Postmortem Evaluation of 435 Cases of Intracranial Neoplasia in Dogs and Relationship of Neoplasm with Breed, Age, and Body Weight

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Intracranial neoplasia of dogs is frequently encountered in veterinary medicine, but large-scale studies on prevalence are lacking.


To determine the prevalence of intracranial neoplasia in a large population of dogs examined postmortem and the relationship between breed, age, and weight with the presence of primary intracranial neoplasms.


All dogs that underwent postmortem examination from 1986 through 2010 (n = 9,574), including dogs with a histopathologic diagnosis of primary (n = 227) and secondary (n = 208) intracranial neoplasia.


Retrospective evaluation of medical records from 1986 through 2010.


Overall prevalence of intracranial neoplasia in this study's population of dogs was 4.5%. A statistically significant higher prevalence of primary intracranial neoplasms was found in dogs with increasing age and body weights. Dogs ≥15 kg had an increased risk of meningioma (odds ratio 2.3) when compared to dogs <15 kg. The Boxer, Boston Terrier, Golden Retriever, French Bulldog, and Rat Terrier had a significantly increased risk of primary intracranial neoplasms while the Cocker Spaniel and Doberman Pinscher showed a significantly decreased risk of primary intracranial neoplasms.

Conclusions and Clinical Importance:

Intracranial neoplasia in dogs might be more common than previous estimates. The study suggests that primary intracranial neoplasia should be a strong differential in older and larger breed dogs presenting with signs of nontraumatic intracranial disease. Specific breeds have been identified with an increased risk, and others with a decreased risk of primary intracranial neoplasms. The results warrant future investigations into the role of age, size, genetics, and breed on the development of intracranial neoplasms.

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