Anyone had long term success with spleen removal for hemangiosarcoma? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Unread 11-06-2019, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Anyone had long term success with spleen removal for hemangiosarcoma?

What the title said.
Please describe your experience, how the recovery went, and how much time was gained from surgery.


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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Unread 11-06-2019, 07:42 PM
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My friend did it for his dog and she lived two more years.

If you need equipment to maintain control of your dog, understand you’re hanging on to your dog’s body because you’ve lost his mind!

Suzanne Clothier
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Unread Yesterday, 12:28 AM
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I got about 3 months.

It was around 5K, and it was worth it to me.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Unread Yesterday, 11:52 AM
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For a friend's GSD, one horrible month. The surgery did not go well, healing was slow, and when he finally started feeling less miserable, he began massively bleeding out internally and had to be euthanized. The necropsy found hemangiosarcoma everywhere, even though there was no obvious cancer in his abdomen outside the spleen when the splenectomy was done.

By the time hemangiosarcoma is found, it has almost certainly spread microscopically at least.

I'm assuming that you are not talking about "prophylactic" splenectomy in the hope of preventing hemangiosarcoma. This once seemed like a good idea, but we now know that it is futile because hemangiosarcoma starts with a certain type of stem cell in the bone marrow. If it doesn't have a spleen to land on, it will land somewhere else like the heart.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Unread Yesterday, 11:58 AM
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It's a nasty disease. Chemo after surgery -- about 6 months. I forget what it cost. It was either euthanize her then or go with surgery. Considering what 6 months is in a dog's life, compared to human lives --- that's quite a bit of time.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Unread Yesterday, 12:01 PM
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My working line girl's grandfather was diagnosed at 10 years of age. He was doing so well after the initial bleed and diagnosis, that his owner/breeder decided to have the vet operate. Ultrasound suggested it MIGHT be confined to the spleen.

She had to crowdfund the surgery, but went ahead with it.

The ultrasound was wrong. He was full of cancer, and the vet euthanized him on the table.

IMO, it's not worth it. It's a horrible disease, and even with treatment, you will only get a very short time with your dog.

I'm sorry!
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Unread Yesterday, 12:01 PM
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I didn't do chemo. I didn't want her going through that.

Recovery was really quick for mine after surgery. I couldn't keep her down. She was a blue heeler though. Tough as nails.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Unread Yesterday, 12:12 PM
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Things to consider:

You need to knock off about 1 month, because the first month postop is often not pretty.

The heart can be covered with flat hemangiosarcoma tumors that will NOT show up on ultrasound. In which case the dog will probably not live more than a few weeks.

Are you usually with your dog, so that when he starts bleeding out again he will not die a horrible death waiting for you to come home?

Every dog is different, and we have no way to predict how an individual dog will do after splenectomy.

As always, the question is, is it worth it to the dog? And the answer is different for different dogs and different situations.

Hemangiosarcoma is a horror, and it is becoming more and more common, in more and more breeds, and at younger and younger ages.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Unread Yesterday, 01:06 PM
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We had less than one month from time she first got sick, to when she was officially diagnosed (because her bloodwork presented so weirdly) to when she died.

She died the day after I took her out to play frisbee with her. My friend lost her dog the day after she let him run and do a little bitework for fun. My vet confirmed there is a correlation between activity and death. Which makes sense given it's a blood vessel cancer, increased activity= increased blood flow

I think the key to this cancer, much like the key to human blood cancers, will be immunotherapy.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Unread Today, 07:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonRob View Post
For a friend's GSD, one horrible month. The surgery did not go well, healing was slow, and when he finally started feeling less miserable, he began massively bleeding out internally and had to be euthanized. The necropsy found hemangiosarcoma everywhere, even though there was no obvious cancer in his abdomen outside the spleen when the splenectomy was done.

By the time hemangiosarcoma is found, it has almost certainly spread microscopically at least.

I'm assuming that you are not talking about "prophylactic" splenectomy in the hope of preventing hemangiosarcoma. This once seemed like a good idea, but we now know that it is futile because hemangiosarcoma starts with a certain type of stem cell in the bone marrow. If it doesn't have a spleen to land on, it will land somewhere else like the heart.
Among other things, this is exactly why when my dog was diagnosed we did not do the surgery. The vets said the tunor was so big and invading vital organs, the chance of him bleeding out on the table was very high.

We did not operate. We loaded him up on tramodol and he had a really good month. He ate cheeseburgers every day, he did anything he wanted to do and whatever was safe for him to do that he loved we made sure it happened. He was truly happy.

And the next time he crashed we put him down to spare him any more suffering and he died in mine in my husbands arms.

I don't regret anything
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