around.
If your canine cannot avoid this, there are safer options for lawn cleaning, such as corn gluten. They’re natural and non-toxic alternatives to fertilizers and herbicides.
You should always be aware whenever your dogs go outside, especially during spring or fall because these are likely occasions that anyone will treat their lawns out.
Mast Cell Tumors In Dogs
Mast cell tumors may occur as skin bumps or internal tumors. These masses may release histamine when disturbed, which can have a negative effect on your dog’s body. If your vet suspects a mast cell tumor, your dog may be treated first with diphenhydramine to minimize the histamine release. Once the mass is removed, a pathologist will grade the tumor as I, II, or II. This grading indicates how malignant the tumor is and how likely it is to metastasize .
Are All Tumors Cancerous
One of the greatest misconceptions of tumors is that they all lead to canine cancer. Often, the terms tumor and cancer are interchanged, which can be misleading. A tumor is not necessarily a cancer the term tumor simply refers to a mass.
Tumors are either classified as benign or malignant. A benign tumor is non-malignant and non-cancerous. It is often localized, which means that it does not spread. Most benign tumors respond well to treatment. However, if left untreated, some benign tumors can grow large and lead to even more serious diseases.
A malignant tumor, on the other hand, is tied to cancer. Malignant tumors are cancerous growths which metastasize, meaning they spread to other parts of the body. These masses often resist treatment, and can even recur after removal.
Sebaceous Cysts Adenomas And Adenocarcinomas
Sebaceous cysts are common types of skin cysts that contain sebum, a thick, oily material normally found in the skin around the hair follicles. These masses may be found anywhere on the body. Sebaceous cysts are benign but can also be mistaken for a malignant tumor called a sebaceous gland adenocarcinoma or a benign mass called a sebaceous gland adenoma. If the cyst does not bother your dog, your vet might leave it alone, but a cyst can be surgically removed if necessary. Once removed, the cyst should be sent to a lab so a veterinary pathologist can determine that it is, indeed, just a sebaceous cyst or an adenoma or adenocarcinoma that may require more treatment.
There Are 3 Basic Options For The Treatment Of Tumours:
Option 1 Medication alone
There are very few chemotherapy options for brain tumours in dogs and cats because the brain is a very protected site and most drugs cannot penetrate it. However, treatment may help to reduce some of the signs seen in a patient with a brain tumour. A combination of anti-inflammatory medication to reduce the swelling and pressure caused by the tumour, and drugs to reduce the severity and frequency of seizures can be prescribed. In some cases this may relieve a lot of the symptoms and make the animal feel a lot better. However, animals on this combination of drugs are often very thirsty and hungry and may need to go to the toilet more often occasionally this can cause problems with wetting in the house. The drugs used to control seizures may initially make your pet more sleepy, but most dogs get used to the drugs after a couple of weeks. This approach does not cost much and there is little risk of making your pet worse, however, in some cases this may only provide relief for a couple of months.
Option 2 Medication and radiation therapy
Option 3 Medication, radiation therapy and surgery
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Types Of Brain Tumors In Dogs And Cats
Brain tumors in dogs and cats can be divided into two categories: primary and secondary.
- Primary tumors develop from cells that make up the brain itself and the lining of the brain. These include meningioma , glioma , and ependymoma .
- Secondary brain tumors are tumors that develop elsewhere in the body and eventually spread to the brain.
Treatment Of Benign Tumors In Dogs
For benign tumor growths that are small and not distressing to your dog, the veterinary caregiver may decide no treatment is necessary. This is because of several factors.
- Small benign growths are not affecting your dogs daily life
- It is not in your dogs best interest to have anesthesia to remove a common growth. The anesthesia has risks associated with the procedure so unless it is harming the dog, most veterinarians prefer to monitor.
- The veterinary team will enlist your help to monitor the growth and ensure that there is no increase in size, colour or effect on your pets behavior
- If it is annoying your dog, a simple day surgery removal may be advised
For larger benign growths that are inhibiting the dogs movements and causing distress, the treatment is as follows.
- Surgical removal is usually the most effective option for unsightly or motion inhibiting growths
- Your dog will be anesthetised and the removal procedure will be carried out
- Careful closing and cleansing of the wound site will be carried out and a dressing applied
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Monitoring Quality Of Life
Although certain treatment options can at least help to improve a dog’s quality of life and may slow the progression of the disease, there is still a lot to learn about brain tumors in dogs. It is important to be aware that following the diagnosis of a brain tumor, the long-term prognosis is usually guarded.
The most important thing to monitor is your dog’s quality of life. Regardless of whether or not treatment is selected, you need to make sure your dog is still comfortable and happy.
Appetite, elimination schedules, socialization, playing with favorite toys, and other normal activities for your dog are things to monitor. When these things start becoming less of a normal activity, it may, unfortunately, be time to discuss euthanasia with your veterinarian.
Survival times for dogs with brain tumors vary drastically, but the average survival time is only three to four months with palliative care directed at keeping the dog comfortable for as long as possible.
Some types of tumors, like cerebral tumors, may carry a survival time of up to a year but others, like tumors in the brainstem, unfortunately, have an even shorter survival time.
Dogs that receive chemotherapy, radiation, and surgical treatment may have extended survival times but, again, it is entirely dependent on the type of tumor.
First Let’s Start With Some Information About Brain Tumours In Dogs
Brain tumours may present a primary tumour or metastasis . The most common primary brain tumour is a meningioma, followed by glioma. Other less common brain tumours include choroid plexus tumours, ependymomas, lymphoma, gliomatosis cerebri and histiocytic sarcoma. Secondary brain tumours represent approximately half of all brain tumours in dogs, including haemangiosarcoma, pituitary tumours, lymphoma and metastatic carcinomas.
Brain tumours may occur in any age and breed with no reported sex predisposition. However, most primary brain tumours have been reported in Golden retrievers and boxers, dolichocephalic breeds are prone to developing meningiomas, and brachycephalic breeds are more prone to developing gliomas. Most brain tumours occur in older dogs , but they can occur at any age and breed.
These tumours are space-occupying intracranial lesions that cause clinical signs of brain dysfunction by directly compressing or invading brain tissue, and indirectly through secondary effects . Metastasis from most primary brain tumours to other sites is rare but have been reported.
Seizures are the most common clinical signs, although dogs may present with non-specific signs , or neurologic signs relating to the neuroanatomic location/s of the tumour.
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Are There Natural Options For Canine Brain Tumors
Canine brain tumors are very complex and serious. Certainly, following the veterinarian’s treatment plan is of vital importance to the recovery of your dog. However, there are some natural options available for pets that are dealing with cancer and tumors. A popular natural alternative for brain tumors in dogs is CBD.
CBD is an extract from hemp and works on the endocannabinoid system in the body. The endocannabinoid system has a direct impact on the nervous system. Though, CBD is being investigated all over the world for many uses. However at this time, as the manufacturer of CBD products, we are not allowed to discuss that subject publicly nor we are not allowed to imply that CBD can be used for any specific treatment.
That said, keep in mind that studies are still relatively young. Much more must be done before we fully know exactly how CBD can help in these situations and more. Regardless, there has been anecdotal evidence shown to be highly useful in many ways for dogs healthy and struggling with cancer alike.
Final Say on Brain Tumors in Dogs
Diagnosis And Staging A Brain Tumor In Dogs
Diagnostic tests for brain cancer can include one or more of the following:
- CT scan/MRI These imaging tests will identify a brain tumor
- Blood, urine or spinal fluid samples These are critical to assess organ function and/or determine cause of seizures
- Chest X-ray This will evaluate a pet prior to anesthesia and check for metastases or secondary tumors
These diagnostic tests will help determine what type of brain cancer a dog has, so you can know how to proceed in treating the disease. Learn more about some of the most common types of brain cancer in dogs.
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Does My Dog Have A Brain Tumor
Many brain tumors can be difficult to detect without proper testing and can display similar symptoms to ear infections or other conditions. Often times, symptoms can continue to increase and a diagnosis may be delayed. Time is of the essence and understanding the signs and symptoms of a brain tumor is vital for early detection.
Even at 11 years old, Cosmo was a bundle of energy and a graceful runner. knew something was wrong when Cosmo fell down while playing and started bumping into furniture. In just a few weeks, Cosmos health had deteriorated, and he was barely able to lift up his head. -Lori Young, Pet Parent to Pet Hero Cosmo
Learn more about making a treatment decision for pets with cancer
How Can I Tell If My Dog Has A Brain Tumour
You can now see that signs will vary depending on the type of cells affected , the size, and the speed of growth of a tumour.
For many dogs, the signs will be so vague they will almost certainly go unnoticed. They may hide away more, be less active or not want to be handled. Signs like this are not likely to be noticed, or if noticed, could easily be attributed to having an off day, the weather, or a new baby in the house, for example. There are a thousand and one reasons why a pets behaviour can subtly change from day to day that wouldnt involve brain tumours.
Some dogs will have more obvious signs such as seizures. Seizures can be general, affecting the whole brain causing a classic fit, or focal, just affecting one part of the brain, thus one part of the body. An abnormal movement in a limb, for example. A brain tumour is just one possible cause for seizures.
There might be signs specific to tumour location. Reduced sensation, weakness, loss of balance or staggering, visual impairment or blindness, and changes in sense of smell can happen. These signs may be subtle or severe. They could also be caused by other conditions.
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What Are Brain Tumors
A brain tumor is a serious condition caused by improper cell division in tissues associated with the brain. These cells are unable to receive the stop growing signal and continue to divide, forming masses that can replace or damage healthy brain tissue. Brain damage can cause abnormal behavior, weakness or lethargy, and difficulty moving. Only a veterinarian can properly identify and diagnose a brain tumor, so make an appointment as soon as possible if your pet exhibits unusual behavior or tremors.
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Can Brain Tumors Be Prevented
The origin of brain tumors has not been verified and therefore makes them very difficult to prevent. The good news is that treatment options are available. In most cases, there is nothing that a pet parent can do to prevent canine brain tumors. Some scientific research believes there is a link between environmental toxins and cancer. Therefore, keeping chemicals and toxins away from your pets can be helpful for their overall health. Also, feeding them a diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals is excellent for their health and survival. Dogs that have high-quality food are generally healthier than those that do not.
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Animals Affected & Disease Onset
Brain tumors are a common cause of neurological dysfunction in older dogs and cats. The average age when the animal presents symptoms is 9-11 years in dogs and 10-12 in cats. Golden Retrievers, mixed breeds, Labrador Retrievers, Boxers, Boston Terriers and domestic short hair cats have the highest incidence of brain tumors, although its not known why. There is no difference in incidence in males versus females.
In both dogs and cats, symptoms most often associated with brain tumors are personality changes , seizures, weakness or lack of coordination in the limbs, abnormal eye/facial symmetry and vision loss or change. Overall, seizures are a more common sign of a brain tumor in dogs, while behavior change is more common in cats.
Typically these symptoms have a sudden onset and grow worse over time. To understand why, we need to examine the nature of these tumors.
The most common brain tumors are meningiomas, gliomas, choroid plexus papillomas, pituitary tumors, medulloblastoma and metastatic tumors. The first two, meningiomas and gliomas, comprise the majority of brain tumors in dogs and cats. These are typically cytologically benign but biologically malignanti.e., while the tumor is benign, it is in a terrible place. These two types of tumors do not metastasize locally or distally .
How Will My Vet Know That My Dog Has A Brain Tumour
Your vet may suspect that your pet has a brain tumour because of the signs you describe.
The brain cannot be seen on standard X-rays so special diagnostic tests are needed to allow your vet to take pictures of your pets brain. Diagnosis of brain tumours in dogs and cats is based on imaging the brain either with a CT-scan or an MRI-scan. Although these tests are very good for detecting the presence of a mass in the brain, they are not good at identifying the exact nature of this mass .
A sample of the fluid from around the brain may need to be taken to rule-out an inflammation of the brain and, in rare cases, this can reveal the presence of a certain type of tumour called lymphoma. In order to confirm the exact cause of the mass and, if it is a tumour, to find out how malignant it is, a tissue sample must be collected. This sample can be obtained by inserting a biopsy needle through the skull. Alternatively, if surgical removal of the mass is planned, a sample may simply be collected at the time of surgery.
Aggressive tumours may spread around the body . Brain tumours in dogs and cats can spread to the chest and tumours from other sites may spread to the brain. X-rays of the chest and abdomen as well as an abdominal ultrasound may be necessary to confirm that tumours are not present elsewhere in the body.
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Treatment Option: Brain Surgery
Surgical interventions intended to remove part or all of the tumorous mass may also be an option, but as with stereotactic radiation, canine brain surgery is expensive and available only at a relatively small number of locations.
Brain surgery also carries a major risk of side effects, which can cause permanent changes to the dogs mental activity and cognitive ability. Brain surgery can also make seizures worse in some dogs, and complications such as infection pose additional hazards.
Radiation Therapy For Brain Tumors
Brain tumors are more common in dogs than any other domestic species. The incidence is reported to be 14.5 per 100,000 dogs. Brain tumors occur in any age, breed and sex, but most commonly middle aged and older dogs are affected. Some breeds that appear to be over-represented include the golden retriever, boxer, Doberman Pinscher, Scottish terrier, and the Old English Sheepdog.
Tumors originating in the brain or primary brain tumors arise from cells that are normally found within the brain and meninges. The most common primary brain tumors of dogs are gliomas and meningiomas. Gliomas and pituitary tumors occur more commonly in brachycephalic breeds such as Pugs and boxers. Meningiomas occur more commonly in dolichocephalic breeds such as Collies and German Shepherd dogs. In cats, brain tumors are much less common, occurring in approximately 3.5 per 100,000 cats. Meningiomas are most common and there does not appear to be a breed predisposition.
Brain tumors cause compression, decreased circulation and subsequent necrosis of the brain tissue surrounding the tumor resulting in neurologic dysfunction. While primary brain tumors are slow-growing, they have serious effects because the brain is contained within a fixed space. Therefore edema and hemorrhage that often surround a tumor can lead to increased intracranial pressure.
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