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Hemangiosarcoma In The Spleen, Possible Chemo Options?


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Hello Fellow Greyhound Moms and Dads,


My husband and I just returned from the animal hospital where our son, Rudy, is currently undergoing surgery to remove a tumor in his spleen. There is a likely diagnosis of Hemangiosarcoma, but we wont know for sure until early next week after they biopsy it. The doctor said there is a 80-90% chance of the tumor being malignant based on the blood pooling in the area, as well as other surrounding factors.


Needless to say, we are devastated by the possible diagnosis - this is our first Greyhound and he felt perfectly fine up until this morning. Further, with a confirmed Hemangiosarcoma diagnosis, the vet has given him a timetable of 2-4 months to live past surgery, possibly more if chemo becomes an option.


In the likely event that it is Hemangiosarcoma, does anyone have any knowledge of or previous experience with this type of cancer in Greyhounds? Or perhaps any recommended oncologists in the Boston area? If chemo becomes an option for him, does anyone have any suggested types/methods of chemo or meds they've found success with for Greyhounds? Any insight would be greatly appreciated.


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Fingers crossed the mass turns out to be a hemangioma -benign. I'm sure during the surgery the Dr will be able to visualize the liver checking for mets. Did you do any chest radiographs prior to the surgery? If so I assume they were clean?

If the pathology report comes back as hemangiosarcoma I highly suggest you contact Dr Couto to receive a proper/suggested chemo protocol. He will review the entire case and offer suggestions.

It may be more reasonable for you to join the Greyhound Health Initiative --http://greyhoundhealthinitiative.org

Rather than asking for a consult here --http://www.coutovetconsultants.com

All the best--hoping for a benign report.

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We lost our second greyhound, Icabod, to hemangiosarcoma. The tumor on his spleen ruptured. This was 20 years ago. He was an exception in that he was with us 11 months post rupture and chemo. I thought he received adriamycin, vincristine and docirubicin, but looking at the information at this link: http://vcchope.com/resource-center/hemangiosarcoma-dogs

I think he may have received cytoxan.

 

I agree with Tracy (tbhounds) that you should consult Dr. Couto. We did contact him for a consult on Pogo before we joined the Greyhound Health Initiative and I think we paid $120.00 for our consult. I don't know if the consultation fee varies.

 

Sending healing thoughts and gentle hugs.

 

 

Annette, mom to Banjo (AJN Spider Man) & Casey (kitty), wife to Roy. Mom to bridgekids: Wheat (GH), Icabod (GH), Scarlett (Cab's Peg Bundy), Rhett (Kiowa Day Juice), Dixie (Pazzo Dixie), Pogo/Gleason (Rambunctious), and Miriam (Miriam of Ruckus) and Spooky, Taffy, Garfield, & Lefty (kitties)

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I am wondering why or if the surgeon could remove the spleen. Is that a possibility?

 

I hate to be the princess of gloom and doom, but, we lost two greyhounds to what was assumed hemangiosarcoma of the spleen or liver. They were fine in the morning and gone by the end of the day.

 

A very good sign is that your boy is still here. I am wishing you and your greyhound all the best.

 

Good luck and please let us know how things are going. I am sincerely interested and concerned.

Irene Ullmann w/Flying Odin in Lower Delaware
Angels Brandy, John E, American Idol, Paul, Fuzzy and Shine
Handcrafted Greyhound and Custom Clocks http://www.houndtime.com
Zoom Doggies-Racing Coats for Racing Greyhounds

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How old is your Rudy? I'm assuming you had ultrasounds done which might have lead you to know there were tumours? I'm so sorry you are going through this and I pray you do not receive this diagnosis in a week.

 

Hemangiosarcoma is commonly spread to the internal organs, and from what I understand from Kasey's vet when we were going through a different strain of hemangio, is that if it is discovered in the internal organs, the prognosis is rather grim. Kasey and I only made it through one round of chemo before it took him from me, and hemangio never did hit him on his insides. It is my personal feeling that with the aggressive stage he was already at, that it really was perhaps a fruitless last ditch effort. Chemo didn't buy us any time and I wish I used that time instead to make him more comfortable and spoil him. We were thinking about trying radiation next, but Kasey didn't make it to that appointment. I would suggest not to do chemo on your fur kid if indeed it has spread to the organs as I understand it is not effective - I'm sorry I'm so upfront, but this sort of thing just guts me to the core after what we went through.

Edited by XTRAWLD

Proudly owned by:
10 year old "Ryder" CR Redman Gotcha May 2010
12.5 year old Angel "Kasey" Goodbye Kasey Gotcha July 2005-Aug 1, 2015

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Fingers crossed the mass turns out to be a hemangioma -benign. I'm sure during the surgery the Dr will be able to visualize the liver checking for mets. Did you do any chest radiographs prior to the surgery? If so I assume they were clean?

If the pathology report comes back as hemangiosarcoma I highly suggest you contact Dr Couto to receive a proper/suggested chemo protocol. He will review the entire case and offer suggestions.

It may be more reasonable for you to join the Greyhound Health Initiative --http://greyhoundhealthinitiative.org

Rather than asking for a consult here --http://www.coutovetconsultants.com

All the best--hoping for a benign report.

Hi tbhounds, thanks for the note. They did an ultrasound prior to surgery and thankfully found no additional masses in his chest, liver, etc., and also said that they saw none in his abdomen during the splenectomy. The surgeon also said that the tumor itself was mostly intact - maybe some slow bleeding near it, but no rupture. Still, he thinks there's an 80-90% chance that it's hemangiosarcoma. Biopsy results should be back by early next week. Needless to say, we're hoping for the best. I think the only thing I'm holding onto for hope is that he had a hemangioma on his skin last year that was benign... not to say that has any effect on his current situation, but I think it's a sliver of hope! Thanks for the tip on Dr. Couto - I will certainly look into it if the biopsy comes back cancerous.

We lost our second greyhound, Icabod, to hemangiosarcoma. The tumor on his spleen ruptured. This was 20 years ago. He was an exception in that he was with us 11 months post rupture and chemo. I thought he received adriamycin, vincristine and docirubicin, but looking at the information at this link: http://vcchope.com/resource-center/hemangiosarcoma-dogs

I think he may have received cytoxan.

 

I agree with Tracy (tbhounds) that you should consult Dr. Couto. We did contact him for a consult on Pogo before we joined the Greyhound Health Initiative and I think we paid $120.00 for our consult. I don't know if the consultation fee varies.

 

Sending healing thoughts and gentle hugs.

 

 

Hi Annette - thanks for the note and kind words. I'm so sorry you lost your Grey to Hemangiosarcoma. 11 months, though - sounds like he was a real fighter! Thanks for the suggestions re: chemo and Dr. Couto, I will certainly look into it.

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I am wondering why or if the surgeon could remove the spleen. Is that a possibility?

 

I hate to be the princess of gloom and doom, but, we lost two greyhounds to what was assumed hemangiosarcoma of the spleen or liver. They were fine in the morning and gone by the end of the day.

 

A very good sign is that your boy is still here. I am wishing you and your greyhound all the best.

 

Good luck and please let us know how things are going. I am sincerely interested and concerned.

Hi Houndtime - thanks for the note! I'm so sorry to hear about your Greys. I'm definitely struggling with the rapid onset of all of this - he was perfectly fine last night, running around like the happy pup he is... and then took a turn for the worse this morning. I actually had no idea they can remove an entire spleen from a dog with no complications, but apparently that's the case. Based on what the vet told us, the spleen tumor hadn't ruptured yet, so that helps with prognosis. Still, he's rather confident that it's cancerous. I guess we will find out next week after the biopsy. Thanks again for the kind words.

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How old is your Rudy? I'm assuming you had ultrasounds done which might have lead you to know there were tumours? I'm so sorry you are going through this and I pray you do not receive this diagnosis in a week.

 

Hemangiosarcoma is commonly spread to the internal organs, and from what I understand from Kasey's vet when we were going through a different strain of hemangio, is that if it is discovered in the internal organs, the prognosis is rather grim. Kasey and I only made it through one round of chemo before it took him from me, and hemangio never did hit him on his insides. It is my personal feeling that with the aggressive stage he was already at, that it really was perhaps a fruitless last ditch effort. Chemo didn't buy us any time and I wish I used that time instead to make him more comfortable and spoil him. We were thinking about trying radiation next, but Kasey didn't make it to that appointment. I would suggest not to do chemo on your fur kid if indeed it has spread to the organs as I understand it is not effective - I'm sorry I'm so upfront, but this sort of thing just guts me to the core after what we went through.

Hi XTRAWLD, thanks for the note! I definitely appreciate the honesty. Rudy just turned 10 years old, so right in the target age range for this diagnosis :-\ We took him into the vet this morning because he was acting very lethargic. The vet manually checked him for pain and found some in the abdomen - an ultrasound confirmed that there was a tumor on his spleen. Yes, they did an additional ultrasound to check for other tumors in different locations (chest, liver, etc.) which came back clean (we definitely would've opted out of the surgery if it had spread, as it's too far progressed at that point). They seemed pleased that the spleen tumor was generally intact with no sign of rupture, but perhaps had a slow bleed (as there was some blood in his stomach area). Regardless, after some research, I've come to realize how grim of a diagnosis Hemangiosarcoma is and why the short timetable exists for life expectancy. I'm still holding out hope that it's benign, but the vet seemed rather confident (80-90% sure) that it's cancerous. I suppose we will find out from the biopsy next week. I think once we know more, we will then explore our options re: chemo, radiation, etc., but his comfort will definitely be of the utmost importance to us. Thanks again for sharing your story.

Edited by Brondon530
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Good thoughts for your boy. I agree reaching out to Dr Couto is a very good idea. I hope you get a B9 diagnosis.

Kyle with Stewie ('Super C Ledoux, Super C Sampson x Sing It Blondie) and forever missing my three angels, Jack ('Roy Jack', Greys Flambeau x Miss Cobblepot) and Charlie ('CTR Midas Touch', Leo's Midas x Hallo Argentina) and Shelby ('Shari's Hooty', Flying Viper x Shari Carusi) running free across the bridge.

Gus an coinnich sinn a'rithist my boys and little girl.

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Our Lurcher lived 2 years after a splenectomy for hemangiocarcoma without chemo, hopefully your pup will also buck the odds.

There was also a U of Pa study showing the benefit of a chinese medecine I’m-Yunity

https://news.upenn.edu/news/compound-derived-mushroom-lengthens-survival-time-dogs-cancer-penn-vet-study-finds

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I also recommend membership to the Greyhound Health Initiative. http://greyhoundhealthinitiative.org/ Membership for a hound owner is only $99.00/year and well worth it when you have hounds. We and our hounds are not immune from the cancers that plague them and having the GHI for consults is priceless when we have a hound in need. My vet is also a member which gives me great comfort because its like having a backup for my greyhound savvy vet. Please consider joining, the benefits to our hounds is immeasurable.

 

You may also want to consider signing up for the free GHI e-mail list which will be a vehicle to sending out info on new medical updates and programs for our hounds. It cost nothing but 3 minutes of your time to send your info to the e-mail address in the post to get on the list. See thread http://forum.greytalk.com/index.php/topic/317612-why-havent-you-signed-up-for-this-free/

Edited by rycezmom

large.rycezmom_Sig.jpg.c7b7915d082b1bb35
The more I see of man, the more I like dogs. ~Mme. de Staël
Missing my Bridge Angels Ryce, Bo, Jim, Miss Millie, Miss Rose, Gustopher P Jones (Pimpmaster G), Miss Isabella and Miss Star

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I also recommend membership to the Greyhound Health Initiative. http://greyhoundhealthinitiative.org/ Membership for a hound owner is only $99.00/year and well worth it when you have hounds. We and our hounds are not immune from the cancers that plague them and having the GHI for consults is priceless when we have a hound in need. My vet is also a member which gives me great comfort because its like having a backup for my greyhound savvy vet. Please consider joining, the benefits to our hounds is immeasurable.

 

You may also want to consider signing up for the free GHI e-mail list which will be a vehicle to sending out info on new medical updates and programs for our hounds. It cost nothing but 3 minutes of your time to send your info to the e-mail address in the post to get on the list. See thread http://forum.greytalk.com/index.php/topic/317612-why-havent-you-signed-up-for-this-free/

Hi Leslie, I've emailed the GHI (both contact emails on the site) regarding a consultation for Wendy but have gotten no response. Does one have to become a member to receive information on how to arrange a consultation? Any advice is appreciated. I will gladly pay the membership fee today, if that is the case. We see the vet on Saturday and I'd like to have as much information as possible on hand to give her. Thanks!

Irene ~ Owned and Operated by Jenny (Jenny Rocks ~ 11/24/17) ~ JRo, Jenny from the Track

Lola (AMF Won't Forget ~ 04/29/15 -07/22/19) - My girl. I'll always love you.

Wendy (Lost Footing ~ 12/11/05 - 08/18/17) ~ Forever in our hearts. "I am yours, you are mine".

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I went through this 5/6 years ago with Aquitaine. It was terrifying but made less so because I knew enough about it from others here having paved the way. We chose to remove her spleen. She did well with the surgery and we had 3.5 more years together. Her tumor was benign (and her grateful mother who was hysterical proposed to the surgeon when he delivered the news!).

 

Like others have said, there was no sign. I had a healthy dog when we went to sleep and at 3 am there was clearly something wrong. Off to the ER we went with no other information than, she doesn't feel right, she is not herself. It was a long wait until the morning staff came in but the overnight doc went above and beyond and did every test he could think of and finally found the mass with the ultrasound.

 

The ONLY negative thing I can say is that if you are in a major market, the surgery and after care are going to be very costly. I took a fair amount of flack for what I paid which was well over $10,000. I don't regret a penny of it but boy are the prices more reasonable in smaller markets!

 

Many prayers for you and your boy. Don't give up.

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Good thoughts for your boy. I agree reaching out to Dr Couto is a very good idea. I hope you get a B9 diagnosis.

Thanks for the well-wishes, Charlies_Dad! We're hoping too :)

Our Lurcher lived 2 years after a splenectomy for hemangiocarcoma without chemo, hopefully your pup will also buck the odds.

There was also a U of Pa study showing the benefit of a chinese medecine I’m-Yunity

https://news.upenn.edu/news/compound-derived-mushroom-lengthens-survival-time-dogs-cancer-penn-vet-study-finds

Hi Blaidd49, thanks for the post. 2 years is wonderful! May I ask why you opted out of chemo? We haven't really discussed chemo vs. no chemo with the vet yet since we're waiting for a confirmed diagnosis, but I'd love to hear your thinking on the matter. I'm very new to this - Rudy is our first Greyhound and he's been extremely healthy until this point. The best I can do is gather as much information as possible on the disease in order to make an educated decision on how to proceed and do what's best for him. And I will definitely look into the I'm-Yunity study - do you know much about it, specifically how Grey's react to the treatment? Thanks again for the info!

I'll keep Rudy in my thoughts and prayers.

 

I lost three to this effin disease. One was gone within hours, one went within days, the other lasted 2 weeks.

Hi MP_the4pack - I'm so sorry to hear about your Greys. This disease absolutely sucks! One of the hardest parts of this is how quickly it set in - Tuesday night, Rudy was the usual energetic, happy pup, and then Wednesday morning he was very lethargic, definitely in pain and not himself. We just visited him in the ICU and he's doing great post-op, but I know we have a long road ahead of us.

I also recommend membership to the Greyhound Health Initiative. http://greyhoundhealthinitiative.org/ Membership for a hound owner is only $99.00/year and well worth it when you have hounds. We and our hounds are not immune from the cancers that plague them and having the GHI for consults is priceless when we have a hound in need. My vet is also a member which gives me great comfort because its like having a backup for my greyhound savvy vet. Please consider joining, the benefits to our hounds is immeasurable.

 

You may also want to consider signing up for the free GHI e-mail list which will be a vehicle to sending out info on new medical updates and programs for our hounds. It cost nothing but 3 minutes of your time to send your info to the e-mail address in the post to get on the list. See thread http://forum.greytalk.com/index.php/topic/317612-why-havent-you-signed-up-for-this-free/

Thanks for all the info, rycezmom! I will definitely look into this, seems like a great idea.

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I went through this 5/6 years ago with Aquitaine. It was terrifying but made less so because I knew enough about it from others here having paved the way. We chose to remove her spleen. She did well with the surgery and we had 3.5 more years together. Her tumor was benign (and her grateful mother who was hysterical proposed to the surgeon when he delivered the news!).

 

Like others have said, there was no sign. I had a healthy dog when we went to sleep and at 3 am there was clearly something wrong. Off to the ER we went with no other information than, she doesn't feel right, she is not herself. It was a long wait until the morning staff came in but the overnight doc went above and beyond and did every test he could think of and finally found the mass with the ultrasound.

 

The ONLY negative thing I can say is that if you are in a major market, the surgery and after care are going to be very costly. I took a fair amount of flack for what I paid which was well over $10,000. I don't regret a penny of it but boy are the prices more reasonable in smaller markets!

 

Many prayers for you and your boy. Don't give up.

Hi carronstar - it's so wonderful to hear a success story! And you're right, it's terrifying - Rudy is our first Greyhound and has been extremely healthy up until this point. I'm finding it helpful to gather information about the disease and how to proceed from here. I'm praying that it's benign, we should hear back from the biopsy results next week. The doctor seemed pretty confident that it was Hemangiosarcoma (said about 80-90% sure). Did they mention similar odds to you, or was Aquitaine on better terms? Rudy's tumor was about 6cm, which I'm told doesn't really indicate good or bad (if anything, they said bigger might be better). And you proposed to the surgeon HAHA I love that! On the bright side, Rudy's tumor was almost completely intact/no rupture, so there's some reason for hope. And OHHHH yes, it's been expensive. I'm right there with ya though - Once we found out that it hadn't spread to other organs and could proceed with the surgery, I joked with my husband that I've never been so excited to spend thousands of dollars before hahaha. It's all worth it though - we just got back from visiting him in the ICU and he's doing extremely well. Whatever it takes, right? :)

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It was back in 1987 when my Lurcher had surgery, chemo was not an option then. She had been "off" for a few weeks but nothing showed up on blood work or x-ray (we had no access to ultrasound).

I was on vacation in New Jersey (she was with me) and she collapsed, the local e-vet was just going to monitor her overnight and have a vet look at her in the morning so I drove the 8 hours home overnight and my vet operated around 7:30 am in the morning.She was about 13 years at the time.

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I see you are in the Boston area, so I'd recommend you take him to Angell Memorial if that's not in fact where you've already taken him.

 

It's in Jamaica Plain, and is a teaching hospital and they have the best of everything available.


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

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It was back in 1987 when my Lurcher had surgery, chemo was not an option then. She had been "off" for a few weeks but nothing showed up on blood work or x-ray (we had no access to ultrasound).

I was on vacation in New Jersey (she was with me) and she collapsed, the local e-vet was just going to monitor her overnight and have a vet look at her in the morning so I drove the 8 hours home overnight and my vet operated around 7:30 am in the morning.She was about 13 years at the time.

What a crazy story. So glad it turned out relatively well for you all!

I see you are in the Boston area, so I'd recommend you take him to Angell Memorial if that's not in fact where you've already taken him.

 

It's in Jamaica Plain, and is a teaching hospital and they have the best of everything available.

Hi GeorgeofNE - Yes, we ended up at Angell after our vet noticed the tumor and sent him there for additional imaging and testing. They have been absolutely phenomenal - from getting Rudy into surgery within a couple hours, his post-op care, keeping us informed and updated. I'm extremely impressed.

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I wanted to provide an update on Rudy... FANTASTIC news: his tumor is benign! The vet ran the biopsy twice because he couldn't believe it. We are obviously thrilled.

 

A sincere THANK YOU to all the Greytalk members that reached out for support and advice, we truly appreciate it. Greyhound owners are the best!

Edited by Brondon530
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I wanted to provide an update on Rudy... FANTASTIC news: his tumor is benign! The vet ran the biopsy twice because he couldn't believe it. We are obviously thrilled.

 

A sincere THANK YOU to all the Greytalk members that reached out for support and advice, we truly appreciate it. Greyhound owners are the best!

 

:bounce8:bounce2:pepper Wonderful news

Annette, mom to Banjo (AJN Spider Man) & Casey (kitty), wife to Roy. Mom to bridgekids: Wheat (GH), Icabod (GH), Scarlett (Cab's Peg Bundy), Rhett (Kiowa Day Juice), Dixie (Pazzo Dixie), Pogo/Gleason (Rambunctious), and Miriam (Miriam of Ruckus) and Spooky, Taffy, Garfield, & Lefty (kitties)

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