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).