They're having a discusion about hemangiosarcoma on the Genetic Issues forum and I thought it might be an interesting topic for this forum since it might be of help to one of the posters one day. Maybe someone has noticed subtle signs that were missed until it was too late???
I've lost two of the Hooligans to this silent, deadly cancer.
The first was my soul mate, Echo who would have celebrated his 10th birthday the next month. Looking back I noticed he was panting a lot more than normal for a month or more. The night before he died he acted like he didn't feel well, panting, breathing rapidly and I was planning on dropping him off at the vet's the next morning. The next morning while I was getting ready to go to work he collapsed in the kitchen. I got him up and in the van and dropped him off at the vet's office. I kissed him good-bye never realizing I'd never see him alive again. About 2 hours later my vet called and told me he had hemangiosarcoma, a large tumor in his beautiful heart and there was nothing that could be done. Echo died while we were on the phone - his doctor called me back a few minutes later as I was rushing around getting ready to go there and gave me the bad news.
Bo was a mutt I'm sure was part WGSD. He was supposed to be 10 when I adopted him, but his age may have been anyhere between 10 and 13 when this happened - I had him for 3 years. The only odd thing he did prior to his death was he started eating dirt/sand like it was roast beef. I can't recall how long he did this, but it was a while, at least 3 or 4 weeks, maybe longer. The day he died he was eating breakfast, gobbeling it down as usual when suddenly he stopped, mid-bite. He refused to eat anything so I knew he'd have to go to the vet the next morning (this happened on Sunday). Later that afternoon when I put the Hooligans out to go potty, Bo collapsed at the bottom of the dog ramp. I rushed him to the ER. They took him back for x-rays and lab work. He was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma of the spleen, his stomach was filled with blood. The vet felt that if the cancer hadn't spread he could live a quality life for up to six months if the spleen was removed. We agreed that if the cancer had spread she would put him down on the table. I wanted to see him before I left, but he was hooked up to IV's and I didn't want to disturb him to be brought back out to the exam room. I never got to tell him I loved him. When I got home I got the terrible news that he was riddled with cancer, all his internal organs were affected, and per our arrangement, he was put down.
Cody died of what was suspected to be Hemangiosarcoma. Even though she spent 3 of the last 4 days of her life at both my vets and at the specialty vets offices, we never received a definate diagnosis. She was 12 and it was summertime, so her panting after a walk at night seemed normal. Six months before she died, like Bo she began eating dirt. When I took her in for her senior wellness exam and told my vet about it, his reply was that she could have a brain tumor. It just sounded so weird because there was no other behavior out of the ordinary that I didn't think any more about it.
Four days before she died, she was fine in the morning, ate breakfast and went in the yard for a bit. Three hours later she was unresponsive. We rushed her to the vet, he knew she was bad and gave us the option of putting her down or running more tests. We opted for the tests, he stabalized her and the next day we transfered her to the specialty vet. They also ran tests, but didn't feel her heart would handle being put under for an MRI. They tried other meds, and wanted to take out her spleen, but her chances of surviving the operation weren't good, and if she did survive it, it would only buy us a month or so, so I refused the operation and we brought her home. She lasted one day at home until she was so stressed that we brought her to the emergency vet in the middle of the night to have her put down.
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