How Do I Know If My Canine Friend Has Hemangiosarcoma

Hemangiosarcomas are malignant tumors generated from blood-lined cells. Since blood vessels run everywhere in the body, hemangiosarcomas can occur anywhere. The most common sites, however, are skin, spleen, liver, and heart. Most hemangiosarcomas (except those appearing in the skin) are both locally aggressive and are extremely likely to spread to other areas of the body. These tumors are usually filled with blood and are very delicate.

What Are The Symptoms Of Hemangiosarcomas In Dogs

Since hemangiosarcoma tumors develop internally, there is often very little indication until there are serious symptoms. Tumors penetrate and erode blood vessels, which may cause a significant volume of blood to seep into the abdominal or, less generally, into the thoracic (chest) cavity.

  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Depression
  • Lack of appetite
  • Pale mucous membranes (mouth and eyes)
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Nosebleeds
  • Rapid or labored breathing

How Is Hemangiosarcoma In Dogs Diagnosed?

Dogs with the splenic form of Hemangiosarcoma report to the veterinarian for rupture of the tumor and bleeding in the abdomen. The following diagnostic tests are recommended:

  • Radiographs
  • Aspirates and biopsies of splenic masses
  • Abdominal tap
  • Abdominal ultrasound
  • Blood work

Surgical removal of spleen (splenectomy) and associated mass with histological assessment is required for diagnosis.

For heart masses, an echocardiogram may be recommended.

Is There Any Treatment Available For Hemangiosarcoma?

Surgery is normally the best first treatment for HSA. For certain forms of Hemangiosarcoma, this could be the only treatment choice that is necessary. Due to metastasis, further care after surgery is always required. Chemotherapy is also prescribed after surgery for the following organs: liver, spleen, under the skin / muscle (subcutaneous / intramuscular) and bone. Radiation therapy is often used when surgery is unable to remove the tumor from the outer surfaces.

How Can I Prevent My Dog From Getting Hemangiosarcoma?

Avoiding sun exposure in dogs is the best way to prevent this disease in the skin and eyelids. There is no known method of prevention for other types of hemangiosarcoma.

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About the Author: John Whisman