Brain tumors, epilepsy, hypoglycemia and structural intracranial disease can cause seizures in Golden Retrievers, according to PetMD. This breed has a genetic predisposition for idiopathic epilepsy, a seizure disorder with unknown causes that typically manifests in dogs between 10 months and 3 years old. Seizure is the most common indication of a brain tumor in dogs, especially if the seizure’s onset occurs in a dog over age 5.
In addition to seizures, a dog with a brain tumor might display uncharacteristic behavior, such as aggression, or be unusually sensitive to touch in the neck area, explains PetMD. Difficulty seeing, inappropriate urination, circling behavior, lack of appetite, and walking with an unsteady gait may also indicate the presence of a tumor. After imaging tests and a tissue biopsy confirm the tumor diagnosis, surgery followed by radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and medications to control the seizures treat the brain tumor.
Idiopathic epilepsy is distinguished by structural brain lesions and is more common in male dogs than female dogs, notes PetMD. While the epilepsy is most severe in young dogs, if the onset occurs prior to age 2, the response to medication is usually positive. Large-breed dogs tend to experience cluster seizures at regular intervals that usually last between 30 and 90 seconds. Some dogs recover immediately, but others might require up to 24 hours to regain normalcy.