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What is Splenectomy?

A splenectomy is the total removal of the spleen from the dog's body. The spleen is responsible for storing blood vessels and cleaning toxins from the blood. If damaged, it can bleed profusely into the abdominal cavity, causing edema and even infection from the substances it usually filters out of the bloodstream. Removal of the spleen is generally only performed if methods of repair are not sufficient.

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Splenectomy Procedure in Dogs

The vet will begin by placing the dog under general anesthesia and shaving a large area along the abdomen. This is because a ruptured spleen will typically require an 'open splenectomy' in order to fully remove it. Next, they will make an incision along the abdomen and move aside any intervening tissues. Next, they will cut out and remove the spleen along with any associated fragments before sealing off the connecting ducts. The final step is to clean up any possibly infected fluid and suture the incision shut. At this point, the dog can be allowed to recover from anesthesia.

Efficacy of Splenectomy in Dogs

Damage to the spleen is typically accompanied by other injuries (often serious), so it can be difficult to judge the effectiveness of the treatment by observing changes in the dog's behavior. However, the immediate danger posed by the ruptured, cancerous, or infected spleen will have been eliminated as soon as the surgeon extracts it from the body. While the effects of a splenectomy are permanent, owners should know that removal of the spleen will not have a major impact on their dog's quality of life, as its functions are shared by several other parts of the body. 

Splenectomy Recovery in Dogs

Following surgery, it can take over a month for the incision to fully heal. Because of this, the vet will provide owners with painkillers that can be administered to the dog at home. It will also be necessary for the dog to be fitted with an E-collar to prevent them from pulling out the stitches holding their abdomen closed. Additionally, due to the size of an open splenectomy incision, owners will have to dramatically reduce the amount of exercise their dog undertakes, as well as keeping a careful eye on them throughout the day. Additionally, antibiotic medication may be prescribed in order to prevent the dog from picking up an infection following the surgery (especially if the spleen itself was suffering from an infection).

Cost of Splenectomy in Dogs

The price of a splenectomy can be quite high. This is because of the diagnostic tests required in order to identify the problem in the first place, as well as the surgical knowledge required in order to perform the procedure. In all, most owners can expect to pay around $2,5000 for a splenectomy. For older dogs or ones suffering from more complex conditions, the prices for the procedure can go even higher.

Dog Splenectomy Considerations

While the splenectomy can be a lifesaving procedure for many dogs, there are some attendant risks that may cause some owners to think twice. As with all major surgeries, the dog must be placed under general anesthetic, which can cause cardiovascular failure in some dogs. Additionally, without a spleen, there is an increased susceptibility to infection and longer recovery times from illnesses can be expected. For elderly dogs, these problems may be even greater, giving their owners pause for thought.

Splenectomy Prevention in Dogs

Although many cancers and infections are unpredictable and somewhat hard to guard against, owners can do a lot to mitigate the risk of direct injury to their dog's spleen. Due to the spleen's location high on the left flank of the dog, most injuries occur not through accidents in play caused by objects on the ground (unlike, for example, stomach injuries), but by being hit by cars and direct confrontations with other animals. By properly training their pet on how to act around roads and when encountering strange dogs, owners can reduce much of the risk of injury to the spleen.

Splenectomy Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Jose Emmanuel
Chihuahua
14 1/2
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Not eating,

Hello....I have a 14 yr old chihuahua who has been diagnosed with a very enlarged spleen. He was not eating, so had an eray and ultrasound done at local vet. He recommended a local Vet.Hospital with better equipment to do tests to determine the cause of his enlarged spleen. That appt. is tomorrow. I have babied him and he is eating fairly well at this time. From reading others questions, mine is much the same. If they discover spleenic tumors (either inside or on the spleen) will they likely recommend a spleenectomy at his age? A chihuahua can live to be 18 or 19. Should we take that risk and hope their are no complications? They are a breed with trachea collapse issues, an it worries me to put him under for this. Will the tumors likely rupture if he doesn't have an operation? What to do?????

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2992 Recommendations
Chihuahuas indeed may have a long lifespan; whilst complications may occur during surgery, appropriate management and care mitigates risk to acceptable levels - if he doesn’t currently have issues with tracheal collapse, I wouldn’t worry about it changing with surgery. Splenic masses have a habit of rupturing due to the nature of the usual type of tumour present; splenectomy is recommended in cases of both benign and malignant tumours. Prognosis is dependent on the findings of histopathology. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.acvs.org/small-animal/splenic-masses

Sarah... how did the surgery go? We just found out our 11yo husky has 2 masses on her spleen. We are weighing the pros and cons of surgery.

I took My 9yr old shepherd mix to the vet Yesterday after she suddenly became lethargic and bloated. She had a mass on her spleen that had ruptured and abdomen full of blood. Vet called this morning to say levels in bloodwork looked good and he doesn't think if it's cancer it has spread. She goes in Monday morning for surgery. 😥 This is all new to me so looking for info.

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Molly
Maltese
10 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Anorexic

Molly had her spleen removed 12/27 after dr felt something strange. Biopsy on spleen cancer, but biopsy on liver nodule negative. Lab results stated she is considered cancer free with a guarded prognosis. vet wanted to do chemo, but because her cancer was rare he didn’t know how well it would work. He gave her 3 months to 1 year, although there have been instances of them living two years. After gaining two lbs., now she is starting to play with her food in the morning which was her original indication something was wrong. What should I look for? Should I get periodic labs done? Thank you

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1406 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Without knowing more details on Molly's specific type of cancer or other health status, I can't comment on what the expected progression might be, or how often she should be monitored. It would be best to talk with your veterinarian, as they have examined her, and know more about her specific situation and what to expect. I hope that all goes well for her.

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Wolfgang
Dachshund
16 Years
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Spleen mass

My vet found the mass on his spleen this week and we did the ultrasound and it is in fact his spleen and is about 4x5cm with no evidence of blood. Because of the holiday we would not be able to do surgery for more then a week. My debate is at his age and considering he becomes so scared at the vet or the clinic where the ultrasound was performed is it cruel to put him through the surgery. It seems like typically theres a 1 month recovery times and a fairly good chance he would only survive 2-3 months though it might be longer. Though he seems fine and energy is good he does have vision hearing and confusion problems and I have been considering maybe its better to just give him a couple comfortable weeks and let him go on a good note instead of putting him through the trauma of surgery and the seemingly inevitable decline he might have afterword. And if we do decide on the surgery is the wait time to have it done too long?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2992 Recommendations
It is always stressful when you have an older dog and you are deciding whether or not to put them through surgery or let them live out the remainder of their days without the stress and recovery from the surgery; this is an answer which you need to determine yourself after consultation with your Veterinarian. Waiting a week won’t make a significant difference to the mass and if you decide to go through with the surgery in a week there should be no change overall. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.acvs.org/small-animal/splenic-masses

May I ask what you've decided? I'm in a similar situation and debating if I should do the surgery or not.
Thank you!

Mine has had one two months ago . I'm planning now not to leave him at kennels as if not on antibiotics ( his on them anyway) It seems to be a risk ... but they can die of other things too so dont beat urself up do sorry for ur loss

My GSD Ben had his spleen removed and appeared to recover well. But we had a holiday booked 3 weeks after his operation. Vet gave him the all clear and the boarding kennels were prepared for him. But 2 weeks later, the night before we were due to collect Ben, he died suddenly in his sleep. I am racked with guilt. Would there have been signs the day he died but kennels too busy to notice?. They waived fees for his board, were they feeling guilty? Could they have got the Vet?

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Max
Siberian Husky
11 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

hind end weakness
Panting

Medication Used

Gabapentin 600mg every 8hrs

What is the typical recovery period post Spleenectomy?

My dogs is one week out and it seems like he is a bit slow to move and his back legs coordination is not 100% I would say very mild ataxia and general weakness.

Ruptured tumour in his spleen and nodules in liver. Waiting on histopathology, vet is fairly certain it's not going to be good news and we have prepared for the worst.

Good appetite, generally good spirits, still tries to hide under the table for what the kids drop down there.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1406 Recommendations
That is a fairly major surgery for Max to have gone through, and Gabapentin can cause some sedation and ataxia on its' own. If he is eating and drinking well and seems generally normal, you should be fine continuing to monitor him for improvement.

My Golden Retriever just had this surgery. We lost our lab two months ago to this exact condition. He died several hours after surgery. They were both the same age, about 10 yo.

The GR is not doing well postop and is still in the hospital. We do not have the biopsy results yet, but we are positive it is cancer. In case we are blessed with a miracle and she can come home, I was just curious about the mushroom complex and TCM? Have never heard of this? Thank you for any advice. This is so hard!

Thanks. We were monitoring him for a few days, and he seems to in less pain so we gradually dropped his Gaba to about 400mg and he is much more sure footed.

We are hoping beyond hope for a very long comfortable goodbye. Its sad that this cancer has so little understanding behind it, being dog specific. Our vet said we could do chemo, but with the mets. to his liver, they have, in a round about way, told us to enjoy what time we have, and focus on keeping him pain free and as happy as we can. Thank you for your answer. We are going to be giving him mushroom complex and TCM to help slow any future growth and ruptures.

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Sarge
Chocolate lab
10 Years
Fair condition
1 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

None. Diagnosed during regular check

Should I do a splenectomy on my 10 year old lab? The vet discovered it on a routine checkup, he hasn't been acting different, still eats great so it has us shocked. We did an ultrasound today and they found a baseball sized mass and nodules on the spleen and also a enlarged lymph node in his abdomen...what would you do?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2992 Recommendations

Splenectomy is the treatment of choice in these types of cases and while prognosis is variable due to many factors, splenectomy usually prolongs the lifespan in many cases; hemangiosarcomas are common in labradors over the age of eight years old. Removal of the spleen would be the best plan of action and it can then be sent for histopathology to determine whether is it an hemangiosarcoma or not. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
www.acvs.org/small-animal/splenic-masses

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Sasha
Labrador Retriever
12 Years
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Cough at rising

Medication Used

Galliprant, gabapentin, turkey tail

Is a splenectomy a good idea for a 12.5 year old lab, in general good health, who has a spleen the size of a cantaloupe, and who suffers from mild laryngeal paralysis.

Last year, she was hit badly at the dog park and had a severely wrenched back. At that time, doing xrays, CT scan and ultrasound revealed a 4 x 4 x 4 cm mass in her spleen. Asymptomatic. At that time, they said it was more likely than not hemangiosarcoma. She does not do well with anesthesia, and I therefore opted to not to surgery since it did not seem likely to buy her much more quality time. Instead, I put her on turkey tail mushrooms and started spoiling her rotten. She has had no symptoms since, and follow ups at 3, 6 and 9 months showed no growth. She goes for acupuncture weekly for arthritis, and this week she had gained 3 lbs in a week with no change in diet/exercise. Upon examination, vet saw distended spleen, ultrasound revealed cantaloupe sized mass. We did extensive blood work . . . all normal. Vet states due to the length of time since first dx of mass, it is now more likely than not that it is benign, so I am more inclined to remove, but am scared of anesthesia risk, and scared of respiratory issues with her cough . . .

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1406 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Given your description, removal of Sasha's spleen would be a good idea, as even benign tumors can spontaneously burst and lead to fatal bleeding. As far as her anesthetic risk, your veterinarian would be the best judge of that, as none of us wants to take unnecessary risks, but you do have to weight risk vs. benefit in each case. It would be best to discuss your concerns with your veterinarian and come to an educated decision as to what is best for Sasha, and what your tolerance for risk is. I hope that everything goes well for her.

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Giovanni
German Shepherd
9 Years
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

mushy

my 9 year old German Shep had a splenectomy two weeks ago. His stomach was swollen and I rushed him to the vet who diagnosed he has a tumor that bursted and we opted for surgery. We were told he had a nodule on his liver as well as some in the abdominal cavity and when we got the pathology report back they told us it was cancer. I was told by the vet to start him on I'm Munity which is some type of herbal med containing mushrooms. he takes 10 pills per day each 400mg and also Yunnan Bilao I think that the name...I know its a big surgery and he has good days and not so good ones where he eats and then doesn't feel to eat. we decided on no chemo because financially I cant do no more since the vet bill was over 9000.00 which I borrowed. they told us to let him take it easy because the nodule on his liver can burst and we would be in the same situation. My question is this..do you think dogs can be in pain from all this. He isn't himself and I get it after major surgery who would be but seems a bit mushy. We decided to further spoil him because we don't know how long we would have him. I don't want him to be in any pain but whats your opinion of these herbal meds and do you think he would be in any pain. Also if the nodule were to burst God forbid how long would he have since we don't want to put him thru no more and have him in hospital but rather home with us. I'm sick over this. A month ago today I had a totally different dog and my heart is breaking daily. thank you

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2992 Recommendations
Both I'm-Yunity and yunnan baiyao are indicated for use in cases of hemangiosarcoma in dogs with yunnan baiyao being a well known herbal medicine which is used to control bleeding. Any dog going through major surgery and recovering from a splenectomy would not be in the best spirits as this is a more traumatic surgery than most plus there would have been some blood loss due to the bleed. It is important to keep Giovanni comfortable and try to not get him excited as this would increase blood pressure. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

In a worst case scenario, if he were to encounter another rupture would that be painful and if left untreated how long would he live

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Jobi
terrier
9 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

None at the moment

My 9 year old terrier mix who has had Addison's disease for going on 5 years now, just had an ultrasound indicating a nodule on his spleen. My vet says she would like to just remove the entire spleen. I am very very torn on what to do because of the Addison's and the risk of surgery anyway with just that. I don't know what would be best and I need other opinions. He has never been put under anesthesia before or had any surgeries. Eating, drinking, pooping peeing is all normal. We were given Yunnan Baiyou to start while we decide. A lot of the people in Addisons support groups do not have experience with this in an Addison dog and it's kind of freaking me out.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1406 Recommendations
I understand that you are nervous. If your veterinarian wants to remove his spleen, I suspect the nodule is either very large or appears to be a problem. Without knowing more about Jobi, I can't comment on the best course of action, but dogs with Addision's disease just tend to be treated a little differently during surgery, taking into consideration the stress that the surgery will put on the body. It would be best, I think, to have a frank conversation with your veterinarian, as it is our job to explain procedures and weigh the risks vs benefits for pet parents.

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Jack
Labrador Retriever
9 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Lethargic

My 9 year old Chocolate Lab, Jack, had an emergency splenectomy due to a bleeding mass on his spleen. After the surgery the vet called me and told me the surgery went well and he was pleased by the way it went. They sent samples of the mass and from his liver out to be tested for cancer. (the vet seemed to lean more on it being malignant than benign)
Since he had told me that the surgery went well and Jack's blood pressure was good, I felt relieved and was only worried about the outcome of the cancer tests.
The next day, while Jack was still in the vet hospital, I received a call from the vet saying that Jack was not doing well and they asked if they could do a transfusion. I told them yes, of course, whatever is necessary (I found this to be odd that they called to ask after I had signed a paper giving them permission to do a transfusion if necessary). Then a short while later, I received another call asking if they could do CPR. Again I said yes, (I had signed a paper for that too). At this point I was frantic and knew things were not going well. Jack died a short while later due to complications of DIC. The vet had given him the transfusion and plasma only after the DIC had started. I have researched other websites and have read that a transfusion should be given before the surgery, during the surgery and sometimes after the surgery. Could the DIC have been prevented if Jack had gotten a transfusion and plasma before, during and possibly after the surgery like I have read? It seems to me like common sense that if the dog was bleeding from the mass, he would be anemic and weak from the bleed. DID THE VET MESS UP? They called me the following Tuesday and told me that the test results were back and Jack did not have cancer. I am totally heartbroken, and miss my best buddy ever (it is like losing a child) - this was two months ago and I am still crushed.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2992 Recommendations
The decision to perform a blood transfusion would depend on various different factors including blood loss volume, packed cell volume among other parameters; your Veterinarian would have used their judgement on whether or not to give a transfusion or not based on their determination of Jack’s condition and progress. I cannot say whether or not your Veterinarian acted correctly (also legally it isn’t my place to say) as I didn’t examine Jack or review medical records etc... certainly when large quantities of blood are lost transfusion is indicated; but when there is a small amount of blood loss, it may not be required. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26331422 www.vettimes.co.uk/app/uploads/wp-post-to-pdf-enhanced-cache/1/splenectomy-cases-in-dogs-and-cats.pdf

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Buddy
Golden Doodle
10 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

The vet believes my "Buddy" has hemangiosarcoma. If you can't tell without a biopsy this is based on a baseball sized mass on his spleen that has nut ruptured. Has a couple of lesions on his heart muscle and a slight eratic heart beat. loss of appetite but will eat people food and treats. Vet said he may not survive the splenectomy surgery. If the recovery is long and uncomfortable this seems cruel. Waiting for the mass to bleed and have him collapse also seems cruel. Putting him down to avoid these scenarios when he is happy and walking even if slowly doesn't seem right either. Started him on "herbals" turkey tail mushroom for immune strength and yunnan bai yao for bleeding. Only positive of not surviving surgery is he won't be in pain when he goes. Just really don't know what is the best to do.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2992 Recommendations
This is a terrible dilemma as there may seem to be no true correct answer and I cannot tell you what is best either; statistically it is an hemangiosarcoma and that is what I would put it down as based purely on statistics. There is no medical therapy I can recommend as surgery is the treatment of choice to remove the spleen and to get a sample for histopathology. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

What did u decide to do for Buddy? Going through a very similar experience. :(

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Lily
Golden Retriever
13 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea

Lily is a 12.5 year old golden. We took her to the dr. because she had diarrhea. They took an X-ray and found a rads-large mid abd mass accoc with spleen, no mets to chest noted. The blood results didn't show too much abnormality, only a little bulimia. The dr recommended surgery, but considering her age ( 12.5) I'm not sure I want to go for it. As of right now she is happy, eating well, she is not moving as well because of her arthritis. Her diarrhea went away with Fortiflora what the dr gave her. He gave her Metronidazole 500 mg. too. She is taking Carpofen 75 mg. for a while now, and vitamin and joint solution too.
I guess my questions are that is it bad that I don't want to do the surgery, and how long can she live with this mass if it's not taken out?
Thank you,

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1406 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Unfortunately, without knowing more about her situation, and lab results, I'm not sure that i can comment on her quality of life. It would be best to talk with your veterinarian about her prognosis, as they are able to see her, and know her whole situation. Whether you decide to have the surgery or not may depend on her quality of life, and the prognosis for recovery after surgery. If the surgery might greatly prolong her life, it may be something that you want to consider. I hope that everything goes well for her.

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Pegi
Cocker Spaniel
10 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Spleen tumor,

My dog cocker spaniel, she have a spleen tumor. Around 5-7 cm. She is 10 YO. I wanted to surgery for her but I am not sure if she survives it. I'm worried that she will have something called metastasis as our vet said. She can die within the surgery or few days-weeks after. And I dont want to risk that. But I dont want her to die on that tumor or want to giver her death injection. Please tell me what to do I am reaaly worried rn and don't k ow what to do. I really love her and care for her I can't let her go like that.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1406 Recommendations
Your veterinarian can determine whether there are metasases to her lungs with an x-ray, and unfortunately, the only way to know if there are metastases in her abdomen will be to have the surgery done. She may have a benign tumor and survive for years after the surgery. If the tumor is cancerous, she may have a few more months of quality life than she would have if the tumor bursts. I hope that she is okay.

My 12 year old golden doodle just had a splenectomy yesterday. She was bleeding internally and I was told she would have been dead that night had I not brought her in. My question is, after splenectomy, are cardiac arrythmias common? I called and she is now on propranolol and a Lido drip which leads me to think more v tech than just frequent pvc's . Does splenic artery involvement affect this? Should I be worried about cardiac arrest?

Our dog Alfie just had same op 2 days ago. Seems bright enough but is having problem with diarrhoea and keeps dragging his rear end on the floor. Anyone else have this problem with their dogs after surgery? My advice Pegi definitely get scan/X-ray done first so u know what ur dealing with. I feel for u it’s a very hard decision to make. We won’t know Alfie’s results till during the week so please god it will be ok, if it’s bad news at least we feel we gave him the best chance we could. 🙏

Our dog is recovering from same beloved girl Shiba is recovering from same surgery as of this posting. My advice is, if you love your dog and, and can afford it. At least get an x-ray to know what you are dealing with. We did, and she came through the surgery, although it has not been easy, she is still here and fighting, God Bless her. We don't know what the outcome will be yet, hoping for the best.

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Wiley
Maltese
11 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Lethargy
Tired
Anemia
Diarrhea
Weight Loss
Vomiting

For the last few months, our almost 12 year old Maltese has been showing distressing symptoms. He has been deaf his whole life, but now he has lost most of his vision as well and frequently urinates in the house, which is uncommon for him. More recently, he has lost desire to eat, sleeps all day, and can no longer jump up on the furniture or bed where he loves to lounge. Last week, he started to have uncontrollable diarrhea for 48 hours that turned into vomiting for another 24 hours. We took him to the vet and he had lost a total of 2.5 lbs. He has been 7.5 lbs his whole life and is now 5 lbs. I can feel all of his bones. It is very distressing. His blood work also showed that he is anemic. Now we are faced with a really tough decision. They did an ultrasound on him and said he has a giant mass on his spleen and that there's a 50-50 chance that it's malignant. They can't know til they take it out and analyze it. The surgery will cost $3000 in addition to the $2000 we've already spent to hospitalize, give him IV fluids, medications, etc. So it seems that our choices are to let him go peacefully or to remove the tumor and see what happens. In your opinion, should we go forward with the operation? Is this going to buy us time with him? 50/50 odds are really tough to figure out. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2992 Recommendations
This is a very difficult decision for you to make; however if the splenic tumour is benign, splenectomy would be curative but if the tumour is malignant you would still have a diagnosis with a less favourable outcome. You need to decide if you are wanting to spend $3,000 on this surgery for a 50% chance on a positive outcome; I cannot make this decision for you. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Our 11 year old boxer Marley collapsed at home, shallow breathing and white gums. We rushed him to the animal hospital where an ultrasound showed a mass on his spleen. The Dr said there was an 80% chance this was probably a hemengiosarcoma and 20% chance it could be benign. If it was cancerous they said he would have roughly 3-6 months with surgery. Our vet asked them to do an ultrasound of his heart which showed no tumors and a chest X-ray was clear. There was no doubt we were going to do surgery and give him a chance. He had a splenectomy and did really well post op, never needing the cone because he never went near the incision. Seven days later the pathology report came back benign. No sign of cancer. He is recovering extremely well and will be back performing his duties as a pet therapy dog at Fox Chase Cancer Center! The odds were stacked against but we never gave up hope!

My American Bulldog just was diagnosed with a mass on his spleen. He is 11 yrs old and in good health otherwise. I opted for the surgery knowing the risks. He is 5 days after surgery and he is healing quickly. 50/50 Odds worked out in my favor so far. No test results as of today to know if it was cancer but each day I have with my beloved is precious and I wouldn't have just let him go knowing he had a good chance of survival of the surgery.

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Cody
Samoyed
10 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Walking tenderly

I have a 10 year old Samoyed that was not acting himself walking slow could not jump did not like to lay down. We took him to our vet and they took a x-ray and found a big mass in him. We were sent to a vet hospital and they there thing and said he had a cantaloupe size tumor on his spleen and surgery was necessary right away. Surgery went well it was only on the spleen nothing else they removed the spleen and the tumor and took a biopsy of the liver. The tumor was benign and the surgeon said everything else look great in him. He stayed for 2 days he came home and acted like nothing had happen, they had him on Rimadyl and tramadol. Everything was going great for 12 days and then we notice his right side of his face look like he had a stroke and he walks kind of slow. I put my finger next to his right eye and it seems like he does not blink or move his right ear and has trouble eating on the right side. Also he can not bark like a dog should but we kind notice that before the surgery and we thinking he was in pain. We have had him back at the vet who did the surgery but really have any answers. Just wondering what you think or our next step should be. He is eating and drinking normal but has a hard time with his hard dog food, feeding him chicken and rice. Should we go to get a second opinion. Thank you

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2992 Recommendations

It is difficult to say what the cause of the symptoms you are describing could be attributable to; stroke, head trauma, poisoning among other causes are all possible causes. Without examining Cody, I cannot give much guidance; you could go to ask another Veterinarian their opinion on Cody’s symptoms and have them examine him but with these types of symptoms a CT scan may be required to rule out some causes which may be cost prohibitive (and if you are insured needs to be justified for coverage) or you can wait a few days to see if there is any improvement in his face and walking. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Ellie Mae
German Shepherd
6 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Tumor on Spleen

I have a 6 year old German Shepherd that has lymphangiectasia with IBD.
She had a splenectomy last Friday. She is home and doing well. We are still waiting for the lab results. My question is relating to future vaccinations. We were told that she should not have any more rabies vaccinations due to her lympangiectasia. Would the splenectomy cause any concerns on immunity issues
with other vaccinations. She also has had severe allergies.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1406 Recommendations
Ellie Mae would be a good dog to have titers performed to test her protective levels for common diseases. With the problems that she is having, vaccination would be tricky, and testing titers annually may be a much safer alternative to make sure that she is protected.

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Smokey
Pit bull
9 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Tumor on Spleen

My 9 year old pit bull has a large mass on his spleen. I noticed he has not been eating his dog food. I took him to the vet thinking he ate something that was causing swelling however it was the mass the was discovered. Doc told me that he could have his spleen removed however that it may not work in his favor. Here is a little back story on my fur baby four years ago it was discovered that he had a malignant tumor near his prostate Vet gave him antibiotics because he had a UTI from his bladder not emptying out completely. Vet said we should put him down however we chose to take him home give him the medication and see how he would respond. He did well. I have in the past few months notice his belly would get bloated sometimes but thought he was just gaining weight because he is not very active like he was when he was younger. So now I have the information that he has this mass no fluid inside. The Vets honest opinion was to take him home love him and wait for the signs of distress. After reading all the stories I am torn on borrowing money to get him the surgery and see what happens or let him live life to the fullest until I see the signs. I am torn he is my 4 legged son. No xrays where taken no blood work done. My answer is if my dogs tumor from 4 yrs ago was malignant. will this tumor be?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2992 Recommendations
Splenectomy is considered the treatment of choice for splenic masses, however it is generally accepted that around two thirds of all splenic masses are malignant (hemangiosarcoma) but without removing the spleen and sending a sample to histopathology we cannot be certain. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.acvs.org/small-animal/splenic-masses

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Addie
Blue Lacy
11 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Weight Loss
Mass on Spleen
Loss of Appetite

Medication Used

Tramadol

My 11 year old blue lacy mix had lost her appetite and was refusing foods she would normally beg for. After taking her to the vet they determined she had a rotten tooth that needed to be extracted. We got that taken care of but a week after the surgery she still had not regained her appetite and was losing weight. We started feeding her boiled chicken and rice (which she happily ate the first few days, then was no longer interested), then ground turkey, cottage cheese, hot dogs- anything that she would eat (after a meal or two of one kind of food she seemed to lose interest in it, we weren't sure if she was just being picky). A few weeks later we returned to the vet and they determined she has a large mass in her abdomen, likely on her spleen. Surgery was scheduled for the next day and when they opened her up the vet said she had a mass slightly smaller than a volleyball on her spleen as well as a few nodules on her liver. The vet decided since she had nodules on her liver that it was likely cancer and decided not to remove her spleen (because she believed Addie would have spent 'her last days recovering from a major surgery')- nor did the vet take a biopsy of spleen/tumor/liver. I was called and told the situation while Addie was still on the operating table. I requested the spleen to be removed and to biopsy the liver but by the time the message was relayed she had closed her up. She suggested we make her as comfortable as possible and let her pass in our home (I had previously told them if something went wrong and it was possible for me to take her home, I would rather have a vet come to help her pass in her own home vs the vets office which she has always been scared of). This procedure was done today and Addie is currently resting next to me as I write this. While I know nodules on the liver are not good, could a vet know for sure that the tumor/liver nodules were malignant just by looking at them? Should I take Addie to get a second opinion with a veterinary surgeon? *She had blood work done during the dental which was completely normal and additional blood work done post attempted splenectomy surgery which was normal other than ALP of 347 (normal being 20-150) and Bun of 4 (normal being 7-25). Do you think an completed splenectomy can be performed and safely remove the spleen and biopsy the liver? I'm worried the spleen will burst and am frustrated that Addie has gone through all of this and we have no additional knowledge than we did before surgery. What do you recommend my course of action be to help Addie?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2992 Recommendations
The decision to remove any mass is down the discretion of the operating Surgeon and it is possible for two Surgeons to have different opinions on any case really. As far as seeing the mass on the spleen and the nodules in the liver, this would be suggestive of metastasis as the first location of spread of splenic tumours is normally to the liver which is why your Veterinarian may have chosen to not remove the spleen. I understand that it is frustrating to be in the dark and thinking that the spleen is now a ticking time bomb which may bleed at anytime. I cannot say whether your Veterinarian was right or not to close up Addie as I wasn’t there and haven’t examined Addie; Veterinarians (and Physicians) always consider a risk vs benefit where treatment and surgery is involved and the risk along with recovery may not have been worth the potential benefit. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.acvs.org/small-animal/splenic-masses

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Missy
Beagle
13 Years
Critical condition
0 found helpful
Critical condition

Has Symptoms

eating grass frequently

Our 13 year old beagle had an emergency splenectomy a couple of months back. I find she eats a lot more grass than she usually did post op. Can you advise what diet is recommended? We have had her on VIP chunkers alternating chicken & beef for some time now but should we now change her diet? Also should she be on any regular medication to avoid getting infections?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2992 Recommendations

Removal of the spleen doesn’t increase the risk of getting an infection but will make the body less effective at fighting an infection; so just be extra vigilant to signs of infection (fever, loss of appetite, weakness) and visit your Veterinarian early for treatment. Diet wise, no change is needed if you are feeding a palatable complete dog food; there are many theories for why dogs eat grass, non proven yet. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Isabel
schnauzer
8
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Lethargy

My 8 year old Schnauzer collapsed and blood work showed her RBC's down to 16%. She's been on steroids and immunosuppressants for a week. Yesterday, her RBC's went up to 32 from 28% on her own...showing signs she was holding on to her last transfusion that got her to 28%. Now she's back down to 28% and the doctors are considering a splenectomy to stop her spleen from destroying her RBC's faster than she can reproduce them. She is regenerative but not fast enough...She was stung by a bee a couple of weeks ago and possibly the night before she collapsed. So they're thinking this may have triggered her immuno response...Is this a viable action?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2992 Recommendations
There are many different causes of hemolysis in dogs which may include damage caused by the spleen; with this condition, splenectomy is usually curative. However, if the cause is due to an immune response, then suppression of the immune system should slow the rate of red blood cell production; steroids or other medications can be used to suppress the immune system. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Shadow
German Shepherd Dog
8 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Lethargy

I am devastated. The vet wrongly diagnosed my GSD with arthritis, despite that I had told them his tummy seemed bloated and different, my dog ended up 6 1/2 weeks later showing to be anemic and had an emergency splenectomy Whilst he was under anesthetic I was told that there was a tumour and it had spread. Consequently, he was euthanaised. I am now beating myself up. How would they have known it was cancerous? Could there have been a better outcome. I felt like we had rushed the decision to euthanase. I am so very sad. Thank you for your answer.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2992 Recommendations
Without having examined Shadow, I cannot say whether there were any metastasis present in other organs; hemangiosarcomas are the most common type of splenic tumours in dogs and they are malignant. It is possible with an earlier diagnosis that surgery may have been considered earlier. However, if the hemangiosarcoma has spread to other organs the prognosis would be grave regardless. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Thank you so much for your reply. This is extremely helpful in trying to come to terms with the loss of Shadow.

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Scooby
Rottweiler
9 Years
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

None. Diagnosed during regular check
None

We supposedly found a 2 inch benign mass on my adult dogs spleen 2 weeks ago. The vet insisted on removing it the next day. He had me believing it was cancer so I agreed. His spleen was 16 inches long. The surgery went well but 4 days later he suddenly died. Was this surgery necessary? Thank you

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2992 Recommendations

Masses on the spleen may be either benign or malignant, but the treatment of choice is to remove them either by a partial or full splenectomy. The danger is if there is a hemangiosarcoma (malignant tumour), it may rupture which would be fatal. Differentiating between splenic masses is done after surgical removal to determine the level of aftercare required. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
www.acvs.org/small-animal/splenic-masses

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Kacie
Beagle mix
11 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

back pain
Panting/Abnoraml Breathing

I have an 11 year old beagle mix. She went in for back pain and was found to have spondylitis. She was also checked for bladder infection which was present. Started on antibiotics for both. Also found on xray was splenic mass. A follow up ultrasound showed abnormally shaped spleen with no defined mass. At this point she was also checked for Cushing's and she has it. Was started on meds for that. Several repeat xrays, blood tests and change of antibiotics later, the back is healed of the infection, but now the xray shows the splenic mass seen throughout xrays is quite a bit larger. She goes in Monday for another ultrasound. Since Cushing's increases infection risk and splenectomy does also, I am very, very hesitant to put her through this at her age. Your thoughts?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2992 Recommendations

Whilst eleven is old, it isn’t too old; there is always a risk of splenic rupture with masses in the spleen which unfortunately results in a patient bleeding out into their abdomen. There is a risk reward balance that your Veterinarian will determine before they recommend surgery; with pre anaesthetic blood tests, modern anaesthetics and care there is less to worry about, but caution is advised. If your Veterinarian recommends surgery, I would go through with it; but the decision is down to you, I can only write generally as I haven’t examined Kacie. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Maya
Boxer / Pit Bull Mix
9 Years
Critical condition
2 found helpful
Critical condition

Has Symptoms

Swollen Abdomen

My 9 year old female Boxer/Pit mix, Maya, had a splenectomy about 5 days ago. The vet said there was a 3.5lb mass on her spleen that had ruptured and had I not brought her in then, she would have been dead within 24 hours. Now, after surgery, she is already back to her old self. Happy, bright, alert, her abdomen is back to normal size, and her appetite is normal. While removing her spleen and the mass, the vet said he saw no evidence of metastases any other organs. The chest and abdomen x-rays showed a clear heart, lungs, and liver. I guess my question is - if this mass got so big, to be 3.5lbs, WITHOUT spreading anywhere else, is it more likely to be benign? The vet said the histopathology is somewhat unreliable even with such a large sample. Even inflammation could be mistaken for malignancy. Can you shed any light? Thank you so much!

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1406 Recommendations
Bailey, thank you for contacting us about Maya. I'm glad that she is okay! I'm assuming that the histopathology came back as a benign mass. That is great news. It is possible for a slow growing, benign mass to become that large, yes. if she was mostly asymptomatic until it ruptured, then the chance that it was benign is possible. If her chest x-rays were clear, and everything else appeared normal, I think that the chance that her splenectomy was curative are high! That would be the best case scenario for her. If you are still waiting for the histopathology to come back, you just need to be patient, and you will get results. I hope that she continues to recover uneventfully!

Thank you so much for such a quick response. The vet said the histopathology came back and it "could" be cancer or could be inflammation that looks like cancer. But it was a very "low grade" and/or "slow-growing". Is that a thing? All the research I can see points to hemangiosarcoma & swift death, or benign. Is there a less aggressive type of splenic cancer in dogs? He seemed like he wanted to lean on the worst-case-scenario of cancer to be safe and not give any false hope. He wants to get more opinions from other pathologists.

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Zeke
Goldendoodle
11 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Bleeding

My dog had his spleen taken out after a tumor on his spleen due to hemangiosarcoma and is recovered from the surgery. If my dog begins to show signs of internal bleeding (his initial sign was a cramping type motion in his belly), is there anything I can do? If I took him to the emergency vet, could they drain the blood in his belly and give him a transfusion? Very hint I read doesn’t suggest what to do.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2992 Recommendations
The problem is that if there is another haemorrhage, the bleeding would need to be stopped; if you just drain the abdomen of blood and give a transfusion it is most likely not going to stop the bleeding. Many Veterinarians recommend the use of a traditional Chinese medicine called yunnan baiyao which has been used to control bleeding in Chinese Medicine for over 100 years. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

But how do you know if bleeding has stopped?

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Rocky
Labrador Retriever
10 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Urinary incontinence

My 10 ye old Lab has a splenectomy done a week and a half ago. Biopsy came back benign. Recovery was going well until he began urinating in his sleep 3 days ago. He has never had accidents before. What could be causing this?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2992 Recommendations
Rocky is a high risk breed and at a high risk of age for splenic tumours, however thankfully histopathology came back benign so the surgery should be curative; however the urination whilst sleeping may just be due to the recent anaesthesia, although it has been a week and a half I would give it a little longer before panicking. If the urination whilst sleeping continues, you should return to your Veterinarian for a checkup to be on the safe side. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Wesley
West Highland White Terrier
13 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Lethargic, tender belly, obviously something wrong
Did not want to move.

Medication Used

Tramadol 50 mg.
Rimadyl, Docusate Sodium & Clavamox
Clavamox antibiotic- oral

My male dog was diagnosed with a large cavitated cranial mass. After making the decision to operate, the surgeon noted that the spleen was enlarged with one large, ruptured mass (6-8 cm in diameter) in the body of the spleen. The spleen and the mass were removed and a biopsy was made of the liver. Pathology tests indicated no cancer and the liver was fine. I brought him home and he was acting normal the next day. He was in excellent spirits the next four days. Movement was restricted as requested. Six days post surgery we woke up and Wesley had died while sleeping. What do you think happened when he seemed so good?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2992 Recommendations

During this distressing time after losing Wesley it is normal to look for answers to the cause of his death, Wesley was old and the surgery and anaesthesia may or may not have contributed to his death; I cannot say for sure what may have caused Wesley’s death but I would recommend a necropsy which may give you information regarding the cause of death. Common complications from splenectomy include internal haemorrhage and cardiac arrhythmias. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
www.acvs.org/small-animal/splenic-masses

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Morty
Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle
17 Years
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Ultrasound indicated that my dog has 9cm growth on spleen. Vet has told me that the options are either to remove spleen or do nothing. The problem with the first course is the risks of surgery at her age and the impact the attendant recovery/restrictions will have on her quality of life; the problem with the second that the Timor will burst and she will die.

The vet thinks the tumor is probably benign.

What should I do? I want to do what is best for Morty, that is for her to be happy and comfortable in the time she has left.

The vet sees the same dilemma etc
Thankyou

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2992 Recommendations
This is a question which only you have the answer for, personally given the breed and age of Morty I wouldn’t go forward with the surgery if it was my dog; however, if Morty is otherwise in good health and has good blood biochemistry values then surgery could be attempted but is the recovery time worth it in the long run. This is a decision you need to make yourself. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Thank you for that considered and helpful advice. I really appreciate it.
Sincerely
Margaret

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Maya
Boxer / Pit Bull Mix
Nine Years
Moderate condition
2 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Swollen Abdomen

I posted about my dog Maya a little while ago but have a follow-up question. My dog had a splenectomy 5 days ago. No evidence of metastases either visually or in the chest and abdominal x-rays. The vet said the histopathology came back and it could be cancer or could be inflammation that looks like cancer. But it was a very "low grade" and/or "slow-growing". Is that a thing? I don't recall him saying specifically hemangiosarcoma. All the research I can see points to hemangiosarcoma & swift death, or benign. Is there a less aggressive type of splenic cancer in dogs? He seemed like he wanted to lean on the worst-case-scenario of cancer to be safe and not give any false hope. He wants to get more opinions from other pathologists. Thoughts? Thank you so much!

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2992 Recommendations
Hemangiosarcoma is the most common type of splenic tumour which is aggressive and may haemorrhage causing death at any type, many times splenectomy prolongs life but isn’t curative; if the cause is due to a benign splenic tumour (fibroma, leiomyoma etc…) then splenectomy is curative (in general). If there is some debate about the specific type of tumour I would recommend requesting the digital images of the histopathology slides along with the case notes and sending them to PetRays or similar telemedicine company to get a second opinion from a board certified Pathologist or Oncologist. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Frankie
Mini pin
14
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Medication Used

Gabapentin

I have a 14 year old mini pin who was just diagnosed in July with a mass on his spleen that has spread to his lungs . The tumor is cancerous . He’s been fine the past 2 months with no symptoms until this past week of excessive panting and loss of some of his appetite and anxiety .Just took him to vet today and they suggested removing his spleen so he would be more comfortable . I’m worried of his age going through the surgery and how long of his life would be gained from this

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2992 Recommendations
Splenectomy may add an additional three months (approximate) to the life of a dog and a further six months (give or take) in a dog which had splenectomy and chemotherapy. In a dog with widespread metastasis the prognosis is less favourable; I can only give general advice as each case is different and you should discuss this with your Veterinarian as they know Frankie’s condition first hand. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.acvs.org/small-animal/splenic-masses

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Bear
Mixed husky
4 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Anemia
Red blood cells dropping
Black stools

Medication Used

metronidazole
prednisone
Prednisolone

Hi my 4 year old mixed male has just been diagnosed with IMT. If medication can’t raise the platelets and red blood cells are dropping will a splenectomy help with this disease?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2992 Recommendations
Splenectomy is considered an adjunctive therapy for immune-mediated thrombocytopenia as the spleen is the primary site of platelet destruction in cases of immune-mediated thrombocytopenia. Typically corticosteroid therapy (and other immunosuppressants) is considered the primary therapy with splenectomy being a secondary treatment. You should consult with your Veterinarian as they would need to decide if it is a suitable treatment for Bear or not. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.869.3096&rep=rep1&type=pdf

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Daisy Mae
Boxer
9 Years
Critical condition
0 found helpful
Critical condition

Has Symptoms

Lethargy

My granddog, a 9 year old female Boxer had a splenectomy. They found a 4lb mass on her spleen. They removed the spleen. She was slow to come out of the anesthesia. She finally did and they got her up to go outside to the bathroom. She was weak, pale and they feared she was bleeding internally, so they went back in to see where, and her heart stopped. Any idea?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1406 Recommendations
Unfortunately, without knowing more about Daisy Mae, I can't comment on what might have happened, but I am very sorry for your loss. If the mass on her spleen was cancerous, she may have had a similar mass on her heart, and the stress of surgery may have been too much for her. Again, I am sorry.

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Sasha
Cane Corso Italiano (Italian Mastiff)
9 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Doesn't want to get up sometimes
Thirsty
lack of appetite

My dog was just diagnosed with early stages of a tumor development in her spleen and a cyst that is 4.3/7.98 cm in her liver. My vet gave me two options. Biopsy both to see the severity or have surgery to remove the spleen and remove the mass in the liver (if possible). I am worried about her waking up the anesthesia. She had to have surgery on her ACL 4 years ago and was put on thyroid meds today. I am not sure if I should wait the 7 days on results in case the condition worsens.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2992 Recommendations
The determination of suitability for surgery it down to the Veterinarian which would perform the surgery, if they are happy to do the surgery then there should be little to worry about; there of course are risks with anaesthesia, but with modern inhalation anaesthetics and perioperative monitoring, these risks may be mitigated. A wait of seven days isn’t long in the scheme of things, but take the lead from your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Isabella (Izzy)
English Bulldog
7 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

limp from torn ACL - no other

My 7 year old female english bulldog tore her ACL for the 2nd time (she tore her ACL a few years back, but the left rear leg - this time it is the rear right leg). Dropped her off for surgery and the surgeon called me to tell me he received the EKG results and she has VPC (heart prematurely contracting), so he had to cancel the surgery because her heart may give out under the anesthesia. When running tests to determine what the cause of the VPC was, they found a huge splenic mass, which is the cause of the VPC. He recommended having the spleen removed so her heart issue is fixed and because the mass is so big, they need to remove to determine if it is benign or malignant. This vet and surgeon have worked with Izzy since she was 5 weeks old, so I trust them. What are your thoughts on the surgery to remove her spleen? I really don't want to put her through that kind of surgery, especially with her age, but I need to know if she has cancer or not because if it's benign, we can discuss fixing her ACL tear and need her heart fixed. English Bulldogs have severe health problems as is...I want to do the right thing for her. Currently, if she didn't have the slight limp, you wouldn't be able to tell there was anything wrong with her - plays, eats, drinks, cuddles, hasn't lost her spirit. etc.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2992 Recommendations
This isn’t a decision that is easy to make and I certainly cannot make it for you, however I would recommend that you follow your Veterinarian’s advice and have the spleen removed if they determine that Izzy can handle the surgery; once the spleen is removed it may be sent for histopathology to determine whether it is benign or malignant, hemangiosarcoma is the most common type of splenic tumour which is malignant. Again, you should follow your Veterinarian’s advice as they will be able to guide you better than me as they are familiar with Izzy’s case. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.acvs.org/small-animal/splenic-masses www.acvs.org/surgical-procedures/splenectomy

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Punkin
pit bull terrier
11 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Discharge

Hi, my 11 year old pit bull mix had her spleen removed 6 days ago and just today I noticed a small amount of discharge coming from areas of the incision that wasn't there before. She has not been licking it as I have had it loosely covered with a thundershirt and she is on doxycycline. Is this cause for concern? My vet is currently closed for the holidays. Thank you in advance.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2992 Recommendations
After six or seven days, the incision site should be pretty much healed by now; if the discharge is a clear fluid I would just keep an eye on it but if the discharge is white, yellow, bloody or any other colour other than transparent you should take her into an Emergency Veterinarian for a check. In the meantime, bathe the incision site with a dilute antiseptic and remove the Thundershirt as it may be rubbing the wound. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

"most owners can expect to pay around $2,5000 for a splenectomy"...is that $2,500 or $25,000?

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Pepsi
Cocker Spanial
15 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

low platelet count

Medication Used

none

Hi

My dog who is 15 yrs old has diffused hyperechogenicity of spleen with relatively hypoechoic circumscribed mass attached at mid - caudal part of spleen..she is not bleeding

Is it serious and does she need to be operated..is surgery life threatening

Is it advisable to do surgery as she is old..really confused cannot decide..kindly help

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2992 Recommendations

Surgical removal is the treatment of choice for masses on the spleen; there are risks involved with surgery and risks involved with a wait and see approach. Fifteen is an old age as Cocker Spaniels in the USA have an average lifespan of 12-14 years (this can be as low as 10 years or as high as 15 years depending on literature source); surgery in older dogs, especially dogs which have passed 75% of their life expectancy, is always more of a risk but your Veterinarian will mitigate these risks with pre anaesthetic blood tests and peri operative management. It would be best to speak with your Veterinarian as each case is different and they will make a risk - reward decision based on their finding; if surgery isn’t performed, there is in rare cases a risk of the spleen rupturing which would be life threatening. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Lilee
dachshund beagle mix
10-11 yrs
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

spleen tumor

Medication Used

Antibiotics

My beagle / dachshund mix 10 1/2 yr old has a 2" diameter tumor on her spleen and some nodules on her liver seen by doctor in ultra sound. Vet recommended removal of her spleen and would check out the nodules on her liver during surgery. I am having mixed feelings about even putting our dear little girl through any surgery. If we choose not to go through with the procedure, what should we expect for our girl if we let nature take its course? Thank you.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2992 Recommendations

Splenic tumours may be benign or malignant in nature; surgery is the treatment of choice in both cases, rupture of a splenic tumour would lead to instant death from internal bleeding. We cannot know the type of tumour unless a biopsy is taken; although nodules on the liver are not encouraging. Surgery together with chemotherapy in cases of a malignant tumour will extend life to around a year or so but wouldn’t be curative; if nature is left to take it’s course you're looking at a timeline of months, but each case is different. I would recommend the surgery so that a biopsy can be taken and a plan of management can be made. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
www.acvs.org/small-animal/splenic-masses

I received the exact same news after an ultrasound was done on my Lhasa/Maltese (also 10 1/2)). I researched online and came to the conclusion that I had to have her spleen removed to give her a fighting chance! From what I read, it seemed that it wasn't a matter of IF it would burst, but when. I opted to have the surgery done at our animal hospital so she would be monitored 24/7, in case of internal bleeding. She is doing GREAT! She actually had 2 3" tumors ( I asked to see it after removal - yuck!). The tumors were benign, and the liver was fine, thank God. I took her off the pain meds after 2 days, because she acted as if nothing had ever happened! Never even need a cone to prevent her from licking! Good luck with your baby!

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rocky
staffy x
8
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

spleen removed

my 8 year old staffy cross just had his spleen removed as there was a 2kg mass growing on it. what happens now? they will send it for testing but if its not a cancerous growth and didnt spred, after recovery will he go back to his usual self? if it does come back as cancerous what should we expect?
thank you

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2992 Recommendations
Benign splenic masses are usually ‘cured’ with splenectomy (I used cured in a general sense); if the mass comes back as being malignant (especially if a hemangiosarcoma) then further treatment may be required. Depending on the histopathology report chemotherapy may be recommended, but in cases of hemangiosarcoma the overall prognosis is generally poor; again the histopathology report will cover all of this. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.acvs.org/small-animal/splenic-masses

Reading all of this has taught me a few good things but i will say when giving a rough estamate of price it should be double checked lol it says 25000 im assuming there is one extra 0 ...i just went threw a long and lengthy experience with my dog and i will continue looking into after care ...thanks for the info ...take care

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Honey
Mastiff
11 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Swollen Abdomen

Just had a ultrasound done on our 11 yr old mastiff, Honey, indicating a large mass 25x15 cm. The ultrasound did not find any other organ abnormalities. She is slightly anemic, other blood work WNL. She has slowed down, she has arthritis ( which she is medicated daily for), appetite is as usual, her behavior has not changed, The Radiologist feels that the mass represents a benign process. Surgeon consulted and our Honey is a candidate for surgery. The surgeon said she won’t know if mass is benign or malignant until pathology results post surgery. My first instinct is to do the surgery which is shared by my family, but is this the right decision. She has been the best dog, loved by all, she is the mascot of our block, she visits the neighbors on a daily basis. she is loved by everyone. Is surgery fair for her, should we put her though it? Thoughts?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2992 Recommendations
If the Surgeon determines she is a candidate for surgery, this is most likely the best course of action; once the spleen is removed histopathology will determine whether the mass is benign or malignant which will also help in determining any after care. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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