Hemangiosarcoma is a cancer that originates in the body’s blood vessels. These tumors can grow anywhere in the body, but in dogs, we often encounter them in the spleen, liver, skin, or heart.
Depending on which organ is harmed, different symptoms exist. Hemangiosarcoma tumors’ abnormal connections between the blood vessels make them more prone to rupturing and bleeding.
Because of this, a mass in the liver or spleen may bleed as the first indication of this type of cancer. Weakness, sluggishness, pale gums, poor appetite, and abdominal pain can all be symptoms of bleeding episodes.
It is crucial that a pet be evaluated by a veterinarian when these symptoms appear.
Surgery may be required to try to remove the mass and control the bleeding if a tumor is gushing blood rapidly. The clinical indications may be waxing and waning in form if the tumor is slowly bleeding.
The patient will experience bad symptoms one day then feel good the next few days. Other dogs, however, do not exhibit any signs of hemangiosarcoma, although an incidental lump is discovered during an ultrasound check.
When a pathologist examines a tumor, usually after the entire mass has been removed, the diagnosis of hemangiosarcoma is made. While some lumps in the liver or spleen may appear on ultrasound to be hemangiosarcomas, a pathologist can distinguish between them and other tumor types or even simple hematomas (blood clots).
Surgery to remove the mass can be curative when a hematoma or benign tumor, such as a hemangioma, is discovered. As a result, prognosis cannot be judged purely by a mass’s outward appearance.
Evaluation of the Body Systems
The most typical method of diagnosing hemangiosarcoma is an ultrasound of the chest or abdomen. Before pursuing surgery to remove a mass from the liver or spleen, blood testing to assess body organ function and clinical staging using chest X-rays are advised to see whether there is any sign of metastasis (spread of the cancer).
Hemangiosarcoma is commonly treated with surgery followed by chemotherapy administered intravenously.
Chemotherapy side effects are a common source of concern for many individuals, however regimens have been devised to be successful while reducing negative effects to your pet. Dogs endure chemotherapy far better than humans do because they receive much lower medicine doses than humans do. This enables the oncologist to achieve their objective of preserving each patient’s high quality of life during their treatment.
When treated with spleen removal surgery and chemotherapy, the majority of animals have a survival duration of 6–9 months, measured from the time of diagnosis of splenic hemangiosarcoma.
Oncologists will collaborate with you and your primary care veterinarian to keep patients with hemangiosarcoma as comfortable as possible for families who decide against treatment.
The type of chemotherapy agent used and the method of administration determine the cost of the procedure. The oncologist will have a lengthy conversation with you about your pet during your evaluation to determine the best course of action. The anticipated costs associated with diagnosis and treatment will then be given to you.
What should be used to a bleeding tumor on a dog?
Either a fatty tumora lipoma or an ulcerated breast tumor, in my opinion, is what this is. If the latter, surgical removal should resolve the issue. Surgery would not be able to treat her if she had a neglected mammary tumor because it is likely that it has migrated to her lungs and other organs.
She might feel more at ease for a while, but she might not make it through the operation.
In either case, if you have the money, talk to the owner who may require encouragement to take action for the dog in the form of money or emotional support.
Although the growth’s oozing is unlikely to endanger your pets, you should bleach-clean any towels you lay out for her to lay on when she comes over. With diluted hydrogen peroxide or a hand sanitizer solution, you can clean her up.
Such abuse disgusts me, and it could be a good idea to contact the nearest animal shelter or a veterinarian to visit and examine the dog while she is there.
Update from Letter Writer I gave the owner of the dog I was worried about in your response to my letter, and he wasn’t insulted, I think he simply felt helpless. He brought Daisy to the doctor, where she was put to death. She was in excruciating pain, and doctors deemed her condition to be too severe for effective operation. I’m grateful. L.S.
How long can a dog survive with a tumor that is bleeding?
June 16, 2022 update
Dogs frequently develop the lethal malignancy hemangiosarcoma. The cancer usually develops and spreads quickly, rarely giving the owner any indication that their dog is suffering from a fatal illness until it abruptly manifests.
Owners should become more knowledgeable about how this illness manifests and become adept at spotting the disease’s subtle symptoms in order to not only notice a potential issue but also to be prepared should their dog get hemangiosarcoma.
There is mounting proof that the cancer cells responsible for hemangiosarcoma begin their journey in the bone marrow before quickly migrating to other parts of the body. The heart and spleen are the two organs where hemangiosarcoma is most frequently seen, and these organs are also where it is frequently diagnosed first. These tumors are particularly lethal due to their propensity towards the heart and spleen. Within minutes of a diagnosis, hemangiosarcomas can rupture unexpectedly, resulting in significant blood loss and requiring owners and veterinarians to make difficult choices.
Most frequently, hemangiosarcoma affects:
- elderly to middle-aged dogs
- Labrador retrievers, Portuguese water dogs, German shepherds, and golden retrievers
- There are a few more men than women (in some studies)
Unfortunately, except from sudden, severe internal bleeding, there are no additional clinical indicators (symptoms) that are characteristic of hemangiosarcoma. Additional medical indications mentioned by owners include:
- intermittent tiredness or sluggishness
- abrupt collapse
- Quick death
In cases of rapid collapse, the majority of pet owners are fast to act, and in hemangiosarcoma cases, time is of the essence. These are serious medical emergencies, and a lot of patients need to have the bleeding mass removed right away (if that’s feasible), then they need supportive care to survive.
The prognosis for dogs with hemangiosarcoma is dismal, even when a tumor is promptly found and treated. Statistics indicate:
- The typical survival period after surgery is one to three months.
- Five to seven months is the typical survival duration following surgery and treatment.
- Despite surgery and treatment, 90% of dogs die one year after diagnosis, and two years later, virtually 100% of canines die.
Since survival rates haven’t changed in almost 30 years, new treatments are urgently required. Morris Animal Foundation can help in this situation.
Learning more about this horrible malignancy has been the focus of numerous investigations, both recent and historical. New findings that have been published in the past two years include:
- In a recent study, survival rates for tiny dogs with hemangiosarcoma were comparable to those for large-breed dogs with the disease.
- Although research into how spaying and neutering affects the occurrence of hemangiosarcoma is still ongoing, no conclusive findings have been made to date.
- More investigations are being conducted to clarify the findings of North Carolina State University researchers who discovered a greater prevalence of the bacterium Bartonella spp. in some dogs with hemangiosarcoma.
Our efforts to find the answers to these crucial concerns will be greatly helped by the findings of the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study.
The Foundation’s Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is particularly interested in various malignancies, including hemangiosarcoma, a serious malignancy of golden retrievers. In our cohort of 3,044 dogs, hemangiosarcoma currently accounts for the majority of cancer-related deaths. All of the dogs in our cohort with hemangiosarcoma are being monitored, and extra tissue and other biological samples are being taken.
We have stored samples on affected dogs extending back years that may indicate risk factors related to this malignancy in addition to samples taken at the time of diagnosis or death. We anticipate that researchers will be able to use these samples to create early diagnostic tests and comprehend any genetic connections to this fatal illness. In order to learn more about hemangiosarcoma and other malignancies in golden retrievers, our staff is striving to promote Study data and samples to researchers from all over the world. We are also inviting these researchers to submit proposals.
The Golden Oldies research will provide further, vitally important information on the underlying genetics of this malignancy by comparing DNA from older golden retrievers without cancer to DNA from Study dogs with cancer (including hemangiosarcoma). The results of this study may eventually lead to the development of a diagnostic tool for locating dogs who are susceptible to this malignancy.
To increase the quality and quantity of life for dogs with hemangiosarcoma, the Morris Animal Foundation has committed more than $3 million over the course of more than 20 years of study.
Our funded research has mostly examined:
- Understanding the fundamental biology of hemangiosarcoma could lead to new methods of diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.
- combating chemo-resistant maladies
- Understanding why hemangiosarcoma develops drug resistance could increase the effectiveness of treatment and lead to the discovery of novel chemotherapeutic drugs.
- Biological ties
- Breeds that are susceptible to hemangiosarcoma may hold the key to developing novel diagnostic procedures and elucidating the genetic basis of this illness.
Do canine malignant tumors bleed?
Some of these symptoms, including losing weight and having poor breath, could indicate cancer or other medical issues. In any case, they should always cause you to consult your veterinarian.
As a veterinary oncologist, the following ten symptoms are the most concerning to me:
- bleeding or discharge from any body part, including the nose, eyes, mouth, or urine
- alteration in feces or urination patterns
- not-healing wounds
- a bad breath or body odor
- difficulty swallowing or chewing
- energy decline and resistance to exercise
- reduced appetite
- Loss of weight
- Increasing lumps or swellings
- Lameness or rigidity
Let’s look at some of the more prevalent tumors that affect cats and dogs to see how these symptoms manifest.
During a soothing session of belly rubbing and scratching, the pet owner can spot breast cancer in both dogs and cats. Anywhere along the chain of mammary glands located on the underside of the chest and belly of your male or female dog or cat, breast cancer first manifests as tiny, pinhead-sized lumps (although it is rare in males). Once the tumors are the size of raisins, they frequently feel like soft to hard lumps or masses when touched. Your veterinarian should examine any lumps or tumors in the breast region.
Possible symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, and blood in the stool in cats. lymph nodes that are expanding quickly in dogs. Occasionally, more water is consumed, and more pee is produced.
In dogs and cats, the most prevalent lymphoma has different characteristics. Lymphoma in cats is most frequently found in the feline gastrointestinal tract and is characterized by progressive weight loss in cats. I am aware from both personal experience and scientific study that pet owners occasionally struggle to judge a dog or cat that is either plumper than typical or skinnier than usual. But it’s vital to pay attention to any changes because losing weight or having less of an appetite can be a sign of many illnesses than cancer. Ask your veterinarian to assist you in determining your pet’s “body condition score” the next time you see her. On a scale of one to five, or four to five on a scale of one to nine, the ideal body condition typically rates around a three.
Staying in frequent contact with your veterinarian, who keeps thorough records about your pet’s weight as part of her wellness checks, is a smart approach to monitor your pet’s weight. The majority of veterinary clinics have an easily available scale and would be happy to quickly weigh your pet if you are worried about potential weight loss. You can notice vomiting if your cat has stomach-related lymphoma. You can notice diarrhea or blood in the stool if it affects her intestines. Additionally, some cats with lymphoma could not eat at all or have a low appetite.
Swollen lymph nodes are the most typical clinical symptom of lymphoma in dogs, in my experience as a veterinarian. Owners may most easily see and feel lymph nodes directly below the skin right below the chin, in front of the shoulders, and behind the knees. The typical dog owner cannot see lymph nodes in a healthy, normal dog. However, lymph nodes affected by lymphoma are an example of rapidly expanding lumps that need to be examined by a veterinarian very once. A metabolic alteration that causes a rise in water consumption and urine production is another important symptom of lymphoma in dogs, even though it is only present in fewer than half of cases. A visit to your veterinarian is always recommended if you see excessive drinking or urinating, which can potentially be symptoms of diseases other than cancer.
Possible symptoms include enlarged lumps or pimples, sores that do not heal, limping, bleeding, or toenail breaks.
Mast cell tumors are the most typical kind of malignant skin cancer in dogs. These tumors are visible lumps that have the potential to hurt. They usually swell, frequently bleed, then scab over before bleeding once more a few days later. The owner shouldn’t squeeze them because doing so can cause them to enlarge even more.
Squamous cell carcinoma, the most prevalent form of feline skin cancer, has similar symptoms in cats. The skin around the eyes, nose, and ear tips, which is lightly hairy, may develop bleeding and scabby skin ulcers as a result of this tumor.
Melanoma in dogs and cats is often benign, unlike in humans. Dogs, however, can develop it, and when it does, it frequently takes place in a very malignant region in the mouth (see the Oral Cancers section below). The juncture between a dog’s claw and toe is the other site where melanoma can be cancerous. A major issue with your dog may be indicated if you notice swelling, bleeding, an unexpectedly broken toenail, or limping brought on by a mass at the claw-toe junction. Your dog has to be examined by your vet, who might suggest a biopsy.
Melanoma differs from other malignancies in that it can range from benign to dangerous when it affects the toes or mouths of dogs or pets with hairy skin.
Bad breath, blood in the saliva, a decrease in appetite, and trouble chewing or swallowing are all indications of oral cancer.
The mouths of dogs and cats can develop a variety of cancers, but they all share the same clinical symptoms. Melanoma is the most prevalent in dogs, although squamous cell carcinoma is more typical in cats.
Dogs with oral melanoma may have blood in their saliva, have trouble eating and swallowing, or have a diminished appetite. Heavy-duty hound halitosis, or bad breath, is typically the first thing that dog owners notice. Similar symptoms in cats with squamous cell carcinoma are possible. A cat owner could also observe an increase in ocular discharge in only one of their pet’s eyes or a goofy expression on their cat’s face due to the facial enlargement associated with these tumors, which frequently block the tear ducts.
Both dogs and cats can develop a variety of malignancies in the oral cavity, some of which are highly aggressive. Consult your veterinarian as soon as you notice any of the aforementioned symptoms or a lump or bump in your pet’s mouth.
Possible symptoms include lameness and aversion to bearing weight on a specific limb, as well as a painful lump or swelling.
Osteosarcoma, often known as bone cancer, is the most frequently identified malignancy of the bone in both dogs and cats. Any bone tumor can produce lameness and aversion to bearing weight on a particular leg since the tumor makes walking unpleasant. You might feel a hard bump or swelling on the bone if the tumor is in the ideal spot, but be warned that these lumps can be excruciatingly painful to touch. The diagnosis must be confirmed by an X-ray and biopsy.
The most important message here is to understand that many types of cancer have similar indicators, even if I’ve addressed some of the most widespread malignancies’ more typical symptoms. Some of these symptoms can also be an indicator of more severe conditions than only cancer. Watch out for the indications I’ve listed when you engage with your pet on a regular basis. Have your pet examined by your family veterinarian if you notice anything concerning. An indication that something is amiss can be as vague as a general loss of energy or a reluctance to exercise. Whether your pet has cancer or any other serious disease, always keep in mind that an early diagnosis can occasionally assist boost the chances of treatment success.