Hemangiosarcoma - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-29-2009, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
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Hemangiosarcoma is one word in the English language I absolutely detest. Like many of you who read these boards, I've lost several of the Hooligans to this aggressive, often silent, deadly cancer.

So I figured I'd start this thread in hopes that others will share their experiences with hemangiosarcoma. Maybe information one of us will note could help another member recognize a symptom and perhaps be able to extend the life of their beloved dog for an extra few months.

I never knew any of the Hooligans were ill with hemangiosarcoma until hours before their deaths.

ECHO - WGSD - hemangiosarcoma of the heart. He was 9 years 10 months old when he died. I didn't know anything was wrong until the night before he died. That night he was panting (it was cold), and not breathing properly. I was very ignorant so never thought of checking his gums - I didn't realize I was looking at an emergency, that my soul mate would be dead in less than 12 hours, but I planned on taking him to the vet the next morning. That morning he collapsed in the kitchen so I rushed him to the vet on the way to work. Even then I didn't realize it was life/death and I'd never see him alive again. I kissed him good-bye and left. The vet called me a couple hours later and told me the diagnosis, that it was inoperable, nothing could be done, and that Echo would not live. I was rushing to leave the office so I could be with him when he was put down and the vet called back that Echo died while we were on the phone.

BO - Mutt - hemangiosarcoma of the spleen. He was between 10 and 13 years old. Again, I didn't realize he was ill until the day he died. He was exhibiting one bizarre habit that I've never been able to figure out if it was related to the cancer or not - a few months before he died he started eating large amounts of dirt/sand. The day he died he was gobbling down his breakfast when he stopped in mid-bite and walked away - unheard of for a Hooligan. I decided to take him to the vet the next morning (this was a Sunday). He didn't act sick except for not eating. Late that afternoon I put the Hooligans out to go potty and Bo collapsed. His gums were pale. I rushed him to the ER where the vet diagnosed hemangiosarcoma of the spleen based on x-rays - his stomach was also filled with blood. We agreed she'd perform a spleenectomy and if the cancer had spread he'd be put down on the table. When she opened him up all his organs were riddled with cancer so he was put down.

RINGER - GSD - hemangiosarcoma of the heart. He was 12 years 11 months old when he died. He had a lot of old age problems and didn't have a lot of time left. He had his six months physical a few days before he died - he was anemic and I was waiting for his shipment of dried liver to arrive. Then one evening he was panting hard, his gums were white, he was refusing to eat so off to the ER we went. He was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma of the heart, they drained the blood, and sent him home. I was told he didn't have much time left. On the way home he felt better and ate a couple hamburgers from McDonald's. The next day he couldn't move so my neighbor came over and helped me get him in the van and I took him back to the ER to be put down.

KELLY - WGSD - hemangiosarcoma of the heart. He was 12 years 6 months old when he died. He had been very sick, had numerous physical problems, and had been very sick and in the hospital for a few days - tests showed nothing new - nothing we didn't already know. My vet and I agreed I'd take him up to Gainesville for an ultrasound and depending on the outcome I'd either get him treated if it was something simple or have him put down - because of his multiple health problems nothing heroic would be done. He was diagnosed with a gall bladder that was about to rupture and hemangiosarcoma of the heart. I drove him back to the vet's office and had him put down.

HONEY - GSD - 13 years 9 months old. She was in the hospital for two days and died from an unknown problem (only symptom was a fever). All tests were negative. The vet suspected she may have also had hemangiosarcoma but she died when her fever spiked before we could do any x-rays or ultrasounds (I had her put down when they called me to say she would not live thru the night - when I got there she was unconciencous - her temperature was 107something, very close to 108).


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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-29-2009, 01:20 PM
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Re: Hemangiosarcoma

Wow Gayle you have had a lot of hemangiosarcoma

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-29-2009, 01:46 PM
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Re: Hemangiosarcoma

Bravo - Just under 8 years old, died April 2009. Came back from a lovely walk and laid down by my feet as usual. Couple of hours later called him for dinner and he was very lethargic but ate something and just curled up and went to sleep. Next morning couldn't get him to move so took him to the vet who waited 6 hours before telling me he didn't really know what was wrong. Took Bravo to Texas A&M who diagnosed it in 5 minutes - operated immediately removing his spleen and much of his liver. We had him back home for 2 weeks before he suffered a heart attack, brought on by a tumour on his heart.

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-29-2009, 01:55 PM
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Re: Hemangiosarcoma

Basu: Just under 11 years old. Hemangiosarcoma of the spleen. One evening he was really slow on his walk and wouldn't eat dinner. I had a mandatory work obligation and had to go out. I worried the entire time about him. I came home and he was starving and back to himself. He was fine all of the next day and then crashed again the following day. Took him to the e-vet and had to put him down there that night.

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-29-2009, 02:02 PM
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Re: Hemangiosarcoma

3 here.

Buffy, 14 years old in on August 28 of 2002. Very sudden onset, I was planning to take her and the other out for a walk. I had tied her out on her leash, while I ran to the corner store for some gatorade. When I got back, she had collapsed and could not get back up. I rushed her to the vet, and they confirmed that a tumor in her had ruptured, and she was bleeding out. She was gone before we could even make any kind of decision.

Maxie Lee, 7.8 years, Febuary 10th 2007. Maxie had some other health issues that had come up earlier in the fall. We had been treating her for blindness in one eye with prednisone, which had covered up the symptoms of the growing cancer inside her until it was too late. As with Buffy, it was quite sudden, and by the time we found out, she was already dying. She was unconcious, and barely breathing when we made the decision to let her go.

Jazzabell, 9 or 10 years old, September 9th, 2008.We found a growth in Jazzy belly, in her pancreas in mid June. Cancer was suspected, which we were treating, and in Spetember, it seemed the cancer had slowed or stopped growing, however, in early September, I noticed she was getting winded easily, which let up to a catastrophic event and died the night of the 9th, and we later found a huge tumor in her heart that had strangled her from within.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-29-2009, 02:18 PM
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Re: Hemangiosarcoma

Hemangiosarcoma....to this day whenever I read the word or say it causes me emotional termoil, grief and tears still.

CHLOE-Mixed Breed-12 years 4 months
(Her mother was a purebred German Shorthair Pointer, Father unknown. Vet's guess was Newfi/German Shepherd, our guess German Shepherd/Chow. Big, black and fluffy. Our Heart Dog.....

No noticeable symptoms except for one. Two days before we took her in to the Vet, late at night, she had whimpered and ran across the living room, laid down behind my chair and was breathing and panting heavily. Half and hour later, she appeared to be ok. We thought it odd.

We dropped her off at the Vet the night before Thanksgiving 2007. Our vet called and said, "your girl has Hemangiosarcoma of the Spleen". She was very Anemic, it was in-operable. He told me she didn't have much time left as multiple organs were affected. He suggested we come and get her, bring her home and give her steriods and pain drugs. We knew nothing about what she had at the time. She should of never come home. The Vet had done this because my DH had just lost his father during the night, he died in his arms and it was Thanksgiving the next day.

Thanksgiving Day she did not want to eat any turkey (Chloe lived to eat) and was very restless, could not get comfortable. Vomited quite a bit throughout the day.

That evening she was having difficulty breathing and was very uncomfortable, never slept. She and I sat in the hallway all night long...........

In the morning DH took her back to the Vet's and held her while they ended her suffering.

Hemangiosarcoma is insideous.

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-29-2009, 02:27 PM
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Re: Hemangiosarcoma

Klaus - GSD - 7 years old - HS of spleen & liver - died November, 2008. We saw no symptoms except for lethargy one day and he collapsed that evening on the way out to the barn with me - gums gray - rushed to ER where we were given the diagnosis. We elected against surgery and did U/S instead, where the U/S doc said the lesions we saw covering his spleen and liver (like freckles) were classic HS presentation. We elected not to do chemo and had a few more weeks with him before a major bleed (there had been smaller ones during those weeks interspersed with great times) sent us to the vet for euthanization.

It is a devastating, shocking diagnosis - especially if, like us, you had never heard of it before. Although we were assured that Klaus was not in pain - just feeling very, very tired - if we had to do this again, we would euthanize sooner. Those last weeks were very hard on all of us - would today be the day? - life was definitely not normal and while enjoying all the attention, our proud and beautiful Klaus knew things weren't the same.

to all who have gone through this.

Luther GSD 3/18/08
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-29-2009, 02:37 PM
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Re: Hemangiosarcoma

Hemangiosarcoma (spleen) victim: LADY 8yo shepherd/chow mix

One evening she got tired and we had to go home early from a walk. Next morning she did not eat. Took her to the emergency vet, she was extremely anemic. They said hit by the car, but she never left the yard. Had large bumps similar to bruises (just not dark) all over her body. Got two blood transfusions and steroids with slight improvement only. Diagnosed with HSA two days later, vet offered surgery. She did not look like she would survive the surgery to me and I let her go three days after I took her to the hospital. I blamed myself for this, for feeding her crappy food initially - I did not know any better.

Hemangiosarcoma (spleen) victim: my sweet BoBo, 9yo GSD, German showlines

Bleeding 3 days before his nineth birthday. Emegency surgery that night, qiuck recovery from surgery. He fully bounced back. Started chemotherapy 2 weeks after surgery. Did great with chemo. Had him for 4 wonderful months after the first bleed and every moment was precious. Had one smaller bleed after 3 months and three weeks, bounced back within hours with fluids and steroids. Lost him to a second large bleed a week later, I let him go as he did not have the chance of meaningful recovery from that point.
Our journey was documented in this thread


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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-29-2009, 03:13 PM
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Re: Hemangiosarcoma

This took my GSD girl at 9 years old. I miss that dog and am still grieving her horribly. She had a tumor on her heart. It is insidious and sneaks up on you.

When she got in obvious cardiac distress, I put her in the car and drove frantically to the university cardiologist. She was diagnosed there and died on the table as they removed fluid from around her heart. Devastating.

Both of Gala's "friends" from obedience competition ( two other lovely Shepherd girls) died this year with hemangio.

I hate this disease.

Mo anam cara... U-CDX Gala von Fenwald CDX RE BH HIC TDI

The dog had more heart than you can imagine. Ironic that was the organ affected.

Carla and The Pack
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-29-2009, 03:48 PM
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Re: Hemangiosarcoma

This is what Panzer had. You can read his story here: https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/ubb...&gonew=1#UNREAD

The only symptoms leading up to it were a decreased appetite although I am still not sure that wasn't related to all the meds he was getting in his food as he was still eager to eat a treat until hours before he died. In the last few hours he also was breathing weird (big, full breaths but with his mouth closed, not panting), seemed uncomfortable, and vomited three times. He was 7 years old and we had a full blood panel and x-rays done in July, and another blood panel and full exam(s) by multiple vets in the week leading up to his death, including the morning he died. There was no indication this was going on.

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