Tumors of the brain and spinal cord are seen with relative infrequency in senior dogs, the former having a higher incidence in boxers and Boston terriers
Symptoms will vary depending on the actual location and size of the tumor but will often include dullness, staggering, pressing the head against a wall, walking in circles, convulsions, or just weakness in one or more legs.
In the hands of a competent veterinary neurosurgeon, many spinal tumors can be removed if detected before permanent damage has been done to the spinal cord in senior dogs.
Chemotherapy is sometimes needed for senior dogs and a brief period following such an operation. Brain tumors can only occasionally be removed, as most are inoperable due either to their size or location within the brain.
Such was the case with my dog TiTi, a gentle and ever so lovable standard poodle. Within a period of only one week he became suddenly aggressive, growled often at his owner, developed an insatiable appetite, and finally had a severe convulsive seizure.
In consultation with a veterinary neurologist, an inoperable brain tumor was diagnosed. Medication controlled the symptoms and improved the dog’s behavior for almost a month, then seizures started again, but with increased frequency and severity. Medication was ineffective at any dose and TiTi was euthanized.
This could happen to any dog but are most common in senior dogs.