Loss of house-training

11 Loss of house-training


Surgical removal of the mass confirmed the diagnosis of meningioma and resulted in a dramatic improvement in the cat’s mental state which returned to normal. No seizures were noted postoperatively. The cat remains normal several years after the surgery (Fig. 11.2).

Brain tumours

What is wrong with my pet?

The presenting signs depend on the location of the lesion and the speed of onset. Gradually increasing intracranial pressure is accommodated by the collapse of the ventricles and compression of the blood vessels. This phase of expansion may be overlooked as signs can be vague: lethargy, depression. Owners ascribe them to the advancing age of their pet.

A sudden onset of signs is usually a result of secondary change such as oedema, haemorrhage, compression of the brainstem, or blockage of the ventricular system.

The presentation ranges from seizures to behaviour change to collapse, as most brain tumours occur in the cerebrum (telencephalon). Cats usually present with a behavioural change and altered alertness, whereas dogs most commonly present with seizures.

The inter-ictal phase may be normal. Questioning may reveal a loss of house-training or a subtle change in personality. Frontal lobe tumours often present as seizures with a normal inter-ictal phase: months can pass before an altered personality develops.

Intracranial neoplasia may present as neck pain. The associated lethargy/depression can be mistaken for that caused by severe pain.

The overall incidence of brain tumours in the canine population is quoted as 0.01% to 3%. To put that in context, the overall incidence of seizures, from any cause, in the dog population is about 3%. Every general practice sees a few new seizure cases a year, so it stands to reason each veterinary practice would also be seeing similar numbers of dogs with brain tumours. (The comparison of seizures to tumours is not to imply that the latter causes the former. It was made to give a sense of proportion to a clinical occurrence.) To re-use a bankrupt expression, brain tumours are ‘not uncommon’.

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Sep 3, 2016 | Posted by in SMALL ANIMAL | Comments Off on Loss of house-training

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