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Can you tell how long our dog had hemangiosarcoma?
sarahsmith10 posted:
Last weekend, we decided to put our dog to sleep after receiving the results indicating our sweet girl had cancer (hemangiosarcoma) when we realized she was in danger of hemorraging and would not recover from her cancer.

Is it possible to tell from her test results how long she had the cancer? She stopped being able to go upstairs only at the end of May and due to the sublumbar mass, she could barely put any weight on her rear, right leg. Could the cancer have developed that quickly? Is it possible to tell if the lumbar mass developed first or if the cancer was in her spleen and abdomen first?

As part of the test to make a diagnosis, our dog underwent surgery. She was recovering very well from her surgery and her stomach was pretty much back to its regular appearance, but on the Friday before we took her in, she suddenly developed a purple tone to her abdomen and dark burgundy splotches appeared. Could this have been a sign of the internal bleeding common with this cancer?

I have pasted her pathology results below. We know the results weren't good, but we'd like to be able to understand it better. I've attached her results below but if they don't show, I will have to type them out in another post.

Thanks for your help.

sarahsmith10 responded:
The report didn't post so I'll type out some of the report here.

Spleen hemangiosarcoma grade 3
Abdominal wall metastatic hemangiosarcoma
Sublumbar mass metastatic hemangiosarcoma
Lymph nodes focal acute supurrative inflammation, diffuse congestion, sideorcyte accumulation, no neoplastic cells

Spleen 3 large portions of hemorrhagic tumor, invasive mass of neoplastic cells
Abdominal wall mass 3x2.8x2.8 cm, invasive mass of neoplastic cells, severe necrosis, hemorrhage and associated inflammation
Sublumbar mass 5x3.8x2.7 cm, blood cells and proteins undergoing hematoma formation, highly pleomorphic neoplastic cells lining blood filled spaces, severe necrosis and neutrophilic and mixed leukocyte inflammation
Ann Hohenhaus, DVM, DACVIM responded:
Dear Sarahsmith10,
So sorry about your dog. Hemangiosarcoma is a terrible disease.
I can answer some of your questions and I hope it will help you understand.
The biospy report is clear, the tumor started in her spleen and spread to the other organs. How long this tumor was present is unknown, but I suspect only a few months based on my clinical experience. Hemangiosarcoma is associated with a derrangement of the blood's ability to clot. I suspect the bleeding was from a clotting abnormality caused by the tumor. The abnormality caused the skin bruising you saw and possibly internal bleeding as well.
sarahsmith10 replied to Ann Hohenhaus, DVM, DACVIM's response:
Thank you for your response Dr. Hohenhaus. Your information offers me some comfort in knowing her disease was clearly spreading and becoming more severe. It's just another verification that we didn't give up on her too soon, but rather, spared her from more pain and suffering.
BrennyMarie replied to sarahsmith10's response:
Hello SarahSmith,

It breaks my heart to hear about your sweet girl. Hemangiosarcoma is such an awful disease. It's so terrible because once you receive a diagnosis there's truly nothing that can be done.

We just lost our 5 year old Papillon male to hemangiosarcoma 4 days ago. On August 3rd he was diagnosed with it and had emergency spleen removal (splenectomy) to stop the hemorrhaging in his abdomen. When the tumor ruptured it split the spleen and caused catastrophic damage to the spleen. Up until this point he had not shown any symptoms, other than a day of lethargy (back in June) that our vet could not diagnose, but we now know was his first symptom. We knew the end would come soon but we only 3 hours on our last day. When he cried out in pain and I was able to check his gums, they were stark white and we knew that this was the end.

I wanted to share an article that I just read today that has been informative and helpful to me: (just copy and paste in your browser).

Know that I understand the pain and sadness you've been through when you lost your sweet girl...
jlrowswell replied to BrennyMarie's response:
Thank you for the link. My 9 Year old Papillion just had his spleen removed today. They won't tell me exactly what it is untill the biopsys come back. I am researching the net to find some answers... they mentioned that he had a mass in his spleen that looked like it ruptured awhile ago.but they couldn't say how long ago or give me any answers. WHERE DO I GO TO GET ANSWERS>>>
Nikidog replied to jlrowswell's response:
Ten days ago my Niki had her spleen removed. She had a huge tumor. But the spleen biopsy came back with positive for hemangio sarcoma. Please can some one tell me what to watch out for as the prognosis is 2-4 months. I dont want her to suffer.
Smittykiri replied to Nikidog's response:
Hi Nikidog - very sorry to hear about Niki; I have had experience with this cancer and the prognosis is never good. You may want to read this article -It has an inexpensive herbal treatment that may help prolong Niki's life without any side effects.

The I'm Yunity at the bottom of the article is the supplement I am suggesting you try.

To answer the original question, the tumor may have started many years ago. Hemangiosarcoma is an indolent cancer. Initially it is slow to develop and the dogs adjust to it with minimal discomfort. By the time it metastasizes, it has progressed very far, so prognosis is poor at that point, even with surgery. The mushroom supplement has shown some very positive results and further testing is underway at Penn State.


William Draper, DVM, better known as "Dr. Will," is a well-known small animal practitioner in the Atlanta, GA area. He grew up in Inglewood,...More

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