Tumor of the Nerves in Dogs

Victoria Heuer
Sep 30, 2009
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Your veterinarian may perform a surgical resection of the affected nerves. In some cases amputation of the affected limb will need to be performed in order to minimize the chances of a local recurrence of the tumor. More advanced surgical procedures will be required if it is necessary to perform the resection of nerve roots in the more delicate area of the spinal cord. Medications to reduce inflammation and edema (swelling) at the affected site will be prescribed, both to make treatment easier to perform and to make your dog more comfortable. Radiation following surgery can also be considered to decrease the chance of local recurrence. Whether to use radiation therapy or not will be decided by you and your veterinary oncologist.

Living and Management

After surgery, you should expect your dog to feel sore. Your veterinarian will give you pain medication for your dog to help minimize its discomfort. Keep in mind that pain medications must be used with caution, since one of the most preventable accidents that occur with pets is overdose of medication. Follow all directions carefully.

You will need to limit your dog's activity while it heals, setting aside a quiet place for it to rest, away from household activity, children, and other pets. You might consider cage rest for your dog, to limit its physical activity. Your veterinarian will tell you when it is safe for your dog to move about freely again, but during the recovery stage, only take your dog for very slow, short outdoor walks, or set up a spot near its resting area for it to urinate and defecate. Most dogs recover well from amputation, and quickly learn to compensate for the lost limb.

It is important to monitor your dog's food and water intake while it is recovering.

Nerve tumors are usually locally invasive and do not metastasize. However, local recurrence is common after surgical resection and will need to be treated again.

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