Hemangiosarcoma? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 57 (permalink) Old 09-04-2008, 08:09 AM Thread Starter
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Hemangiosarcoma?

I've searched the forums for this to no avail.

My 7.5 y/o male just had an emergency splenectomy after bleeding was detected in his abdomen and an ultrasound showed a mass on the spleen, but didn't show anything on any other organs. Sure enough, the grapefruit-sized tumor had ruptured. The surgeon explored the liver, lungs, heart, and kidneys and saw nothing. He yanked the spleen, took a liver biopsy, and Eich made it through the night with only a little arrythmia.

The surgeon is guarded about the appearance of the tumor. He said he's seen hundreds and can usually spot a malignancy, but this one is not clear. The specimens have been sent out and it may take 7 days for results.

I've probably used my months worth of bandwidth allotment studying canine spleen disorders in the last 12 hours. I've learned about Hemangioma and the dreaded Hemangiosarcoma. Now, I'm no oncologist, but it seems to me that a grapefruit-sized tumor has been around for awhile. Anything that size would have surely metastisized if it were malignant, right? I mean, malignant growths are typically 1-2 cm's before the patient is overcome. I should mention that this dog is highly active and was perfectly normal until the yesterday morning when he seemed weak and would not eat.

Any opinions/comments/experiences would be greatly appreciated.






Cary
NY - 10509

Eich 3/4/01 - 9/30/08 (HSA)
Rookie 4/16/09 - 7/8/16 (HSA)
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post #2 of 57 (permalink) Old 09-04-2008, 10:18 AM
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Re: Hemangiosarcoma?

I am sorry to hear about your dog. The good thing is he had the surgery to remove the spleen.

Here is a link on this board about Hemangiosarcoma.

https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...=13#Post469332

Wishing you the best news.

Val


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post #3 of 57 (permalink) Old 09-04-2008, 11:12 AM
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Re: Hemangiosarcoma?

I am so sorry to hear about your boy. I lost my beloved Daisy to hemangiosarcoma (HSA) in 2005. She had an undetected tumor that ruptured and was removed and biopsied. The results of the tests were negative for HSA; she died less than a month later when she started bleeding again and they found that the cancer had covered her insides. I learned that there are a significant number of false negatives.

HSAs grow quickly but as I understand typically don't metastasize until they rupture. Then the cancer cells are seeded in all the internal organs and take off like wildfire.

My best advice is to brace yourself. Please forgive me for being direct, but I was led to have hope where little existed, and I was not prepared when I lost my girl. HSA is wicked, wildly aggressive, and unless things have changed in the last 3 years, current chemo treatments only add days, not years.

THAT IS NOT TO SAY THAT THERE IS NO HOPE BUT YOU MUST ACT QUICKLY! I DO suggest that you look into the Navy protocol - see link:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/...r-cancer_x.htm
You are fortunate to live in a state with some mighty fine vet schools. Or perhaps you could take him to Tufts in Boston. But if you intend to take action, DO NOT DELAY. DON'T WAIT FOR THE TEST RESULTS. CALL THEM TODAY!

Here is a link to a website that discusses alternative therapies and any and every piece of advice about HSA, and the thread I participated in (sorry, this is the link I have bookmarked, but you can get to other threads from there. It will be painful to read.) http://theherbs.info/Pets/jennifer.html

One favor...PLEASE, PLEASE see links below about sharing some of your dog's blood with researchers studying HSA. We lose dogs so quickly to this wretched disease, and researchers need samples from dogs with the disease to be able to create diagnostics and cures.

http://www.broad.mit.edu/mammals/dog/vet_samples.html
http://www.wearethecure.org/research...proved-to-fund
These are 2 I could locate quickly. Perhaps your vet or oncologist will know how best you can help. I wish I would've known about these before Daisy died. It pained me that I missed that opportunity to give her heartbreaking loss some meaning.

You are on top of this from the get-go, and that may make ALL the difference for your dog, and hopefully many others. I hope you will be fortunate to change the future for all of us.

My heart goes out to you.

Melissa

Beautiful Bayla (9/23/06)
Miss Daisy always in my heart
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post #4 of 57 (permalink) Old 09-04-2008, 12:28 PM
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Re: Hemangiosarcoma?

First of all, I'm so sorry to hear about your dog's problems. Just to give you some hope, though, our first dog was thought to have a hemangioma in her spleen that metastisized to her brain, resulting in grand mal seizures. The ultrasound showed a mass on her spleen and the doctor was certain that it was a hemangioma. I had done a lot of research and was hoping that the mass in her brain was a meningioma (benign tumor).

They removed the spleen, had it analyzed and found nothing cancerous. And the tumor in her brain was, in fact, a meningioma. We had it removed and she recovered just fine.

I hope that your boy is fortunate as well. He's very handsome. He looks so noble in the first picture.

Karin and Dave

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post #5 of 57 (permalink) Old 09-04-2008, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Hemangiosarcoma?

Upsy, thank you for a very informative reply... I will be following up with some of these recommendations with the vet when I speak to him this afternoon. I don't have any form of pet insurance, so this ordeal is going to break my back. So be it.

I appreciate your candor and I haven't deluded myself into thinking that he's coming home tonight and all will be OK, but I'm hanging on to hope that the biopsy will be negative. Again, the sheer size of this mass has me thinking it cannot be malignant.

We saw Eich this morning (I know, I know...) and he looked better than I expected. He was still lightly sedated and plenty sore, but he recognized us and reacted when my wife accidentally said (to me) "Let's go". His eyes were clear and his gums pink. I can't believe he's sick, but I've been preparing for the worst since being told he was in trouble about 27 hours ago. He's not coming home today, and maybe not even tomorrow. There's still a heart rhythm issue that (I'm told) is common following a splenectomy.

I can't write any more about this right now... I'm a total wreck. I just dug up this goofy shot of him that I took exactly 6 months ago on his 7th birthday (Note the bow on his collar and the candle on the Milk Bone!) I'll keep you all posted... thanks for your thoughts.


Cary
NY - 10509

Eich 3/4/01 - 9/30/08 (HSA)
Rookie 4/16/09 - 7/8/16 (HSA)
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post #6 of 57 (permalink) Old 09-04-2008, 02:09 PM
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Re: Hemangiosarcoma?

Hoping the best for you guys! Eich is such a handsome guy!

Kathy

URO3,UCD Aleshanee Windridge "Kayos" CD,TDX,RE,CGC,HIC,TC
PTE,AG2,AN,URO3,UCD Xtra!Xtra! V TeMar "Havoc" CDX,GN,RE,CGC,HIC,TC,BH
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post #7 of 57 (permalink) Old 09-04-2008, 04:04 PM
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Re: Hemangiosarcoma?

Gosh, I'm so sorry to hear that Eich may have hemangiosarcoma, I hope and pray the biopsy shows the tumor is benign.

I started that HEMANGIOSARCOMA thread Val linked to this thread, in October 2007.

On May 23, 2008, my dear Ringer, who would have been 13 in a month, was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma of the heart. The thread I started about it was moved from the SENIOR DOG forum to the IN LOVING MEMORY forum and locked, but I just checked and it's still around.
https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...e=3#Post693664

Kelly who was 12-1/2, had an ultrasound done of his digestive system on July 31, at a specialty hospital in Gainesville, FL. They found that his gall bladder was about to rupture, however, the doctor also suspected something was wrong with his heart and did a few tests, including an EKG. She was fairly certain that he had a hemangiosarcoma tumor in his heart, however, I declined her offer to do an ultrasound on it because he was so sick from so many other health issues I had to have him put down that afternoon.

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post #8 of 57 (permalink) Old 09-04-2008, 06:24 PM
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Re: Hemangiosarcoma?

Rock, they can recover very quickly from the splenectomy, so hopefully Eich's arrhythmia will resolve and he can come home soon. I was amazed. Daisy had surgery on a Saturday morning, and she was up by Saturday afternoon. We brought her home Monday morning, and with her pain meds, she never seemed to be too terribly uncomfortable. I wish I had her fortitude. After 2 weeks, she was her old self again...for about a week. Oh, it was a horrible time. I'm so sorry you have to experience this. I hate hemangiosarcoma.

Be sure and speak with your vet about the false negatives. I don't mean to press, but in my case, with such good news, I was ready to put the whole episode behind us and was so grateful...only to have the world come crashing down 3 weeks later. And I'd never tried any of the things I'd found because I didn't think I needed to.

The tumors are generally large and unfortunately most are malignant. These types of tumors are very fragile. Removing them before they rupture is the best remedy, but they come up so quickly and attack the internal organs where they're unseen, so they're generally only diagnosed once a dog starts bleeding. They are very common in German shepherds.

I hear you on the vet bills, and you can only do what you can do. A teaching hospital might be worth investigating. It might be worth it to them to work something out with you, especially for something like the Navy Protocol, if it has educational value for them.

Arycrest, I am so sorry to read of your loss of 2 dogs in so little time. Oh how awful. I cannot imagine how painful!

Melissa

Beautiful Bayla (9/23/06)
Miss Daisy always in my heart
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post #9 of 57 (permalink) Old 09-04-2008, 07:09 PM
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Re: Hemangiosarcoma?

I'm SO sorry to hear you are going through this. I am not an expert by any means, but we lost our 7-year-old GSD to Hemangiosarcoma last year. He was fine until the morning he seemed off and by the end of the day could not make it to the barn with me to feed the horses. To make a long story short - we took him to an e-vet, who said he had massive internal bleeding. Rather than do the surgery, we elected an ultrasound first. That showed a spleen that looked like it was covered in freckles. Lots of small tumors all over it and suspicious (though unidentifiable) liver lesions. His heart was fine and clear. I was there and saw it and the US doc said that while he could not do a definitive diagnosis without biopsy, it was classic metastasized (through the spleen and possibly liver) hemangiosarcoma that he had seen many times before. I don't know if hemangiosarcoma sometimes presents with large tumors, but do know that in our case, it was many, many small ones.

We were presented with options to remove his spleen - but have to put him down on the table if it was indeed in his liver - and then to do chemotherapy. In any case, the prognosis was just a few months. We elected to not do any of these and to let him live whatever life he had left. We put him down at the next major bleed, which came a few weeks later. He had a lot of good time during those weeks, with minor bleeds occasionally. Our vet assured us there was little to no pain - just weakness from bleeding out.

I would be guardedly encouraged by the size of the tumor - but again - sure am not an expert - just sharing our own recent experience, which is much different.

I hope the results come back very soon - the waiting is the worst! Please keep us posted and let us know how things are going. In the meantime, hopefully he will be home soon and you will be able to spend some good quality time with him.

We're with you!

Martie
Luther GSD 3/18/08
Otto Mix Spring 07
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post #10 of 57 (permalink) Old 09-04-2008, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Hemangiosarcoma?

It looks like Eich will be home by tomorrow night. I haven't spoken to the doctor since this morning, but the techs tell me that he had made steady improvement since the surgery and would probably be OK with oral pain management and close supervision. I might also have word on the lab results by Monday.

I need to get my head together and wait until I know for sure. I can't panic and start calling veterinary colleges without facts. I want everything for him, but I need to consider what he wants. I am certain all he wants is to hit the pool a few more times before the fall sets in and to finally get that **** chipmunk that runs up the cherry tree every time.

I should be hearing from the techs again very soon... they usually run an EKG around 8:00 PM, then call.

Cary
NY - 10509

Eich 3/4/01 - 9/30/08 (HSA)
Rookie 4/16/09 - 7/8/16 (HSA)
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