My dog Benji had a meningioma removed from his brain stem in Nov 2007. His symptoms started off very vague; he is a Jack Russell and normally he was a very active dog, even at 8 yrs of age. We first notice in about July of 2007, that he fell during a walk. It was hot out and he has a knee that locks up on him from time to time so we didn't give it much thought as he seemed okay. Over the next 3 months other things started such as he slowed down when he was out for his walks, he had difficulty lifting his leg to pee etc. We noticed that he was having a problem getting over the threshold for our sliding glass doors off the kitchen; it was like he didn't know where to put his rear legs. Then in September of 07, he fell off the washing machine when he was being dried after his bath... He seemed okay after the fall at first. Within days, we noticed that he appeared to be in pain and was holding his neck in an outstretched way that made his head look like an alligator. His neck was very stiff. I went to pat the back of his head about this time and he yelped in pain. The Vet (she wasn't a very good vet at all) said that he had a 'sore neck' and put him on prednizone. The drug helped for about 5 days when he suddenly became very ataxic and couldn't keep his balance at all. He started vomiting, pressing his very tilted head into the wall, stumbling, hiding under furniture and still holding that neck in that very odd alligator position. The Vet insisted that it was his neck! After about a month of him getting progressively worse and to the point where he could barely walk, was not eating etc (and on very high doses of prednizone) I finally insisted that he see a neurologist as I strongly suspected a brain tumor. Sure enough, it was a meningioma which is a primary tumor that compresses the brain, not invades it. The neurologist felt confident that surgery would be a good option and we love our little guy so we went for it. He did amazingly well. I am an herbalist and acupuncturist so I've had him on all kinds of herbs for the tumor. He is still hanging in there but lately has been off kilter again. Our new Vet thinks that the wear and tear on his neck is causing his problems as its his front right leg that is the problem and not the rear ones which would indicate that the brain stem tumor has returned. I am not as optimistic at the moment and am waiting to see what the next while brings. He is almost 11 now. Its very sad and stressful when your animal has an illness like this but I am also very thankful that we were able to treat him and that he has been able to enjoy a longer life. I just hope that it really is his neck this time!
The symptoms of brain cancer depends on the size of the tumor and its location. You may notice that your dog's legs seem weaker. He may find it hard to jump on the couch or climb the stairs. You might also observe a momentary loss of balance in the dog.
Lucy feels a collapse coming on . She tries to get to me before it happens . She gets dizzy and cannot control her legs and falls on her side. She can't move for about 30 seconds. She panics if I am not holding her. She regains herself and seems fine until the next time it happens. These times are getting more often.