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A. The mass would have to be sent to a lab for analysis in order to determine if the cells are benign or malignant. It would be impossible to tell if the mass was benign or not simply by looking at it. Your vet may also want to monitor your dog with X-rays or other testing over a period of months to watch for signs of spread of the mass to other body parts or in the blood.

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Unfortunately, in dogs, the spleen is also a common site for the development of tumors or masses. Not all tumors or masses are cancerous (malignant); some are benign (noncancerous). The prognosis for a dog with a malignant splenic mass is not good, but surgery to remove a benign mass is curative.
Benign splenic masses are effectively cured with surgery.

Unfortunately, survival times with surgery alone for dogs with hemangiosarcoma may be 2–3 months or less. One year survival is less than 10%. Ultimately dogs die from metastatic disease. Chemotherapy may increase survival times up to 6–8 months.

Your pet may be able to go home the same day or may require several days of hospitalization. When discharged, full recovery should occur in two weeks. The diseased spleen and its large blood clots may weigh up to 10 lbs in a large dog and therefore, pets will appear substantially thinner after surgery.
The most common early complication of splenectomy is hemorrhage, associated or not with hemostatic abnormalities. Early complications also include damage to the left pancreatic lobe and gastric wall because of devascularization and acute infection.
Life expectancy

When a splenic mass is benign, your pet may live for many more years following the surgery. If the tumour has already spread, then your pet may live quite comfortably for an additional three to six months, before the spread of the cancer causes other issues such as bleeding or breathing difficulties.

Benign tumors lack the ability to spread or invade other healthy tissue. Although they may need medical attention, these are not cancerous. Malignant tumors, or cancers, spread to other organs and tissues in a process called metastasis.
The treatment of choice for a ruptured spleen or a tumour on the spleen is surgical removal of the whole spleen. If there is a tumour, checks will be made as far as possible to make sure that it has not already spread to other organs.
Fortunately, the majority of mast cell tumors are localized to one spot. However, rarely they will spread to lymph nodes, the blood, the spleen, the liver, the lungs, the bone marrow, or other skin locations. If the tumor spreads, or metastasizes, to other areas of the body, multi-modality therapy will be required.
Your dog`s immune system will require a lighter, low-bacteria diet to supplement a sick or missing spleen; otherwise, he could experience a pathogen overload and strain his immune system. The answer for your dog may lie in the Volhard Rescue Diet: an anti-inflammatory, hypoallergenic, grain free and gluten-free diet.
After splenectomy, notify your doctor at the first sign of an infection, such as: A fever of 100.4 F (38 C) or higher. Redness or tender spots anywhere on the body. A sore throat.
Despite all of the spleens functions, dogs can live normally without their spleen. Most dogs never have a problem. There are a few infections that affect red blood cells that occur more in dogs without their spleen but the incidence is low.
Your dog may lack or lose their appetite temporarily after surgery. In addition to nausea, this is a common after-effect of the anesthetic. You might consider offering a half-size portion of a light meal such as chicken or rice. Your dog may find this easier to digest than their regular store-bought food.
Clinical signs of a splenic mass are commonly due to rupture of the mass and internal bleeding. These signs, which come on suddenly, include acute weakness or collapse, pale gums and a rapid heart rate. As the internal bleeding progresses, the abdomen becomes distended with blood.
Hemangiosarcoma of the spleen, or spleen cancer in dogs, is a cancer that is diagnosed in many canines every year. It is a cancer made up of the cells that line blood vessels, and therefore can be found in any part of the body. However, the most common sites include the spleen, liver and right auricle of the heart.
Is splenic cancer painful for dogs? The spleen is located in the upper left part of the abdomen and splenic cancer typically doesn`t cause pain as it grows. Tumours can grow quite large before causing any noticeable clinical signs.
Finding a new lump or bump on (or just under) your dog`s skin can be scary, but the good news is that 60-80% of canine skin masses are benign. The appearance of a mass doesn`t tell us whether it is cancerous or benign, so any new skin growth should be brought to your veterinarian`s attention.
In conclusion, in patients with an incidental splenic mass identified at imaging and with the absence of a history of malignancy, fever, weight loss, or pain in the left upper quadrant or epigastrium, such masses are highly likely to be benign regardless of their appearance.
Hemangioma and hemangiosarcoma – a tumor of blood vessels, such as a benign hemangioma or malignant (cancerous) hemangiosarcoma. Hemangiosarcoma in dogs is the most common type of splenic cancer.
From the ultrasonography images, 95% of malignant splenic tumors were > 2.5 cm in diameter, and 95% of benign tumors were < 2.5 cm.
In most pets, the spleen is about as long as their forearm. It functions to help the body fight off infections and removes aged, nonfunctioning red blood cells from circulation. Neither dogs nor cats suffer long-term effects from the lack of a spleen, which is different than in humans.
Age is not a disease, and your dog is never “too old” to receive the quality care he or she needs, even if it requires anesthesia and surgery.
The majority of mast cell tumors in dogs are a result of a genetic mutation and are not curable, but the prognosis is much better for those with lower grades (I and II). Dogs with mast cell tumors that have metastasized to other parts of the body have a very poor prognosis.
Approximately 40% of surgically resected high-grade mast cell tumors will recur locally even if “clean” margins are identified on the histopathology report. Managing locally recurrent mast cell tumors is extremely challenging, as these tumors often grow more rapidly and extensively than the original tumor.
Causes of an Enlarged Spleen in a Dog

Infections, such as liver infections (also known as hepatitis), intestinal or stomach infections and bloodborne infections. Inflammation in the gut due to IBD (inflammatory bowel disease (Source: 5 minute Veterinary Consult, Sixth Edition)) Tumors, both benign and malignant.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. My chihuahua just had a mass removed with spleen, no visual sign of spread. Eating well post surgery, white covering on mass, could it be benign?
ANSWER : A. The mass would have to be sent to a lab for analysis in order to determine if the cells are benign or malignant. It would be impossible to tell if the mass was benign or not simply by looking at it. Your vet may also want to monitor your dog with X-rays or other testing over a period of months to watch for signs of spread of the mass to other body parts or in the blood.

Q. Why does my dog eat grass?
ANSWER : A. As another user mentioned, dogs can eat grass when they want to vomit. Sometimes, when a dog has an upset tummy, they will eat grass. If you notice your dog eating grass frantically, you can assume vomiting will shortly follow. Grass does not digest and pass normally. If your dog eats too much grass, it can cause serious issues with pooping. Your dogs poop can end up all tangled inside of her, and it can need veterinary assistance to remove it. The same goes for celery, so avoid feeding celery to your dog.

The other day my boyfriend accidentally left the laundry room door open where we were keeping the trash that was filled with cooked chicken bones. She ate one of the chicken bones lightning fast. We had to induce vomiting by feeding her some hydrogen peroxide. After we had fed her the peroxide, she immediately began frantically eating grass because her tummy was upset.

If there is something lacking in your dogs diet, it could be that your dog is eating grass to make up for it. I am sure that my dogs diet is extremely well balanced (I do not only feed her an air-dried raw food-type diet (Ziwipeak), but a wide variety of safe, healthy foods), so when she eats grass, I know that it is because she has an upset tummy.

That is why I think it is important making sure your dog has a very well balanced diet. If your dog is on a low quality kibble, your dog may be trying to let you know by eating grass (or eating poop).

Q. If your dog was exrayed had a tumor in his spleen had to remove and it was non cancerous how much longer could he live without the spleen.
ANSWER : A. A dog without a spleen will have a normal life expectancy. The spleen is an organ that can produce benign or “non cancerous” rumors. Surgical removal of the entire spleen is usually the best option. Lump removals with only part of the spleen being removed are possible, however, since the spleen is an organ that stores Red blood cells, but there is an increased risk for post operative hemorrhaging.

Q. My dog is 15 years old has a round pink growth about the size of a dime growing out of her rear leg
ANSWER : A. There could be several different diagnoses for the growth on your dog’s leg including a cyst, an abscess or a mass. In order to determine what the growth is your veterinarian could perform a few different tests. 1) a fine need aspirate, which means your veterinarian uses a needle to insert into the mass and collect cells within the mass. Your veterinarian would then look under a microscope to determine what the cells are – a benign(harmless mass), cyst or malignant (cancerous mass). 2) a biopsy could be performed to remove either a portion of the mass or the entire mass and have this tissue sample evaluated by a pathologist.

Q. My 12 year old Border Collie/healer mix has a baseball size hematoma under her chest. I am wondering if she would survive the surgery.
ANSWER : A. My first question (if you could answer me back) would be how does anyone know it’s a hematoma, and not a hemangiosarcoma or a hemangioma? Hematomas usually resolve (eventually) on their own – they’re essentially bruises. So they don’t need to be surgically removed, typically. It could also be a hemangioma, which is a benign growth arising from a blood vessel. Typically no one can tell on cytology alone (that’s a needle sample taken from the mass and examined under a microscope) whether a growth like this is cancerous (hemangiosarcoma, or HSA) or benign (hemangioma, or HA). If a biopsy has been done and a diagnosis of HSA has been made, or it’s a HA and it’s causing your dog pain or discomfort, then I would agree that surgery is necessary.

As to whether she would survive the surgery, if your vet is competent in anesthesia (preoperative blood work and chest x-rays have been done to ensure that your dog is healthy otherwise, anesthetic monitoring on blood pressure, heart rate, EKG, oxygenation, etc will be done) and the mass is in a spot that is amenable to removal (i.e. There is plenty of skin in the area to close over the defect created by the excision) then I would say her chances of survival are very good. All this is assuming that the mass is subcutaneous (under the skin) and not actually inside the chest. If it’s in the chest, that’s a much more serious procedure. You can select “consult” if you want to talk about this further.

Q. Wants to go out very frequently. Has fecal matter attached to anus but won’t let me remove it. She won’t sleep and wants to stay on my lap.
ANSWER : A. So I’m hearing a couple of problems going on. Frequent defecation with diarrhea (I’m assuming, since there’s fecal matter attached and the anus, and typically it only “sticks” when it’s soft) and lethargy/clinginess. Pretty general signs, however let’s focus on the diarrhea and assume it’s a GI thing. You didn’t tell me whether this is a cat or dog but I’ll assume dog since you said she goes outside to defecate.

Diarrhea may or may not be a sign of a serious disease. I don’t get especially concerned with one or two episodes in an animal who seems to feel completely normally otherwise, but what you’re describing sounds concerning. Your dog is restless, can’t get comfortable, and is somewhat needy – all of those indicate discomfort to me.

Without knowing how old your dog is it’s pretty difficult to get specific about causes, but I’ll mention some possibilities. Certainly parasites, including giardia, can cause diarrhea, as well as bacterial or viral infections in the gut. Indiscriminate eating, which dogs are master of, can cause diarrhea. Food allergies or sensitivities as well as inflammatory bowel disease are on the list. More serious causes include liver, kidney, or pancreatic disease, as well as intestinal cancers.

I’m hoping this has only been going on for a little while. You can try feeding a bland/high-fiber diet of boiled white meat chicken and white rice (25% chicken and 75% rice) in small (1/4 to 1/2 cup) amounts frequently (every two hours). If the diarrhea doesn’t resolve in 12 hours see a veterinarian. If she’s vomiting or won’t eat at all, see a vet sooner.

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Q. Dog throwing up white mucus with white bits
ANSWER : A. If he has only vomited once or twice, I recommend withholding food for 12-24 hours. This will give the gut a chance to rest. Let her have water, ice cubes to lick if she seems to want to gulp the water. After 12-24 hours, give her a tiny amount of her regular food, and wait for 30 minutes. If she eats it and it stays down, repeat the small amount. If all continues to go well, keep feeding her very small amounts until she has had her normal ration. If, however, she does not want to eat, continues to vomit, develops a fever and/or lethargy, get her in to see your vet or to an emergency clinic right away.

If he has been vomiting multiple times over several hours, he should be seen by a vet as soon as possible. Continued vomiting is very concerning and can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance as well as low blood sugar. He might have eaten something that either disagreed with him or something that has gotten stuck somewhere in his gastrointestinal tract. He could be sore from a hidden injury you are unaware of, he could have been exposed to some sort of toxin or irritant in his environment or this could be early signs of another condition or disease process.

Q. Vet says he feels a mass in dogs stomach, dog is only eating soft foods like chicken and rice, wont eat hard dog foods, not going to toilet
ANSWER : A. An abdominal xray or ultrasound should be done to determine where the mass is located, its size and involvement with other organs. Chest xrays should also be performed to check for other masses. Treatment options or further diagnostics can be decided afterwards. If that is not possible, an exploratory surgery should be done to visualize the mass and resect it if possible. It should be submitted for pathology upon resection to determine if it malignant or benign.