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So we just had xray and ultrasound done on our 12yo female lab. All blood work came back fine. They said there is a mass in the spleen and it could either be a tumor or hematoma and they needed to biopsy it. They suggested removing the entire spleen. She has been acting completely fine we just brought her in because sometimes at night she groans in her sleep.

Has anyone gone through this. Any suggestions? Does this course of action sound like the right one? Thanks a lot.
 

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wasn't there when the spleen was removed from the dog. Dog was sold at 4 years old with the spleen already removed. Lived a long active life, in to old age with no complications from having it removed he was a 80 to 90 lb GSD. your dog is 12 so surgery and recovery might be different to ask about it.
 

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If the dog is healthy, my advice is to remove the spleen. If it's cancer or not, if the mass in there ruptures the dog will bleed to death without much warning. Even if the cancer has spread, this can buy you some GOOD time with the dog that you won't get with the risk of a bleed out from the spleen/tumor rupturing.
 

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Maybe, but doing so would require sticking a needle in it, which is not fantastic for a spleen. Because the spleen is basically a big old sponge that filters the body's blood, with a mass that's a high bleed risk too. Probably safest option is removing it either way, but lots of variables. Ask your vet to do a really good consult/talk with you, even over the phone.
 

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100% agree with CPtJack, that it should be removed no matter what. normally they have to send in a tissue sample after they remove all the tissue in the mass .. I know my senior foster tumor was more then a mass of tissue they could see it had a blood supply and they could also see several noduels / masses in his other organs. He was riddled with cancer through out his body. Cutting the main tumor and blood supply would of most likely caused the other masses to activate and grow quickly. That is the best I can describe part of what they told me. I opted to let him go instead of having the main tumor with the blood supply removed. He was 11. I hope your vets have good news concerning how to proceed
 

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100% agree with CPtJack, that it should be removed no matter what. normally they have to send in a tissue sample after they remove all the tissue in the mass .. I know my senior foster tumor was more then a mass of tissue they could see it had a blood supply and they could also see several noduels / masses in his other organs. He was riddled with cancer through out his body. Cutting the main tumor and blood supply would of most likely caused the other masses to activate and grow quickly. That is the best I can describe part of what they told me. I opted to let him go instead of having the main tumor with the blood supply removed. He was 11. I hope your vets have good news concerning how to proceed
Our vet said the dog should have surgery to have it removed. Not sure what else we should consider or ask. She did not know whether it was cancerous.
 

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Our vet said the dog should have surgery to have it removed. Not sure what else we should consider or ask. She did not know whether it was cancerous.
They'll probably seen pathology out when they remove it/once it's removed from the dog's body, so no more risk of bleeding.
 

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Our vet said the dog should have surgery to have it removed. Not sure what else we should consider or ask. She did not know whether it was cancerous.
the only thing to talk about so your mentally prepared due to your pups age, is how will the surgery and recovery be for them. I would want to know if putting them through everything their chances were the best they could be to be strong and healthy enough for recovery.
 

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I would suggest to get a blood test which can help determine whether the mass is cancerous or not. I can't remember the name of it, but I believe it's some sort of generic tumor marker. If it comes back really high, the chances of it being cancer are high as well. If that is the case, you may want to reconsider putting a dog of that age through an invasive surgery from which he is not likely to recover. Hemangiosarcoma (which typically originates in the spleen) is a very aggressive tumor and treatment options in most cases are very limited (as in.. really not much you can do). Also, as someone else has stated, often when you remove the primary tumor, the spread to the rest of the body is expedited.
From what I understand, hemangiosarcoma cannot be diagnosed through biopsy.
In my 12+ yo dog it appeared as a limp, a tumor in his tib/fib (which is very rare). They said there is a small mass in the spleen as well, but recommended to go ahead with the amputation if only for pain relief, since bone cancer is very painful. We went through amputation thinking it's bone cancer (which meant he would have up to 2 years). Then we were told it's hemangiosarcoma.. He adjusted relatively well to being three-legged, but his spleen kept growing and a month after surgery his spleen balooned and he was near death.. I made a not easy decision to attempt to remove his spleen, but asked the vet to check his lungs prior to surgery. His lungs were full of cancer (were completely clear a month prior), so we did not go through surgery and had to say goodbye.
One thing I started noticing weeks before anything appeared really wrong is that his toungue and gums appeared very slightly bluish (slightly enough that the vet didn't think much of it) and he also seemed to be getting more easily tired.
I don't mean to scare you and it's entirely possible whatever your dog has is benign, but I would suggest doing everything that is non-invasive in terms of tests before going for surgery. You may need to go to a oncologist to get the blood test I am talking about, which is what we did.
 
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