Lose Skin From Weight Loss Causes Lack Of Muscle Tone Hemangiosarcoma – A (Usually) Silent and Deadly Canine Cancer

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Hemangiosarcoma – A (Usually) Silent and Deadly Canine Cancer

November is Animal Cancer Awareness Month. Among the deadliest dog cancers is hemangiosarcoma, or cancer of the blood vessels. Hemangiosarcoma can be a skin cancer, which can be treated if caught early, or a cancer of the internal organs, especially the liver or heart. The prognosis for splenic hemangiosarcoma or cardiac hemangiosarcoma is very poor, even if the treatment is aggressive, because the first sign of a problem is a rupture of the tumor and internal bleeding. Problems can also arise when, in blood cancer, the cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body by the time the disease is diagnosed. As a result, survival time for internal tumors after diagnosis is measured in weeks or months, even with surgery and chemotherapy. Hemangiosarcoma can occur in any breed, but it has been seen previously in German shepherd dogs, labrador retrievers and golden retrievers. In my own circle of pet parent friends, in the past year I have lost a Siberian husky, an Australian shepherd, a golden retriever and my own miniature poodle, Tiny, to hemangiosarcoma.

What are the signs and symptoms to look for? For tumors originating from the skin, abnormal growths on the skin should be evaluated by your veterinarian and biopsied if cancer is suspected. It’s a good idea to check your pet’s skin regularly, especially as he gets older or for unusual rashes. There are many things that are simple, but your vet and dermatologist can identify cancerous skin growths.

In the case of colon cancer, the symptoms are mild and sometimes non-existent. In the cardiac form of hemangiosarcoma, you may notice weakness, weight loss, loss of appetite, difficulty breathing, or difficulty recovering from various activities. All of these can be signs of mild aging, other heart, lung or tumor problems. Also, visit your doctor for x-rays, ultrasound, CT or other diagnostic tests to determine the cause of the problem. If left untreated, the heart can rupture and cause massive internal bleeding.

In the case of hemangiosarcoma, if the tumor is not very large and can be seen on a biopsy, the first warning sign is that the tumor is completely destroyed. For Tiny, the “old man’s weakness” is more like an evening at home, and he can’t stand it. He was seventeen at the time and initially had a bloated stomach due to age-related muscle weakness. I rushed him to the emergency vet (he didn’t have an emergency during vet hours), where the vet tapped his stomach and took a blood transfusion. He told me about his suspicions of a ruptured splenic tumor and recommended an ultrasound to confirm the diagnosis. An ultrasound showed a very large cyst and some horizontal areas on the liver. We discussed two options: surgery to remove the tissue and parts of his liver or euthanasia. Due to his age and all the problems, we decided to say goodbye.

But, by the time Tiny was brought into the room for that last step, she had recovered from her fall, was very happy to see us, and started asking us to play with her. . The vet suspected that the internal bleeding had stopped and he put her on a blood transfusion. After some more discussion about other options, as she seemed to be saying she wasn’t ready to go yet, we brought her home and scheduled an early morning specialist visit.

Tiny had a splenectomy and a partial liver lobectomy, and came out of surgery with a lot of color, especially for his age. We opted for a short and low-dose chemotherapy course, and for the rest of his life he took some mild medications like doxycycline and Deramaxx to help with the cancer. He also received acupuncture and Chinese medicine in addition to Western medicine. While most hemangiosarcoma patients survive six months or less, Tiny lived another two and a half years until the cancer spread to her brain and mouth. When he started having difficulty eating and began to cry, it was time to help him cross the “Rainbow Bridge.” His output and longevity and quality of life are impressive, but he is a warrior with a passion for life.

Survival in hemangiosarcoma is largely due to the early stage of seizure and the fact that it is a surface/skin infection rather than an internal tumor. Treatment options may be limited, especially when the tumor is damaged, and diagnosis, surgery and chemotherapy can be expensive. You know your dog better than most people, and you are in a good position to make informed decisions (with the help of your veterinarian) about the best course of action if your dog has this deadly cancer.

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