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Dog spleen tumor

Spleen Tumor in Dogs

The spleen is an important part of the canine’s body because it stores the blood and is capable of destroying old red blood cells.

It works as an emergency bank for blood and plays an important role in the upkeep of the immune system within the canine’s body. The spleen is located below the stomach and supplies blood to the rest of the body in case of a hemorrhage.

Enlarged spleen in dogs affects slightly larger breeds of dogs and those advanced in years. An enlarged spleen is often symptomised by vomiting, abdominal pain accompanied by severe diarrhea, a poor appetite, general weakness, an inability to play as usual and what seems to be lethargy.

An enlarged spleen can be caused by a variety of factors such as an injury to the abdominal area (fights, car accidents, falls), bacterial infections, diseases of the bowel that involve inflammation, and tumors. Dog spleen tumor is generally symptomised by pale, bloodless gums, the stomach appearing to have a hard mass and becoming distended, the urine becoming dark brown in color (indicating that the red blood cells have begun to break down and hemoglobin is getting excreted), a poor appetite and general fatigue and weakness. If the tumor is identified as benign, it can be operated upon and removed and is not a great cause of worry. If it turns out to be malignant though, the entire spleen will have to be removed and a number of complications can occur under anesthesia which may prove fatal for your pet.

The vet is likely to use what is known as a fine needle aspiration to determine the particular cause of the disorder of the spleen. An x-ray and an ultrasound may also be performed to identify whether there are any abnormalities of the spleen or the surrounding areas that have caused it to swell up. The necessary blood work will follow including a check of the dog’s blood count, blood smear and a chemical count. While a splenectomy, or removal of the spleen may be required, it can be followed by chemotherapy if a cancerous tumor is the cause. Enlarged spleen cannot be prevented and once it has been removed, the dog will have to be kept away from playing around too much in order to rehabilitate and allow the body to heal. Consult the veterinarian for pet health care and diet that you should put your dog on during this period.

  Submitted on June 9, 2010  

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