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2greysdad

Rib tumor - possibly hemangiosarcoma

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Our 12 year old greyhound is unfortunately going through a medical emergency. He has some sort of a mass around his 9th rib and despite an x ray, a ct scan and a biopsy - we don’t have a definitive answer to what it is exactly and suddenly it has created a large swelling. We have already reached out to dr. Couto and he hasn’t had a chance to respond but perhaps someone here has had a similar experience. Back in July it started with a small hard bump on the rib. It was under the muscle and we were immediately concerned because it felt attached to the rib (it wouldn’t move). I was worried it could be osteo or chondrosarcoma. The oncologist had it x-rayed and they tried to get a sample with a needle but both the biopsy and x-rays came back normal. There was no way to remove the growth without removing one or more ribs so we decided against surgery. Also, two surgeons were quite certain that it might be an arthritic rib change they often see at that spot in old dogs. We kept an eye on the bump and it didn’t change in size. In September Ajax’ white blood cell count dropped a bit (it was borderline low). We retested in October and the values were back to normal. Then this past Monday within minutes a large bump appeared at the same spot on the rib - approx almost the size of a gold ball. We took him immediately to the ER. They ER vet felt it might be a hemangiosarcoma because the bump was filled with diluted blood. The next day the surgeon performed a surgical biopsy and said it looked like a giant blood clot. He said he would also guess hemangiosarcoma but could be a bone tumor that caused an inflammation in the surrounding tissue and bled. The biopsy came back as an inflammation - no cancer cells. The CT scan didn’t now show any bone tumors but there is a change in the cartilage and there is a mass around the rib. So it seems to me that we are probably dealing with a rib hemangiosarcoma. The dogs is acting normal except for having a large swelling on his side (it got worse after the biopsy). He is somewhat uncomfortable lying down but not in pain. I have him on pain killers just in case. I asked the vets whether we can drain the fluid but they said it’s just coagulated blood so they cannot drain it and if they could, it would probably refill quickly. The plan is to wait for a couple of more days and see what happens with the swelling and go back to the vet clinic after the holidays. I have also ordered a bunch of immune system supplements that supposedly help with hemangiosarcoma.

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I lost Silver to hemangiosarcoma in 2016 with a hard lump on her rib cage. We had decided to operate, and my vet did lab work. Her liver numbers were horrendous, and he recommended an ultrasound and called in a specialist (traveling ultrasound expert with his own equipment; he's in the area every couple of weeks). Specialist found a growth on her heart that had not shown up on x-rays three weeks earlier. He predicted she had maybe 48 hours before it ruptured. We put her to sleep that same day, after she ate a McDonald's cheeseburger. That day was the first day she couldn't get into my car without help.

I wish I had something better to tell you.

If they haven't done an ultrasound, ask your vet about an ultrasound of vital organs to see if something else is going on.

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Edited by KF_in_Georgia
I can't type today

15060353021_97558ce7da.jpg
Kathy and Q (CRT Qadeer from Fuzzy's Cannon and CRT Bonnie) and
Jane (WW's Aunt Jane from Trent Lee and Aunt M); photos to come.

Missing Silver (5.19.2005-10.27.2016), Tigger (4.5.2007-3.18.2016),
darling Sam (5.10.2000-8.8.2013), Jacey-Kasey (5.19.2003-8.22.2011), and Oreo (1997-3.30.2006)

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We had tried all the sensible stuff. Needle biopsy results came back from the vet school lab as "indeterminate." Nothing said cancer, nothing said not-cancer.

Silver was my best dog. She was a therapy dog, a R.E.A.D. dog, and had enough personality for three dogs. She was the second therapy dog I lost in 2016, and I still miss her.


15060353021_97558ce7da.jpg
Kathy and Q (CRT Qadeer from Fuzzy's Cannon and CRT Bonnie) and
Jane (WW's Aunt Jane from Trent Lee and Aunt M); photos to come.

Missing Silver (5.19.2005-10.27.2016), Tigger (4.5.2007-3.18.2016),
darling Sam (5.10.2000-8.8.2013), Jacey-Kasey (5.19.2003-8.22.2011), and Oreo (1997-3.30.2006)

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I asked them to perform an ultrasound when they did the ct scan but the equipment or the tech wasn’t available at that time and Ajax wouldn’t let them turn him on his back when he woke up so we will probably try again next time. The CT scan covered the entire body - they didn’t see anything wrong with the organs - he had a blemish on the liver that may or may not be something and they suspect a nodule in his lungs but again those often appear in numbers. There is no question in my mind that this is terminal but I’m trying to figure out whether there is anything we can do about the swelling to make him more comfortable at night. If his quality of life deteriorates, we will put him to sleep but for the time being he is acting normal and his blood and urine values are normal.

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We had had Silver in for x-rays to check her lungs for cancer, and we accidentally got a good image of her heart, so the ultrasound expert had that to work with three weeks after the x-rays. Silver's appetite was still good; we shared that last cheeseburger, and she predictably spat out the pickle. The only odd behavior with her was her unwillingness to try to jump into my car that morning (she put her front feet on the seat, flexed her knees a bit, then looked at me to do the rest). I had just retired her from therapy dog duties on the grounds of her age (11 and a half), and she usually slept next to me all day while I worked from home.


15060353021_97558ce7da.jpg
Kathy and Q (CRT Qadeer from Fuzzy's Cannon and CRT Bonnie) and
Jane (WW's Aunt Jane from Trent Lee and Aunt M); photos to come.

Missing Silver (5.19.2005-10.27.2016), Tigger (4.5.2007-3.18.2016),
darling Sam (5.10.2000-8.8.2013), Jacey-Kasey (5.19.2003-8.22.2011), and Oreo (1997-3.30.2006)

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Oh gosh... you get Ginny through her issue and get hit with this. 😕 My dog and I were lucky... dealt with a hemangiosarcoma but it was attatched to her spleen. Vet said 90% (if I recall correctly) of the time those are malignant but in her case it was benign - and able to be removed. When she trotted out after surgery I noticed how pink her tongue was once it was removed and her blood was not being diverted through the mass. Here’s hoping for some good news, but you will make the right call - whatever it is. Good thoughts heading your way. 

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