Hemangiosarcoma in dogs is a malignant tumor of blood vessels. It is also called angiosarcoma. However, the term “angiosarcoma” is most often used to describe cancers of the lymphatic vessels, lymph nodes or spleen.
It accounts for 0.2 to 3 percent of all canine tumors with a mean age at diagnosis of 9 to 12 years. Hemangiosarcoma most commonly affects the spleen and heart of the breeds like golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers and German shepherds.
Hemangiosarcomas grow quickly and typically do not metastasize (spread) to distant sites.
Symptoms may vary depending on the location of the tumour on the dog body.
Signs of dog dying with hemangiosarcoma?
Your dog may show some of the following signs, or none at all. Internal bleeding in the abdomen means that no blood appears in the urine or stool. The following signs gives an evidence that your dog has this hemangiosarcoma;
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Expanded mass in the abdomen
- Rashes on the skin
- Pale gums
- Vague weakness comes and goes
- Heavy Panting
Hemangiosarcoma in dogs treatment
The treatment of choice for most dogs with hemangiosarcoma is surgical removal of the primary tumor. Following surgery, many dogs are given chemotherapy to help prevent the cancer from returning.
Chemotherapy may delay metastasis or improve survival in pets with metastatic disease. Surgical removal of the spleen is generally recommended following the removal of a primary hemangiosarcoma tumor because of the potential for microscopic spread of the cancer cells.
After completing chemotherapy, we recommend regular rechecks to evaluate for signs of recurrence or new tumors.
The liquid tumors that result from hemangiosarcoma can quickly spread throughout the abdomen, causing massive abdominal swelling. If the tumors are not removed surgically, chemotherapy can help, but recurrence is common.
Recent studies have shown that the chemotherapy protocol may be effective for treating the metastatic tumors.
What can I feed my dog with hemangiosarcoma?
One of the first questions that comes up when trying to feed dogs with cancer is what should I feed my dog? As a rule of thumb, avoid dry kibble foods which typically contain 40% to 50% carbs.
If you are struggling with what to feed your dog, because of any type of cancer, thyroid issues, allergies, organ failure, or because your dog is just getting older and needs that extra help to maintain their health, then raw food feeding can really help.
Darwin’s, an online pet food company founded in 2012 by Sandy-based veterinarian Dr. Darwin Reininger, has attracted attention recently after news that the company is selling cancer support dog food for families who are caring for dogs with cancer.
Hemangiosarcoma last days
The development of a primary sarcoma is a rare event in dogs, and most dogs with hemangiosarcoma are older than five years of age.
In general, prognosis is poor even with treatment, although dogs treated with chemotherapy have been reported to remain disease-free for several months to a few years.
Only a small portion of dogs undergoing treatment actually show a long-term response.
Most tumors will recur locally somewhere along the path of the blood vessels.
Although various chemotherapeutic protocols have been used, “standard” chemotherapy typically consists of the drug doxorubicin (Adriamycin) given once every 2-3 weeks for a total of five treatments and is generally very well tolerated.
After completing chemotherapy, it is advised to have a regular rechecks.
If no clinical improvement can be observed after two to three chemotherapy treatments, further treatment is not typically recommended and you can consider this as hemangiosarcoma last days
Hemangioma vs Hemangiosarcoma
Hemangiomas are benign tumors that are made up of blood vessels. They are composed of thin-walled blood vessels that are not lined by endothelium. Hemangiosarcomas are malignant vascular tumors.
They are composed of thicker walled, endothelium lined blood vessels. This means they can grow new blood vessels to supply themselves with needed oxygen and nutrients. Hemangiosarcoma is sometimes referred to as a “tumor of blood vessels”.
Hemangiomas are most commonly found in the spleen, liver, lungs, bone marrow, subcutaneous tissue, brain, heart and kidneys.
Benign tumors are most common than malignant tumors. Benign tumors are not cancer, but they can grow to large sizes and cause many of the same symptoms as cancers. Hemangioma is one type of benign tumor. It is also called hemangio-endothelioma.
Hemangioma develops in the walls of blood vessels.
They occur most often in the abdomen (belly), but they can also occur in skin, heart, lungs, liver, and spleen.
This makes hemangiomas fairly easy to identify since organs that are affected by hemangiomas appear red on imaging tests like x-rays or ultrasounds.
What is the life expectancy of hemangiosarcoma?
After emergency surgery, the average life expectancy is only three to four months. Chemotherapy after surgery can extend this to an average of five to nine months.
When to euthanize a dog with hemangiosarcoma?
Many pet owners find euthanasia at home to be much more peaceful than taking their dog to the vet. The process can be very painful for the dog and the owner so the option of euthanasia at home, with family is often much more preferable.
The process of euthanasia can be performed at home or in a clinic. Let’s take a look at what is involved when dog euthanasia at home is your final option.
The injection must be administered by a veterinarian or trained nurse. There are several ways of performing the injection, but the most common one is to use a syringe that contains the solution of potassium chloride that will stop the heart.
This method is the preferred one by many vets because it is considered to be the gentlest on your pet. The vet will give you all the help and support you need.