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Brain tumor symptoms, diagnosis and treatment in cats

Watch for the signs
Watch for the signs
Karla Kirby

The most regular form of brain tumor in cats is a meningioma tumor, which builds up in the membranes that line the brain. Meningioma tumors are more often than not treatable and often benign. Because of where they are located, they are as a rule easier to surgically remove than other types of tumors.

The most ordinary symptoms are behavior changes, listlessness, and seizures. When a cat has a fresh onset of seizures and is older than 5 or 6 years, there is the likelihood of a brain tumor. Senior cats are more expected to develop brain tumors and most cats with meningioma tumors are older than 10 years. Nevertheless, the tumors often go undiagnosed because an MRI must be performed to make an exact determination.

Diagnosing a feline brain tumor starts with an inclusive physical and neurological check-up and standard blood work. The veterinarian will then recommend thoracic radiographs to establish if cancer has spread into the lungs or an MRI scan is performed under common anesthesia. Then the veterinarian will take a sample of the tumor, either by biopsy or surgery.

There are three options for treating your cat's brain tumor---surgical removal, chemotherapy or radiation, or simply treating his symptoms. According to Dr. Brooks, the Educational Director of, surgery is often a good option for cats. Cat meningioma tumors tend to have a "more rubbery texture," Brooks states, making them easier to remove than other types of tumors.
Because cats do well with surgery, radiation or chemotherapy are usually not suggested for treating a feline brain tumor. If you opt only to treat your cat's symptoms, medications can be prescribed to avert swelling in the brain and to control seizures.

Even with treatment, your cat's natural life is liable to be diminished if he/she has a brain tumor. The main endeavor of treatment is to expand a good quality of life for as long as possible.

If you treat merely your cat's symptoms, the tumor will ultimately grow too large for the medications to be control. With palliative treatment alone, felines typically survive three to six months. With surgery, survival time is a little over two years...

Though meningioma tumors are the most widespread feline brain tumor but there are other types cats may be plagued with such as brain stem tumors, which can be speedily fatal. Symptoms include weakness on one side of the body, loss of balance, and a change in your cat's voice -- paralysis, coma and death can swiftly follow.

A brain tumor on the cerebellum will cause your cat to have a thespian goose-stepping gait, swaying of the trunk and head tremors. Any of these symptoms are indications that your cat is experiencing a neurological disorder and he/she should be taken to a veterinarian without delay.

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