Hemangiosarcoma in Dogs
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Essential Facts about Hemangiosarcoma in Dogs
Hemangiosarcoma, or cancer of the blood vessels, is most common in the German Shepard and Golden Retriever breeds of dog, although it can occur in other breeds as well.
There are three basic forms of hemangiosarcoma:
Hypodermal (underneath the skin)
Visceral (splenic or cardiac)
Signs & Symptoms of Hemangiosarcoma
The dermal variety appears as dark skin lesions that may be raised and often appear on areas like the abdomen. These are the most curable because they’re easily spotted and have the best chance of being surgically removed. Still, 30% of dogs with dermal Hemangiosarcoma develop metastatic disease, so it’s important to treat the disease immediately.
Hypodermal, or under the skin, hemangiosarcoma can occur anywhere on the body. The tumors may take the form of a soft or a firm mass. 60% of dogs with this version of hemangiosarcoma develop metastatic disease.
As you might surmise, visceral hemangiosarcoma is the most virulent. Its blister-like formations are fragile and can bleed, disrupting normal organ function.
The tumors associated with visceral hemangiosarcoma most often form on the spleen, right heart base, or liver, although varieties also appear on the kidney or the bladder. Regardless of where it originates, visceral hemangiosarcoma can spread quickly.
With visceral hemangiosarcoma, often it isn’t evident that the dog is ill until the tumor ruptures and the dog collapses. Other symptoms of can include include loss of appetite, swollen stomach, weight loss, weakness, lethargy or visible skin tumors.
Understanding Your Dog’s Diagnosis
If Your Dog Has Hemangiosarcoma
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Remission rates for hemangiosarcoma are significantly higher when cancer is tackled head on in the early stages.
Unfortunately, when hemangiosarcoma develops internally, the initial stages tend to develop unoticed. By the time of diagnosis, the cancer has often metastasized to the lungs, liver and intestines.
The typical life expectancy for a dog with untreated hemangiosarcoma is measured in mere days or weeks from the time of diagnosis, depending on how advanced the cancer is.
Modern treatment can increase expected life span to up to a year or possibly more in some cases.
Treatment for Hemangiosarcoma.
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Tumors on the skin are the easiest to treat with surgery alone
Tumors on organs may be removed surgically if they’re identified while still small.
Surgery is typically followed by chemotherapy to prevent metastasis, and dogs treated with chemotherapy tend to live longer than dogs that are not.
Immune System Support
It’s important to combine surgery and chemotherapy with immune enhancement because the first two alone don’t address the underlying cause of the cancer: immune dysfunction.
Very promising research has been conducted by the University of Pennsylvania in which the lives of dogs with hemangiosarcoma of the spleen were extended dramatically with the use of medicinal mushroom supplements. Some dogs in the study lived beyond one year with supplement treatment alone.
Immunotherapy Supplements for Dogs with Mast Cell Cancer
Triggering the immune recognition response with the use of immunotherapy supplements will help your dog’s body to fight the tumors.
Immune system enhancement can increase the length of the dog’s life as well as the quality of life while he is undergoing cancer treatment, so he can eat, play and act like his old self again.
The most powerful form of immunotherapy supplements are those formulated with medicinal mushrooms.
Long a mainstay of Traditional Chinese Medicine, medicinal mushrooms are now getting recognition as the most potent immune system modulators available.
But, not all medicinal mushroom supplements are created equal.