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Liver and Spleen Cancer (Hemangiosarcoma) in Dogs



This type of tumor necessitates inpatient care. Intravenous fluids to correct dehydration and transfusions of fresh whole blood for patients with severe anemia will be part of the initial medical care. Coagulation will also be managed as necessary. Depending on the stage of metastasis, surgical management may also be employed. If possible, the tumor will be removed along with the surrounding tissue or the entire organ, A successful splenectomy may give your dog an additional three months of life. If chemotherapy can be successfully employed along with surgery, survival time may be lengthened but not considerably. Because of the aggressive and malignant nature of this tumor, survival time is generally short.


Living and Management


Your dog's activity will need to be restricted until after initial surgical management period is over. Your veterinarian will advise you on the level of activity you should encourage in your dog. It is important to take care in physical activity and to follow your doctor's instructions, since spontaneous hemorrhage may occur.


After surgery, you should expect your dog to feel sore. Your veterinarian may give you pain medication for your dog to help minimize discomfort, and you will need to set up a place in the house where your dog can rest comfortably and quietly, away from other pets, active children, and busy entryways. Trips outdoors for bladder and bowel relief should be kept short and easy for your dog to handle during the recovery period. Use pain medications with caution and follow all directions carefully; one of the most preventable accidents with pets is overdose of medication.


Chest and abdominal radiography and abdominal ultrasound are needed every three months after the initial treatment to monitor for recurrence.


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