Dog Pituitary Tumors
Dog Pituitary Tumors
The pituitary gland is found on the underside of the dog’s brain. It is attached to a very important part of the brain called the hypothalamus. This area is a collecting center that will gather the information from the dog’s body and determine if the body is in good working order. When this information is received, and when there is something within the body that needs tending to, it will secrete one of the hormones that the pituitary gland produces.
Although most Dog Tumors of the pituitary glands are benign or non-cancerous cysts, they still will have many negative effects on the dog’s body and are seldom curable. The pituitary gland gathers the information and transmits that information to other glands and to the adrenal cortex. This will lead to overstimulation of the glands produced by the reaction to the tumors.
Is There a Predisposition in Some Breeds?
Cysts that are in and around the pituitary gland are very common in some dog breeds. There is one type that causes Dog Difficulty Breathing in some short snouted dogs. Another effects the growth hormone and is a problem primarily in German Shepherd Dog. There are also breeds that have genetic predisposition to cancers. Boston Terrier, Dachshund and Boxer dogs have more incidences of pituitary tumors than other dog breeds. This causes hyperactivity in the adrenal cortex.
What Can I expect if my Dog has Pituitary Tumors?
Due to the excessive pressure caused by the growth of the tumor, there will be several clinical signs. The areas around the pituitary are responsible for sight and may also cause Dog Diabetes insipidus. Diabetes insipidus is a pituitary issue rather than a pancreatic issue as is the case for diabetes mellitus. There will be Dog Increased Thirst and Dog Increased Urination. The blood sugar will be low and your dog will have difficulty with their libido and their sexual performance with insipidus.
ACTH is the most common hormone that is produced by the pituitary gland. It will cause increased activity and size of the adrenal cortex and hormones.
Signs and Symptoms
• Increased Appetite
• Loss of hair
• Dry skin
• Blackheads on their belly
• Hard masses in the neck area and back with ulcers and pus
• Weakening of muscle to the extent of abdominal sagging
• Infections are difficult to treat due to the compromising of the immune system
What will my vet do?
With the use of x-rays, ultrasounds and MRI or CT, tumors and potentially metastasized areas can be identified. Your vet will perform blood tests that will determine the efficiency of the pituitary and the adrenal cortex. A positive identification through biopsy is impractical and rarely performed due to the location of the pituitary gland.
At best, treatment is rarely successful. Surgical removal is rare. The adrenal glands may be removed but usually the tumors are treated medically. It will be a very long-term process that requires constant monitoring of your dog.
The prognosis is poor. The normal life expectancy of a dog with medically treated tumors is several days to 10 years, with 3 years being the average. Constant observation can prolong the life of your dog, but there can still be relapses. Most deaths result from problems stemming from the original disease.
Additional Dog Cancer Pages
Dog Cancer | Dog Skin Cancer | Dog Bladder Cancer | Dog Pancreatic Cancer | Dog Bone Cancer | Dog Cancer Prevention | Dog Cancer Diagnosis | Dog Lymphoma Cancer | Dog Gastric Cancer | Dog Mast Cell Tumors