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Looking For Info On Spleen Removal Diagnosis

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All --


My boss has a Corgi, and is understandably upset by his vet's recommendation this weekend to remove his pup's spleen. I don't have info on what symptoms caused the diagnosis, but the vet told my boss that this is somewhat common (he does about one splenectomy per month).


I'd love to give him some advice ... looking for pre-surgery questions to ask as well as post-surgery consequences. I've already asked him to get a 2nd opinion from another vet (at a different facility).


thanks in advance!


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Aquitaine had her spleen removed in December. There was a mass in it that was larger than a softball. As I learned, there are apparently (at least) three types of masses -- cancerous, blood clot, and fat -- and you want it to be fat. Second choice would be blood clot. Aquitaine's was fat and the biopsy was benign. I couldn't get a second opinion due to the mass but I did have my best friend the doctor with me, and my own vet spoke with the emergency vet and surgeon and concurred with the removal. In our case there was no option but to remove it. Aquitaine was in the ICU for 3 nights, one of which was the night I brought her in as it was not deemed safe to load her into a car two more times in case the mass burst.


Aquitaine came home with blood pressure meds as it was determined that her BP is high, and she now takes a Zantac every day. She healed well. The only problem we had with her healing was that the surgeon used staples rather than stitches and she did not, at all, like the removal. It took three separate attempts to remove them all. She has had stitches removed before with no issue at all.

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It really isn't a very difficult surgery. I worked under a vet a few years ago that would be able to perform a splenectomy in just a little over 10 minutes (that's not including closing). Of course there's many different scenarios -large mass, hemoabdomen present... One thing to watch for post surgery (72hrs) is for an irregular heartbeat and good pain management.

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Ah, well, we had an English Setter with a mass on his spleen. Unfortunately when they opened him up to remove the spleen, they found cancer all throughout him so he was put to sleep.


I guess it really depends what they find! Removing the spleen is not that big a deal as a surgery.


Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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Dancer had her spleen removed because of a torsion when she was about 6. She lived another 6 years or so with no issues.

Wendy and The Whole Wherd. American by birth, Southern by choice.
"Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup!"
****OxyFresh Vendor ID is 180672239.****

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My friend's girl had her spleen removed-she had a 7 lb. hemangiosarcoma :( That was about 8 months ago now that she had surgery and then she underwent IV chemotherapy. Her mom cooks for her and she's been doing very well.

Kristin in Moline, IL USA with Ozzie (MRL Crusin Clem), Clarice (Clarice McBones), Latte and Sage the IGs, and the kitties: Violet and Rose
Lovingly Remembered: Sutra (Fliowa Sutra) 12/02/97-10/12/10, Pinky (Pick Me) 04/20/03-11/19/12, Fritz (Fritz Fire) 02/05/01 - 05/20/13, Ace (Fantastic Ace) 02/05/01 - 07/05/13, and Carrie (Takin the Crumbs) 05/08/99 - 09/04/13.

A cure for cancer can't come soon enough.--

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My greyhound, Chico, had his spleen removed when he was 12 -- he was producing excessive red blood cells in the spleen and it had grown to about 5 lbs. He stayed in the clinic overnite after the surgery and came home the next evening. He came in the door at home and climbed up on a couch while I was hanging up my coat. The rest of his recovery went just as well as that first trip on the couch and he lived to 14, when he develped cancer of the spine.




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The biggest question here is why is a splenectomy being recommended? Typical reasons for this surgery include a mass in the spleen, trauma to the spleen, splenic torsion, or sometimes a last resort for immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA) that isn't responding to medical treatment. Most of these possibilities, with the exception of the first, would be seen in a dog that is already very sick. With a mass in the spleen, it might be an incidental finding, or it might be a finding in a sick dog due to bleeding and anemia.


So for the majority of the reasons a splenectomy would be recommended, it's a fairly critical situation where a decision needs to be made quickly. About the only reason I can think of to consider a splenectomy in an apparently healthy dog, with time to ponder the decision, is if a mass was detected on a routine exam. In this case, it might be worthwhile starting with an abdominal ultrasound to more fully assess the spleen and other organs in a less invasive way, before proceeding with surgery.

Jennifer &

Willow (Wilma Waggle), Wiki (Wiki Hard Ten), Carter (Let's Get It On),

Ollie (whippet), Gracie (whippet x), & Terra (whippet) + Just Saying + Just Alice


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MoMo lost her spleen after a problematic spay so I did a lot of research and questioning about the consequences of that loss. From what I read, the spleen backs up the bone marrow in producing red blood cells and helps handle some kinds of infections. However, it seems that it is not regarded as being at all necessary. The take away I got was that I might need to be sure that any infections were treated promptly but that Mo would not be impaired at all by the loss of her spleen. Three years later she is just fine. In fact, when she broke her leg I dutifully told the surgeon about the missing spleen and he said, "Oh good!", explaining that it did little and could harbor sources of infection.


I also have a cousin who lost his spleen as a young man because of injury in a car accident. He too is fine...cruising into middle age with no issues.


So, if seem that if the spleen needs to be removed, life goes on pretty much as usual.

Lucy with Greyhound Nate and OSH Tinker. With loving memories of MoMo (FTH Chyna Moon), Spirit, Miles the slinky kitty (OSH), Piper "The Perfect" (Oneco Chaplin), Winston, Yoda, Hector, and Claire.

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