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Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29959
Experience:  UC Davis graduate, emphasis in dermatology, internal medicine, pain management
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Re Enlarged Spleen and Liver My friend has a cocker spaniel

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Re: Enlarged Spleen and Liver

My friend has a cocker spaniel mix, he is 10 years old.
He was currently diagnosed with a very enlarged spleen and an enlarged liver as seen on the sonogram. The Vet recommended the removal of the spleen which would cost an approx. $ 3000.00 for the surgery. They said they would not guarantee the survival of the dog! If they might find cancer, he would also need chemo and that also is no guarantee for a longer life! My question is, do you have any experience in that field and what would you recommend, dog is listless has no appetite, he is on pain medication and amoxocillin, does he have a fair chance??? His abdomen are pretty swollen, it is so heartbreaking!!


Very experienced. In fact, my own dog, a 12 year old Cocker (no kidding), just had his spleen removed due to a bleeding tumor in it.

Now, here's the difference. Certainly, there was cost savings since I did the surgery. More importantly, there was no evidence of other disease (like the enlarged liver) at the time of the surgery. He is on chemotherapy now.


What's the difference?

Well, the enlarged liver is very concerning.


What we really need to know is if the liver is enlarged due to a concurrent condition, or if there is already metastatic disease throughout the liver.


The sonogram doesn't sound like it was that detailed. If it was not done by a specialist (a radiologist or internal medicine specialists), I would hold off surgery. Absolutely, get a referral to a specialist ASAP for a better ultrasound. In addition, if things are still uncertain, a needle aspirate can always be taken from the liver and/or spleen to try to identify what is being dealt with.


Unfortunately, a common cancer to be in the liver and spleen is hemangiosarcoma. It is a bad one. If you are not really thinking of chemotherapy, personally, the surgery would not be worth it. Without chemo and having that particular type of cancer, the statistically life span is 2-3 months. With chemo can be up to 12 months, but that is without evidence of spread to other organs.


I would get a second opinion before surgery.

Dr. Andy

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thanks so much, I really appreciate it!!
Do you have any experience with the enlarged liver?
Is it usually cancer related? My friend can't afford the $ 3000.00, especially without having some chances guaranteed! What would you think- are his chances or survival,
thanks so much

I am "concerned" about the presence of liver enlargement WITH the spleen being enlarged.


So, I believe the prognosis is very guarded.

If there are not the finances for the surgery, I personally (my own opinion), would not move forward, because the additional chemotherapy may be so important for trying to extend out the life span for any length of time.


Dr. Andy

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX!!!

You are welcome.

it's a tough situation.

Unfortunately, on this end, I have to make some "assumptions" when answering your questions. I can't really trust who did the ultrasound and what they saw in the liver and spleen. But, if correct, enlargement of both is not a good indicator.


Good Luck

Dr. Andy

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Should she get a second opinion?
I would. I would repeat that ultrasound also with a specialist.

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