Oreo – brain changes



Oreo was an 8 year old, female spayed ShihTzu.  She had an approximately 5 month history of new developed aggression with the other dogs living in her home (they had all gotten along well prior to that!), an overall loss of appetite, and increasing mental dullness/responsiveness.

Oreo was examined during multiple occasions by her veterinarian, but no obvious abnormalities could be found during her evaluations.  Her bloodwork showed mild elevations in two of her liver values.  Her X-rays were normal.  The only treatable finding at that time was a urinary tract infection for which antibiotic therapy was started.  3 days later, Oreo returned during an active seizure.

She was transferred to the Veterinary Emergency Clinic for continued monitoring and a CT scan was performed for additional diagnostic information.  3 post-contrast views, along with a 3-D rendered image are provided.

Large pituitary macroadenoma.


Pituitary mass and cystic structures.

Large fluid structure in central brain.


3 Primary findings were identified and arrows are pointing to the lesions:

RED ~ pituitary macro adenoma (in short, a tumor at the site of the pituitary gland)

GREEN ~ either an atypical hydrocephalus or cystic structure in the brain

BLUE (below) ~ occipital dysplasia / increased size of foramen magnum (the hole in the base of the skull through which the spinal cord passes.)

Abnormally large foramen magnum.

Subsequent bloodwork revealed hypothyroidism and hypoadrenocorticism. Oreo was treated with thyroid/cortisone supplements and did remarkably well for a period of time.

The beautiful Oreo.

Unfortunately, liver values continued to climb and Oreo was humanely euthanized when her seizures returned. A post-mortem liver biopsy revealed “metastatic neuroendocrine neoplasia”.

Photos of Oreo were graciously provided by her family

so that others can learn from her story!