Hemangiosarcoma is a tumour that arises out of blood vessels. It usually shows up in organs with lots of blood supply; the spleen being the most common place for a tumour to grow. Other locations are the heart, liver, kidneys, and lungs.
The tumour(s) starts off small but over time it gets big to a point where they will break open and start bleeding. These tumours have the potential to also rupture which usually ends up being an emergency situation that requires surgery to save the dog’s life.
The key thing is to find these tumours early and remove it before it bleeds/ruptures. The earlier you find them, better prognosis a dog may have. The prognosis given following a splenectomy is usually 1-3 months and this is exactly what I was told when my dog Max, was diagnosed with HSA.
How likely is your dog to have Hemangiosarcoma?
Certain breeds are more prone to HSA than others. To name a few included are:
- Golden retrievers
- German Shepards
- Labrador Retrievers
There are certain factors that can contribute to dogs developing this form of cancer, including:
- Over vaccination
- Early spaying/neutering and
Even though dogs diagnosed with HSA are given a very poor diagnosis, there is HOPE. So many dogs are now living well past just a few months by changing their diet and having alternative treatment instead of traditional chemotherapy; which can be extremely toxic to a dog.