Hemangiosarcoma in Dogs

Hemangiosarcoma in Dogs

Hemangiosarcoma in Dogs

Hemangiosarcoma is the cancer of the vascular endothelium, or the walls of blood vessels and is known as a very aggressive cancer. Out of 3% of canine tumours, it accounts for 0.2%. The average age to be diagnosed with Hermangiosarcoma is around 9 to 12 years. It most commonly affects the spleen and the heart medium to large sized and middle-aged to older dogs. Some of the more common breeds hermagiosarcoma is found in are Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherds.

Since hermangiosarcoma is an internal tumour, signs of it aren’t as obvious until it is severe. Around 25% of dogs with splenic hermangiosarcoma also have a heart tumour. Hermangiosarcoma can also affect the skin. Dogs can show symptoms of fatigue or anorexia which can be episodic if small hermorrhages in the tumour happen often or repeatedly. Some common signs of hermangiosarcoma can be collapse, increased heart and respiratory rates and pale mucous membranes caused by considerable hemorrhage in the tumour.

Hermangiosarcoma is often associated with substantial hemorrhage from a tumour and poor prognosis, there is the difficult decision to either undergo emergency surgery to remove the bleeding tumour or to euthanise the dog, however, the median time for a dog to survive after the emergency surgery for splenic hermangiosarcoma is around two to three months, and cardiac harmangiosarcoma is around three to five months.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much to do to prevent hermangiosarcoma, but supportive care, emergency surgery (depending on the case) and chemotherapy are all ways to treat hermangiosarcoma.

Lily, the Golden Retriever has splenic hermangiosarcoma. Without a blood transfusion, she would’ve died within hours. Only after and emergency surgery did they discover that she has hermangiosarcoma. If she didn’t have the surgery, there would’ve been no chance of survival, but with the surgery, there was a 10% chance she would live for a few months. Lily ended up being part of the 10%. Lily survived hermangiosarcoma.


Resources:

  1. https://dogtime.com/dog-health/45515-national-pet-cancer-awareness-month-10-stories-survival
  2. https://www.morrisanimalfoundation.org/article/understanding-hemangiosarcoma#:~:text=Hemangiosarcoma is cancer of Labrador retrievers and German shepherds.
  3. https://www.pethealthnetwork.com/dog-health/dog-diseases-conditions-a-z/hemangiosarcoma-dogs
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