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Hello friends,
One week ago our seven-year-old female, Cara, entered the horror knows as probable hemangiosarcoma. Until late Saturday night she was a happy and healthy dog, then stood still suddenly and remained that way for what seemed like minutes. She appeared to be transfixed to a shadow on the wall. We took her to the emergency vet and was told a mass was seen, and though whether it was cancer or not couldn't be ascertained without surgery.

Long story short, we had x-rays done last week which looked clear, but then had a scan done which revealed the mass as well as a spot on her liver. That specialized vet said he had seen enough to guess that it was a cancer from the spleen. Yesterday we had a contrast done. That doctor said the spot on the liver was probably not cancer, from what she could see, and was more optimistic than any of the other vets that the mass on the spleen might just be benign. We are now awaiting a call from our regular vet who will have spoken to a surgeon about our case.

Question: Has anyone ever gone through this scare and come out whole on the other end,; i.e that the spleen was just benign?

Thank you for your time. As you can imagine, we are heartbroken.
 

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Kate
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With a 7 year old... I would risk the surgery to remove the spleen and have them look at the liver while she is opened up.

I hope everything turns out well and you have many years left...
 

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Yes! I have a friend whose Lab had a mass on his spleen. He had surgery to remove the mass and it was benign!
 
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A few years ago I brought Remy in for xrays because I thought he may have some orthopedic issues. I thought this because when he was in the sphinx position and I rested my hand on his hips or lower back, he became growly. The vet actually tried to talk me out of it, saying it was a waste of money because he was so young, orthopedic issues were unlikely. I insisted saying it was my money to spend.

The vet came out and told me that orthopedically he was fine, howevever it looked like he had a mass on his spleen - and their recommendation was that I needed to get him to the hospital immediately for an ultrasound and whatever came next.

Ultrasound was inconclusive, but chest xrays were clear - so I authorized surgery not really knowing what they would end up doing - but assumed it would be at the least a splenectomy.

Well in the end - he had a splenic torsion (twist) - no tumor at all. We did have the spleen sent to pathology and it was found to be entirely benign. The key however is that the spleen was removed immediately. Typically a splenic torsion is not discovered until the dog bleeds out from a rupture - so I feel very fotunate to have found out and that I still have my boy with me.

Good luck with what you are doing - remember medicine is NOT an exact science. The doctor's cannot know anything definitely based on what you have said so far. Keep looking for answers.

I have a recent post on this site about the challenges I am currently facing with Remy's health. My now former primary care vet told me he was terminal. Every vet I've spoken with since felt that diagnosis was premature, and the tests results since are indicating even further that the original diagnosis is very unlikely. We still don't know what it is - but I'm not giving up on trying to figure it out!
 

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Yes, it does happen!

Don't give up! I have had two Goldens who had splenectomies for benign masses.

Charlie was 6 years old when an ultrasound revealed a large mass on his spleen, causing the doctor doing the test to say, "That spleen needs to come out today!" The surgeon who performed the operation the next day told me he rarely had the pleasure of removing the enlarged spleen of an otherwise healthy dog. We got the fabulous news that the huge mass was benign and Charlie lived another 7 years, mostly in good health.

About a year ago, we found Charlie's half brother Joker, then almost 12, with pale gray gums and barely conscious. I was pretty sure that we were dealing with a ruptured spleen and we rushed him to the emergency veterinary clinic. They confirmed my suspicion and warned me that it was rare for a dog of his years to have a benign splenic mass, but we agreed to the surgery. Joker came through it in fine form. Again, we got the splendid news that his splenic injury was "consistent with benign hematoma." Joker is doing well and soon will be 13 years old. He is a happy dog!

There are others here with stories about splenic masses, some happy and some very sad. Recovery from the surgery is painful, as anyone who ever endured abdominal surgery can tell you. Plan on providing adequate pain relief, since it is essential to recovery. If you go that route, your dog will need weeks of quiet, going outdoors only on leash, avoiding stairs, etc. But for the lucky ones, there can be many good years left.

Only you can decide how to proceed. Trust your heart. It knows more than your head about things like this.

Good luck and please keep us posted!
 

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I, too, had a golden with a benign spleen mass. His spleen was removed at age 8, he lived until almost 14 and died of something unrelated.
Sending good thoughts and prayers your way.
 
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where the tails wag
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Yes, benign can happen :)

My King ruptured his spleen when he was 7 due to a mass, results of the biopsy were benign and he lived to be 14 1/2.

So yes benign splenic tumors are possible :)

About the spot on the liver; yes it could be a problem but it could be age related as well. My Casey recently fell gravely ill, was put on meds and got even sicker and ending up needing hospitalization. I was called out of work one morning by one of the vets that she had gone ahead and performed a U/S and didn't like the looks of his liver and spleen at all and she made an appt with a specialist. Long short the specialist did find enlargement of the spleen and spots on his liver, but the spots were age related and the spleen was also not a worry (I suspect caused by TBDs since my Rowdy also had an enlarged spleen with scalloped edges that were not an issue).

Good luck !! The spleen should come out, they can cause a bleed out if left and that is awful; my King was just as you described for Cara and I had to carry him through over 2 feet of fresh snow several hundred yards to the road so I could make the trip to the vets and we almost did not make it in time.
 

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Remember, even if it is benign, if it's large or growing, you need to remove it to save the dog's life because they can rupture and kill the dog whether cancerous or benign. That said I've had two dogs with masses that were hemangiosarcoma and one dog, our 9 year old Toby, with a small nodule on his spleen around age 7, that resolved after several months of careful monitoring. I was worried the entire time, but the specialist told me that sometimes the smaller nodules do resolve on their own. Our plan was to monitor for growth and at the earliest sign the nodule was in fact growing it would come out. Fortunately it started the decrease in size trend. We were given the all clear, completely gone finding right before we brought our now 10 month old puppy home.

If you have a liver spot as well I'd be much more concerned.
 

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I've had it both ways, lost one dog from splenic hemangiosarcoma two years ago, and had another scare this spring, thought we were dealing with it again. This spring my Libby was diagnosed with a mass on her spleen, possible hemangio. She underwent surgery to remove her spleen and it turned out to be a baseball sized hemantoma. She has recovered completely and is perfectly fine. Both of these dogs were 11. So yes, splenic masses can be benign.
 
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Missing Naughty Charlie
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Yes old Meg was 10 years old had her spleen removed it was benign and she went on to live till she was nearly 13 years old and lived her life to the full :D
 
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There are many benign splenic masses. My Emmie just had a pyometra at age six. When, my husband did the ovariohysterectomy, he noticed abnormalities that made him look at the spleen. He did not like what he saw, so he called me, we consulted and he did a splenectomy. The mass was read out as an infarct/hematoma.. It was in danger for rupture with any kind of trauma.
 
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Kate
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There are many benign splenic masses. My Emmie just had a pyometra at age six. When, my husband did the ovariohysterectomy, he noticed abnormalities that made him look at the spleen. He did not like what he saw, so he called me, we consulted and he did a splenectomy. The mass was read out as an infarct/hematoma.. It was in danger for rupture with any kind of trauma.
Thank goodness she had pyo...
 

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Megora, I am eternally grateful for the events as they unfolded with my Emmie. And Sooo grateful for my skilled husband.
 

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I've dealt with 2 spleen masses.
My Golden Bear had a mass that turned out to be hemangio. At the time she was diagnosed she had mets in her lungs, liver and possibly kidney. We didn't get her a splenectomy since it was so advanced and her initial bleed was small and sealed itself off quickly.
About 4 months after I lost Bear my lab presented with the same symptoms Bear had (lethargy, lack of appetite). I took him to the vet and ultrasound showed a mass on his spleen. X-ray showed chest looked clear. I honestly almost didn't go through with the splenectomy since I had just lost Bear to hemangio and assumed his would be the same. Luckily I did since his turned out to be a benign hematoma. If I hadn't done the surgery I would have lost him from bleeding out.
It will be a year next month since he had the surgery. He's doing great and acts much younger than his 13 years!
 

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Friends,
We are in the process of setting up plans for the splenectomy. Will keep you posted, whatever happens.
Thank you for your kind words and encouragement!
 

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I'm so sorry you are dealing with this. I pray it is not as serious as you may fear. Keep us posted.
 
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