Dog Spinal Cord Tumors
Dog Spinal Cord Tumors
The majority of spinal cord tumors in dogs occur in large breed dogs. Approximately 28% of the tumors occur in dogs that are less than 3 years of age. Half of the Dog Tumors occur in the bone (Dog Bone Cancer). Tumors on the spine can be the result of pressure from a tumor that originates on the bone.
There are four different types of spinal cord tumors:
• Intradural/extramedullary which occur on the covering of the nerve
• Extradural which cause the spinal cord to be compressed
• Intramedullary, which are the least common, occur in the glial cells. Glial cells are one of the two types of cells that comprise the nervous system. Neurons transmit and receive messages and the glial cells that surround neurons.
Signs and Symptoms
The symptoms vary according to the location of the tumor. They may include any of the following signs:
• Neck or back Dog Pain
• Impaired gait
• Muscle atrophy
• Depressed reflexes
Your veterinarian will begin with a physical examination. This will be followed by blood work that will include chemistry studies. Your veterinarian will be looking for elevations in protein or white blood cells.
Contrast x-rays will be done and possibly an MRI or CT scan. These will allow the veterinarian to identify the location, pattern of growth, shape and swelling of the growth in your dog’s spinal cord.
The decision as to treatment for your dog is variable. It will depend on the number and the location of the tumor or tumors. They must be in a position that can be reached in order to be removed. Those that originate on the vertebra can usually be successfully treated with surgery. If it has metastasized to the spine from other parts of the dog’s body, the source will be the target for treatment, rather than the spinal cord tumor.
During the treatment for the tumor, you will need to supplement your dog’s diet to give a much needed boost to the immune system. Before administering any supplement to your dog, such as Dog Cancer Dietary Supplements, consult with your veterinarian.
If your dog has exhibited pain as the primary noticeable symptom, your vet may order pain medication which should be administered as directed.
The prognosis for dogs with spinal cord tumors is rather poor. There are very few that are treatable. Some Dog Radiation Therapy treatments have been shown to be successful in prolonging the survival time of your dog after surgery. It depends on the location and type of tumor that is being treated. The general survival time for dogs with spinal cord tumors is 11 to 23 months.
The deciding factor in your choice of treatment may well be what is best for your dog. Dogs are our children in many cases but their survival may be taken out of your hands. It is necessary to consider the comfort of your dog. Will they be comfortable for a prolonged period after surgery? Knowing that the prognosis may be poor, are you going through with risky treatment because you love your dog, or because your dog needs it? It is not an easy choice for any loving dog owner to make, but often the best choice is to let your dog go with the dignity that human’s desire. Above all else, you will need to carefully follow Dog Palliative Cancer Care guidelines to keep your dog as happy and comfortable as possible.
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