Skip to comments.Has anyone had a dog with a brain tumor?
Posted on 07/14/2010 12:47:36 AM PDT by Judith Anne
I have two dogs, a mastiff, and a minpin. The minpin is 14 years old, blind, and has been officially diagnosed with a brain tumor accompanied by epilepsy about 7 months ago, although the epilepsy started before that, and a brain tumor was suspected.
It's not as bad as it sounds, for her. She started having seizures about once a month, and the vet said they would increase in frequency. Due to her age, no treatment was judged likely to help much, for very long. He said her lifespan would depend on how fast it grew, and how well she tolerated the changes. She's been doing very well until July 4, when she suddenly went blind.
The seizures have become more frequent, about twice a week, but they've gotten milder. I pick her up and take her outside about 4 times a day, and she is able to find and eat her food and drink water in her crate with no problem. I keep her in her crate most of the time now, because she seems happy there, or on my lap, and to keep her safe from being hurt during a seizure. The seizure meds don't help.
I'm not explaining this very well, I hope it's clear enough. Anyway, she's been with me since she was a pup, and since she is not suffering I can't bring myself to have her put down. I've decided to take care of her until she goes.
This is a dainty and beautiful tiny dog. She "mothered" the mastiff when we brought him home 6 1/2 years ago; she has been a faithful little shadow to me, all her life.
She has "accidents" now, but it's no fuss to clean up, I have several cushions I rotate through the laundry, and usually manage to get her outdoors often enough.
The problem now is some odd behavior: She has been vigorously digging in her pillows, sometimes for an hour at a time, about three times a day. She's too weak and small to damage the pillows; but it's surprisingly noisy, esp at night. I have told her to stop, and for a second or two, she does. Then starts up again. She also walks in tight circles for 10-15 minutes at a time. Plus, she has totally stopped barking, which is uncharacteristic for her.
I am assuming that these are behaviors related to the tumor; could these behaviors be a type of seizure? The meds we tried completely knocked her out, or didn't work at all.
Again, she doesn't seem to be in pain, still eats and goes to the BR outside, except for more frequent accidents.
Is it time? Any suggestions? I'm willing to keep her with me until she goes, but I do not want to make her suffer...
My parents had a dog that had frequent seizures. Interestingly, it always knew when it was about to have a seizure, so my mother knew when to hold onto it. I’m not sure but I think they said it was liver cancer. They had the dog put down eventually because it was either a matter of seeing it in pain all the time or just speeding up the inevitable.
I sent you a PM.
Now for the hard part. At the end I couldn't bear the thought of my doggies being alone at the final end with a stranger. At least please let somebody they know be there with the vet. It's something you or they will never want to do again but will hurt forever if they missed.
Yes, I don’t want my dog to suffer. She actually seems fine 90 percent of the time, and does not seem to have pain; no panting, no whining, she does tremble a lot, though.
When I take her to the vet for the last time, I will hold her in my arms and tell her what a good girl she is, over and over, as she goes.
I’ve done this once before for an aged, blind, deaf dog we rescued, who was with us for nearly 5 years.
I would never let my dog go without me holding her.
I’m actually praying she’ll go in her sleep, here at home on her soft cushion.
I would say let the dog go eventually on your terms. They’re always loyal to us, and they trust us; dogs will give their lives to save their masters from things like fires, enemies, and so forth. The hardest part about owning a dog is knowing we will outlive them. But I can’t decide for you.
It's about quality of life, not suffering as in "pain". It is very obvious you love your dog very much and have given her the very best life possible. Now it is time to do what is right for the animal. Perhaps you have a vet service which will come to your home and perform the euthanasia where she is most at ease and while you hold her. It is one of the most difficult things you will ever have to do but it is also the right thing to do and you will, in the end not regret having it done.
Thanks to both of you so much. Since there’s no emergency, and not likely to be one, I think I will put off the decision for a couple of weeks. My son and his family will be visiting, and I won’t have to drive that way. We all love the little dickens.
Something cute: both the dogs, the mastiff and the minpin, both love ham hocks for an occasional treat. The mastiff gets very annoyed with the minpin, because his ham hock lasts about 5 minutes, hers lasts a week. He constantly checks the crate to see if it’s still there. She ignores him completely, but buries her treat (very heavy for a little thing like her) in the pillows where he cannot see it.
“Hello. I work as a full time vet tech and I have seen several cases like yours.
First of all this could mean a middle ear infection. Animals will get out of balance and constantly turn to one side..often times in circles. Are the circles the dog is making all in the same direction?
Could also be the result of a stroke or dementia. This can cause them to lose equilibrium. You should definitely see a vet for this problem.
The other poster is right...it could be anxiety but spinning in circles randomly for 30 minutes most likely isn’t anxiety especially if you haven’t seen this problem before.
If you have any other info on what she is doing and what happened before this started I may be able to give you some more specific advice.”
Just from me: I noticed that when my dogs were getting ready to leave, they slept a lot more and liked to be alone. It was almost as if by becoming more aloof, they were preparing us. If a stroke is involved, organ failure might not be too far behind. If she’s having seizures and the meds don’t work, I might be inclined to keep her from having to go through more seizures, although I am also inclined to wait and see if she can still enjoy life enough. It’s hard to do, deciding when. You and your beloved pet are in my prayers.
Thank you so much for your help. She is in good health, except for the brain tumor. It is gradually taking away her abilities. Her ears are fine, no infection. She sees the vet twice a year, just went a month ago. No heartworms, skin and coat in good condition, teeth good, just, seizures and blindness.
I was thinking the new behaviors, this past two weeks, were likely due to the tumor. Vet said brain tumors are not unusual in minpins.
10 years ago, Our little dog had similar, first blindness vet said don’t worry she’ll still get around pretty good.And she did and still seemed happy and playful and healthy.Then weakness in her back legs, first assumed to be arthritis, then a few months later a mild seizure and then a big one that ended similar to a stroke. She couldn’t walk and was yelping hysterically, she couldn’t feed herself. It was the weekend and there was no way to have her put to sleep.We thought she was dying and dug a grave. She was sleeping and would wake up and yelp. But by morning she stabilized and my father fed her some yogurt. The yogurt gave her strength and the next thing you know she was trying to walk. At first the back legs didn’t work, but with his guidance she started walking again, eating heartily, acting happy and playful and we decided if she was that determined we would postpone putting her to sleep. She lived happily and playfully another three months, then one morning she had a big seizure and passed away. She was seventeen
She seemed to enjoy her last days and lived with as much enthusiam as she did when she was healthy and young. I’m glad we allowed her to remain those last three months instead of putting her down.We were told seizures were common in very elderly dogs.
She’s a smart cookie. : )
Forgot to say, one of the breeds used to create minpins is the dachshund, so her bed digging may simply be practicing hole-digging for vermin.
Thank you VERY much. When the kids were visiting over the fourth, among other things they dug a nice deep grave for her, because she was suddenly blind, and not drinking water for a day.
She, too, perked up, and although she’s not very active, she does eat and drink and respond to her name, and pretend to bite when I tickle her ears...she’s never actually bitten anyone.
Put her down. she is suffering in ways that you can’t imagine, IMO. I know it is hard, they become very close to a person and it breaks your heart when they die.
Dachshund and terrier, yes. And boy, are they a delicate and beautiful little dog!
The digging is a brand new thing, but the tumor could be invading some instinctive part of her brain that triggers the behavior...
That is my worst fear...if I were sure that was true...
I personally haven’t had to face that yet, but my dog is 15 1/2, and I know the day will come. My mom and I recently got into an argument because I said I didn’t have it in me to have my girl put to sleep if something happened. She would have to be in an immense amount of suffering because otherwise, there is no way I could put her in the car and drive her to her death. I only hope that God takes her for me.
If I were you, I’d wait and see. See if there is anything to keep her comfortable. If she’s suffering badly, then you have to make the decision.
Well, I’m praying she goes in her sleep. Prayers for you and your pup...
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