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Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30034
Experience:  UC Davis graduate, emphasis in dermatology, internal medicine, pain management
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Today we took our 11 year old golden to the emergency vets

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Today we took our 11 year old golden to the emergency vets and they found blood in her abdomen as well as a 2cm by 1cm tumor on her liver. However no other tumors were found during the ultrasound or on the x-rays of her chest and heart. The doctors are not 100% certain that she has cancer. The doctors have given us some choices to consider, and tonight she is in their critical care unit being monitored.
She would not eat this morning and she had to be carried outside to go the bathroom. As we look back these last few months we realized she would pant a lot and be somewhat lazy, but we all thought the summer heat was getting to her and that she was slightly depressed after her primary caregiver passed away in June. To our knowledge she has not had any trauma to her abdomen, she's never been hit by a car and hasn't fallen down any stairs. Up till today she was a very healthy golden retriever.

i guess what I am asking is could that small of a tumor create this many problems or could it be possible that the primary tumor is hiding?

Could it also be that the tumor has nothing to do with the abdominal bleeding?
Welcome! My name isXXXXX am a UC Davis graduate, and currently, a Medical Director of a veterinary hospital.

I am sorry to hear about this concern for Maggie.
Great question. Very tough.

"IF" you had told me that the tumor, even that smaller size was in the spleen, I would have said yes.
splenic tumors can be very vascular, and at a small size, can bleed very badly.

But!
This was not the spleen. It was in the liver. So, I am thinking what you are thinking...that this tumor in the liver is not the primary tumor or cause of Maggie's complications.

I would absolutely request they get a better look on that ultrasound, especially at the liver.
Also, I don't know the skill level of who did the ultrasound, but they should visualize the adrenal glands for tumors as well with these symptoms. Some of these symptoms suggest Cushing's disease, which would manifest with adrenal gland enlargement.

also, abnrmal bleeding. Should have been done already, but a clotting blood profile needs to be done to see if there are any bleeding disorders as the primary problem, completely separate from that liver tumor.

Very sorry you are running into this complication with Maggie, but I do suspect there is something else going on.

Please let me know if there is anything I did not cover for you. I hope that information has been helpful.
Please remember to select Reply to Expert, if for any reason you need further clarification, have more questions, or were expecting a different type of answer. DO NOT rate yet if have any other questions. My goal is to try and provide you the best answer possible.
Dr. Andy

Dr. Andy and 2 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your reply.


 


A blood clotting test was performed and if I remember correctly they said her blood was clotting. They also looked at her adrenal glands and they said they were normal.


 


Since the doctors can't find any other masses could it be possible that the primary tumor is the one that burst and is causing the bleeding?


 


The doctor also brought up that she could have a blood disorder. By this time I was in information overload so I don't exactly remember all the details. I will have to ask again tomorrow.


 


I will ask them to look again at the liver, thanks for the suggestion.


 


Is a tumor in the liver less likely to occur than the spleen?




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Hi Jessica,
No, we regularly see tumors in both the liver and the spleen.

Unfortunately, pure breed Goldens are definitively predisposed to underlying cancer concerns, so wonderful she is up at 11 years of age.

If the vet is not a specialist, my suggestion would be to get her transferred to a internal medicine specialist or critical care specialist immediately and have them re-evaluate the ultrasound.

That would be your best course of action.

Good Luck!

Dr. Andy
I am very sorry to hear about your loss Jessica.
Please let me know if there is anything else I can do.

You and your family have my deepest sympathy and support.

Just in case, sometimes, one of these references can be useful.

Petloss support resources:
Pet Loss Hotlines

Rainbowbridge Grief Support

Dr. Andy