January 20th 2008 4:57 am
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Your dog is very important to you and I bet you have treated your dog carefully, making sure they have the proper nutrition, exercise, and of course love. Even owners who spend all their time trying to prevent cancer in their dog will be shocked to find out that their dog has cancer. In some cases you just can’t prevent cancer no matter how careful you are. In these cases you just have to learn how to care for your sick dog and understand the progression of the disease to help treat it. With brain cancer you will find there really is no cause science has been able to find. They believe that brain cancer is usually a result of a genetic disorder in the cells that allow them to mutate and form.
Brain cancer or meningioma is a tumor cell that can form in several areas of the brain. The cancer can form at the base of the spine, or any part of the brain. The cells will mutate and the cancer will grow if left untreated. You should know that this type of cancer is malignant. This means that the cancer will continue to grow in the brain until the dog either dies from the cancer or from the pressure on the brain causing an aneurism. It is important that you know and recognize the early symptoms to prevent suffering and of course death of your loved one.
Symptoms of brain cancer include personality changes, stress, aggression, shyness, or depression. They are also appetite changes, lethargy, lameness, muscle twitches, eye and facial issues, coordination problems, bleeding in the nasal cavity, respiratory issues, and heart problems. The early symptoms are usually related to the appetite, weight loss, and personality changes. As the brain cancer progresses you will see more changes and of course extremely muscle weakness. The brain is the center for all things in the body. If a small section is affected it can through off the other functions of the body such as the liver, heart, lungs, and immune system. Sometimes brain cancer is a result of another cancer forming somewhere in the body and moving through the blood cells until it creates a second mass on the brain. Some of the symptoms will be determined by the location fo the actual brain cancer.
As I mentioned above there really is no known prevention making the treatment for your dog extremely important. You will have a few choices in treatment and therefore care. Surgery is often very difficult on dogs with brain cancer as they have to go in to remove the actual mass. This can cause lasting effects, so most often an owner will decide care and medication are the best choices. There are medications that have been created to prevent the actual mutation of cells. Keep in mind that the medication usually does not reduce the cells already formed; therefore you may need to try radiation or chemotherapy with your dog to reduce the cells that have already formed and prevent the cells from re- growing. If you choose medication and radiation you will need to make adjustments for care. The dog will need a different diet, more care from you while you are home, and less exercise. Exercise is important, but when they are feeling ill they tend to want to lie around. So allowing for more rest is as important as short five minute walks. You also need to realize that they can be sick from the treatment so they need you to be there to help them get over the vomiting and other issues of the treatment.
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