Canine Hemangiosarcoma – Symptoms and Treatments

December 10, 2019
Canine hemangiosarcoma is a particularly harsh type of cancer and if you think your animal has it then you must address it as soon as possible.

Canine hemangiosarcoma is a malignant tumor that develops in the cells of the vascular endothelium and which has a high mortality rate. The main concern for this disease comes from its striking frequency as it’s up to 10 times more common than other neoplasms.

This is a type of cancer that presents itself in various ways, and the symptoms and treatments will vary depending on their type and location.

Symptoms of canine hemangiosarcoma

Likewise, the symptoms of hemangiosarcoma in dogs will depend on the location of the tumor. However, there are some general warning signs all of them share. Among them are anorexia, lack of appetite, acute lack of energy, and difficulty moving around as usual.

Of course, you must consult a vet if you think your pet has this kind of ailment. Only they can do a thorough examination of the animal and rule out other diseases with similar symptoms. There are definitely some instances in which the symptoms are quite evident. In fact, they’re often the result of not paying attention to the basic signs.

A lethargic dog at the vet.

On many occasions, canine hemangiosarcoma leads to varying degrees of hemorrhages. They can range from being very mild to extreme hemorrhagic shocks in which the animal’s life would be in danger.

However, the symptoms are different when a hemangiosarcoma is of a cardiac nature. This is because it either causes vascular obstruction or a pericardial effusion that hopelessly blocks the arteries.

Treatments

Canine hemangiosarcoma has given something to talk about to the medical community in regard to finding the best solution for an animal. However, there are a number of actions set out as guidelines to follow in order to address this form of cancer.

What veterinarians agreed upon from the very beginning is that the most urgent measure is to remove the hemangiosarcoma via surgery. Likewise, an excision is very important if the condition is of a cardiac nature. The latter is actually more pressing due to the consequences of a complete clogging of a dog’s arteries.

A vet performing surgery.

Chemotherapy is the second step that’s increasingly consolidated. Research shows that dogs receiving adjuvant chemotherapy after surgery have a higher chance of survival.

There are other types of hemangiosarcoma in dogs, such as renal. There’s much controversy about the use of chemotherapy on its elimination, though. Currently, the kind based on doxorubicin is the most commonly used one. But, its format is as solid as any of the other variants.

In any case, research shows that the chances of success increase considerably if the dog has a good diet. This is because the immune system varies greatly depending on its nutritional status. As you can see, it’ll give them the necessary strength to face such aggressive treatments.

Conclusion

Finally, as with any type of cancer, timely intervention can be just what makes a difference in the animal’s survival. So, you must be very attentive to any possible symptoms of these kinds of diseases to take the necessary measures as soon as possible. Delaying treatment for a disease of this nature will most likely result in death because of cancer spreading to other parts of the body.

Finally, this condition is more common in older dogs as it usually appears after their 10th birthday. However, there are some cases of young dogs who’ve had it. The most common breeds who are prone to it are the German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, and the Boxer. But, no breed of dog is exempt from having these types of tumors.

  • Aeva Veterinaria. Hemangiosarcoma canino. Extraído de: https://aevaveterinaria.es/index.php/component/k2/21-hemangiosarcoma-canino
  • Descripción clínica de hemangiosarcoma (HSA) cutáneo metastásico en un canino galgo: estudio clínico de un caso. Extraído de: http://www.scielo.org.co/pdf/rmv/n30/n30a09.pdf
  • Vets & Clinics. Hemangiosarcoma en perros. Supervivencia tras resección quirúrgica. Extraído de: https://www.affinity-petcare.com/vetsandclinics/es/hemangiosarcoma-en-perros-supervivencia-tras-reseccion-quirurgica