Author Topic: Brain cancer in short nosed dog breeds  (Read 10938 times)

Offline khybeemaow

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Brain cancer in short nosed dog breeds
« on: November 02, 2008, 05:48:25 PM »
As you all know, Fiona was recently diagnosed with a glioma type brain cancer specifically, oligodendroglioma with some astrocytoma cells present. As I began researching this type of cancer, I was stunned to find out that this type of cancer is most common in brachycephalic (short nosed) breeds like English Bulldogs, Boxers, and Boston Terriers so I thought I would share some of what I have learned in this last few weeks. The neurologist at UCD told me that the symptoms of this type of tumor often wax and wane and are so nonspecific that these types of tumors are often misdiagnosed or undiagnosed until the swelling in the brain becomes so severe that the dog begins to exhibit outward signs (stumbling, lethargy, pacing, etc.) and/or begins to have seizures. Fiona had complete blood panels and an ultrasound of her heart, lungs and abdomen prior to the brain MRI and everything came back as "normal". Fiona's only real symptom was occasionally lethargy until she got to the point where she began to stumble and pace.

I searched the Domain for any mention of glioma but didn't find anything so I thought I would post this not to scare any of you but to make you aware that if your bullie begins to have nonspecific changes in mentation or habits, you may want to insist on an MRI of the brain. Had I known a year ago about these types of tumors, I would have insisted on an MRI of Fiona's brain and Fiona may have had a chance for treatment.

From (with emphasis added):
 http://www.cvm.ncsu.edu/vth/clinical_services/neuro/brain_tumor.html

Glioma - These tumors arise from the supporting cells of the brain (figure 2) and include astrocytomas, oligodendrogliomas, glioblastoma multiforme and ependymomas. They are common in certain breeds of dog, in particular breeds with short noses (brachycephalic breeds) such as the Boxer, the Boston terrier, and the French and English bulldog. Figure 4 shows a MRI of a glioma. Gliomas can range in malignancy from low grade and slow growing, to high grade, poorly differentiated malignant tumors (known as glioblastoma multiforme).

From caninecancer.com (http://www.caninecancer.com/brain.html) emphasis added

"Astrocytomas are probably the most common neuroectodermal brain tumor in dogs. They are usually found in adult dogs, but they have beenreported in dogs less than 6 months old as well. They are common in brachycephalic (short nose) breeds but can be seen in any breed. The cells tend to be arranged around blood vessels.

Oligodendrogliomas are common tumors in dogs, particularly in brachycephalic breeds. Most grow by infiltration and destroy invaded tissue."



Offline MedicBarbie

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Re: Brain cancer in short nosed dog breeds
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2008, 05:57:05 PM »
This is great info, Maggie.  :-* :-* :-*

I didn't know about them either.  It's weird that there isn't more out there about this. 



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Offline khybeemaow

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Re: Brain cancer in short nosed dog breeds
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2008, 06:24:28 PM »
From what I understand, it's that most people and vets don't think to get an MRI done because the symptoms are so nonspecific and a lot of vets just assume that the dog has OCD or an inner ear infection since the symptoms come and go as the brain compensates while the tumor slowly grows. A complete neurological exam is costly so even when a vet does recommend it, a lot of people take the "we'll wait and see if it clears up" approach because of the cost. I can totally see that standpoint because the symptoms are so vague and nonspecific. If you remember when I first started posting about Fiona a year ago, I was mostly concerned that she was lethargic halfway through a 2 mile walk and I thought it was that she wasn't recovering from her knee surgery. If someone would have suggested a brain tumor to me last year, I probably would have laughed at them.

Offline brumzoo

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Re: Brain cancer in short nosed dog breeds
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2008, 06:26:40 PM »
This is really good information that I have not heard of before.
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Offline khybeemaow

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Re: Brain cancer in short nosed dog breeds
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2008, 06:35:39 PM »
I never heard of it either but the very first day I googled it, this is what came up:

http://www.americanboxerclub.org/purina4.html

"Scientists Seek Treatment Options for Brain Tumors in Boxers
Used with permission from the Purina Pro Club Boxer Update, Nestle Purina PetCare Company

A team of scientists at the College of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State University (NCSU) is working hard to better understand brain tumors in Boxers. Ultimately, the scientists hope to develop effective new treatment options.

Boxers and other brachycephalic, or short-nosed, breeds have the highest incidence for a type of brain tumor known as gliomas. These tumors start in glial cells (supporting cells) within the brain, and as they grow they cause compression and death of surrounding brain tissue. The tumors can vary in malignancy from slow-growing, relatively benign tumors to high-grade, aggressive tumors known as glioblastoma multiforme. These latter tumors are resistant to current forms of treatment. ...]

Offline MedicBarbie

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Re: Brain cancer in short nosed dog breeds
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2008, 07:43:12 PM »
From what I understand, it's that most people and vets don't think to get an MRI done because the symptoms are so nonspecific and a lot of vets just assume that the dog has OCD or an inner ear infection since the symptoms come and go as the brain compensates while the tumor slowly grows. A complete neurological exam is costly so even when a vet does recommend it, a lot of people take the "we'll wait and see if it clears up" approach because of the cost. I can totally see that standpoint because the symptoms are so vague and nonspecific.

Precisely. That's I went through with Toonie, but she did have the inner ear polyp which did explain some of her symptoms and why I didn't even think anything of it because those symptoms are often found with middle/inner ear issues, and when we treated that, the symptoms got better. :'(  She did have a complete neuro workup from a general practitioner standpoint, but I think a lot of that was clouded by her ear issues - so a real in-depth exam couldn't be completed because of her symptoms.  :(


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Offline ksdstny

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Re: Brain cancer in short nosed dog breeds
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2008, 09:42:28 PM »
great info, thanks maggie. i'm sure what you are going through and the info you have posted is going to help someone else. i think that is the reason people/pups come into our lives to teach us something help us grow and to give us the ability to help others, pay it forward which is just what you and fiona are doing now. the info you have put out there will i'm sure save someones baby.

Offline Maxmydog

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Re: Brain cancer in short nosed dog breeds
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2008, 09:53:00 PM »
I'm wondering if this is something Max had.  I just thought he slept alot when I first rescued him.  Then he started having seizures, then neurilogical problems.  It all makes more sense now. 
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How can the light that burned so brightly
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Bright eyes.

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RIP Max  (2-1-07)- you have your wings now

Offline Charlies Mom

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Re: Brain cancer in short nosed dog breeds
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2008, 09:53:15 PM »
Thanks for sharing that info!
FIONA STRONG!!

Offline buddha

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Re: Brain cancer in short nosed dog breeds
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2008, 09:00:44 AM »
Thanks for sharing all that info Maggie. 
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Offline khybeemaow

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Re: Brain cancer in short nosed dog breeds
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2008, 11:21:55 AM »
 :-[ I just realized I put this in the wrong place  :P Trish: move this for me please :)

Offline Melissab

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Re: Brain cancer in short nosed dog breeds
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2008, 01:46:22 PM »
thanks for posting this.  I also just wanted to share some ((hugs))

Offline brumzoo

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Re: Brain cancer in short nosed dog breeds
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2008, 02:40:46 PM »
:-[ I just realized I put this in the wrong place  :P Trish: move this for me please :)

Not only am I happy to move it for you but I am going to sticky it as I think this is very important information.  :-*
Trish, Jeff, Lumpy & zoo! Until we meet again with Precious, Sapphy and Onnie.

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Offline khybeemaow

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Re: Brain cancer in short nosed dog breeds
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2008, 02:50:10 PM »
^^Thank you!  :-* :-*

Offline BabeEnglishBulldog

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Re: Brain cancer in short nosed dog breeds
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2012, 04:40:00 AM »
Any form of cancer is scary to hear. My uncles died from different kinds of cancer. I hope they would make a cure for it.
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