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Hemangiosarcoma And Splenectomy


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Sure, remove the lump and or the spleen but you still have to have it biopsied to know if it benign or malignant.

You can't tell by looking at it or through X-rays or ultrasounds.

I assume, in your case, the lump was removed and biopsied again? Was it related to the haemangiosarcoma? How was this determined? My understanding is that haemangiosarcoma could only metastasise to the heart, liver and brain and internally. Also, I was told that this cancer originates in bone marrow, not the spleen so the fact that the spleen was removed doesn't bear a lot of relevance to preventing its spread if it is malignant. I simply stops the potential death from a rupture of the tumour on the spleen.

My mistake, I did't realise you were suggesting removal of the lump (I had Bella's case in mind where a needle aspirate (?) was taken without removing the lump). Yes, Bella's lump was haemangiosarcoma. Everything about her case seemed to baffle the oncologists. It did not behave like your typical haemangiosarcoma as it originally presented on her rump, once that lump was removed an ultrasound was taken of her organs and no further lumps were found. 5-6 months later, the one on her head appeared. Another ultrasound of her organs showed metastasis to the liver and kidneys at which time we started chemo. We didn't know that it had also spread to her brain and that's the one that burst and took her from us.

I believe there are different types of haemangiosarcoma. Bella's was classified as subcutaneous and SHOULD have originated in the spleen but didn't.

I agree with your statement that removing the spleen will "stop the potential death from a rupture of the tumour". The whole idea is that by removing the spleen and testing the tumour, you find out what you're dealing with and decide on your next action.

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There would be no point in opening up a dog to do a needle aspirate of a lump on the spleen. An aspirate biopsy is superficial and not trustworthy because the sample size is so small anyway. I guess in your case due to the unusualness of the cancer and the fact they only did a needle aspirate they misdiagnosed. :(

Now I'm worried about Boof's recent diagnoses of lipoma. They did 2 aspirations to make sure and both came up as fatty tissue only.

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There would be no point in opening up a dog to do a needle aspirate of a lump on the spleen. An aspirate biopsy is superficial and not trustworthy because the sample size is so small anyway. I guess in your case due to the unusualness of the cancer and the fact they only did a needle aspirate they misdiagnosed. :(

Now I'm worried about Boof's recent diagnoses of lipoma. They did 2 aspirations to make sure and both came up as fatty tissue only.

I'm sorry about Boof's diagnosis. It catches unawares even if you were expecting it.

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I am very sorry to hear about all the sick dogs and those that have passed away.

We had a scare last month with my 10.5 year old boy when a routine check up for a couple of lumps revealed a possible enlarged spleen (or liver lobe) on palpitation. We had an ultrasound and Jake's spleen has no masses but is not perfect. The vet says that sometime in older dogs the spleen does some regeneration. The word on the report is hematopoeisis. I looked it up it is the creation of new blood cells outside the bone marrow. Anyway same ultrasound revealed thickened pyloric region of stomach and a 'bright (echogenic material); pancreas.

Jake then suddenly got very sick with acute vomiting a few days after the initial ultrasound (he was well on inital exam) and they had to do an endoscopy for suspected foreign body blockage. Result is that he has an inflammed and thickened pylorus and duodenum as well as the slighly unusual spleen and pancreas. The vet told me that they cannot rule out neoplasms (cancer) in either the spleen or the stomach even though they did take endoscopic biopsies of the stomach because only a fully thickness biopsy will give a definitive result.

At the moment it is being treated as inflammatory bowel disease with a side does of chronic pancreatitis. He has just had a 2 week course of antibiotics (2 different types) as well as being on an elimination diet (only Hills ZD food).

At the moment he is well but I do not know what the future holds. He has had no more vomiting episodes so far and does not seem to have lost any more weight other than the initial change of diet and vomiting episode.

So I fully understand the not quite knowing. Having read up on stomach cancer, I have to say that I had pretty much decided not to operate or do chemo should it be cancer, as even with surgery prognosis is poor and only extends the life by a few months.

Having seen the little 5 year old girl next door go through last ditch after last ditch attempt to save her from acute myeloid leukaemia (not that you wouldn't want to throw everything at it) as well as witnessing my uncle trying last resort chemo, I have personally come to the conclusion that if it is hopeless you are better to enjoy the time you have left, although that is just my opinion

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I gave my boy his wings today :cry: He was only eating because of the prednisolone and his vomiting/diarrhoea had increased yesterday and I just knew it was his time. He lost 3 kgs in a week and even his hip bones were getting visible.

Its just the speed that this awful cancer took hold of him that shocked me....just over 2 months from me first thinking there is something wrong.

There wont be a big black head lying beside my bed tonight :(

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Very sorry to hear this nina :( When I lost my girl to this disease 2 years ago I was told to think at least she is no longer in any pain and discomfort, but it hurts it really does hurt losing them. :cry:

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I gave my boy his wings today :cry: He was only eating because of the prednisolone and his vomiting/diarrhoea had increased yesterday and I just knew it was his time. He lost 3 kgs in a week and even his hip bones were getting visible.

Its just the speed that this awful cancer took hold of him that shocked me....just over 2 months from me first thinking there is something wrong.

There wont be a big black head lying beside my bed tonight :(

:cry: So sorry you've had to say goodbye to your boy. It's so hard, even when you know you've done the right thing. :(

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Oh guys, I've only just checked on this thread. I'm so sorry Nina, what a horrible disease this is :cry:

Thank you to everyone else who has responded and sorry to everyone else who has lost their precious dogs.

Satchmo is doing well. It has been a month and a half since his splenectomy. To be honest you wouldn't know anything was wrong except that the fur is still growing back on his sides. He had follow up bloods last week which came back fine. He's still on piroxicam which has been great as it's also helped his arthritis. The only difference in his behaviour is that he has become much more interested in attention and contact -- he's always been a very independent boy and although enjoys pats, has never been one for cuddles or closeness. But lately he's been seeking out affection and even snuggling with our other dog, which is very uncharacteristic for him.

I will come back on tonight to post some photos that my friend took to remember him by. I realise we were very lucky to detect the bleed and remove the spleen so quickly so we want to make sure we have a lot of memories.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Sad update from me. Satch had a bleed so we gave him his wings this morning. He was very stoic and had a great 10 weeks or so after his diagnosis. Thanks all for your words and support.

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