How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. B. Your Own Question
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16230
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
60269376
Type Your Dog Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. B. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My 11 year old dog was just diagnosed with a tumor on s

Customer Question

Hi. My 11 year old dog was just diagnosed with a tumor on his spleen. We do not yet know if it has spread of if it has started to bleed out. Would you recommend surgery? He is a lab/mix and has arthritis?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Did you mean you don't know if it has started bleeding? Or is it bleeding just now?

How is Riley's health otherwise? Is he coping with his arthritis?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the vet recommends a chest xray and bloodtest to find out if it has spread or started to bleed out. The tumor was discovered during an xray looking at his liver
His health is okay...he has become lethargic and has pain meds for his arthritis.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hi again,

I absolutely agree with your vet 100% on that. We usually will check pre-anesthestic bloods before any operation in an elderly dog. This allows to assess their organ function in general and make sure that they are a safe candidate for surgery.

From there, we usually will book them for the operation but before preceding it is always advisable to xray the lungs. This is because the lungs are the primary place nasty splenic hemangiosarcomas spread. And if we re xray chest prior to surgery and see tumor already present, then we tend not to put the dog through the surgery. But if the lungs are clear, then that means we are either in an early stage with the cancer or the mass on the spleen isn't cancerous.

It is important to note that neither test will really directly tell us if this is bleeding out. That said his bloods will show if he is anemic (has low blood cell levels). If he is, then that is suggestive of active bleeding. But if one wanted to know if he actually was, then an ultrasound would be indicated....

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

...as you can see I was in the midst of replying.

Overall, I would let the tests guide you on what to do with your lad. If his bloods come back with issues, then surgery isn't advisable. But if it comes back clear, then we'd want to have that chest xray. If that shows cancer has spread, then again surgery is not advisable. But if that is clear, then we should operate to remove this for him to prevent bleeding out due to mass rupture and to have it tested to see if there is a risk of cancer that may need further treatment (ie chemo, palliative care, etc).

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is how I am credited for assisting you today.Thank you! : )

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. That was helpful. I think we will proceed with the blood work and chest xray and go from there.What is the life expectance with no spleen?
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

You are very welcome,

The spleen is not a critical organ, so splenic removal doesn't impact the life span at all. So, if we find it was just a hematoma on the spleen, we can all breathe a sigh of relief and know that the organ's removal won't reduce his life span at all.

All the best,

Dr. B.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is how I am credited for assisting you today.Thank you! : )

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

You are very welcome, my dear.

Best wishes for Riley,

Dr. B.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. *Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is how I am credited for assisting you today.Thank you! : )

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi Jean,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Riley. How is everything going?
nekovet