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Dr. K
Dr. K, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 7544
Experience:  13 years experience as Veterinarian
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My 13 year old labrador has an enlarged spleen. do we have ...

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My 13 year old labrador has an enlarged spleen. do we have any other options for her, other than surgery to remove the spleen and possibly diagnos tumor? I don't want to put her through surgery if there is a better option to diagnos a tumor.
A spleen can be enlarged for many reasons. Certain infectious diseases can cause this to happen, generalized metastasized cancers like mast cell tumors or lymphoma, or it can be a benign tumor of the spleen.
Most splenic tumors are easily visualized with an ultrasound, which does not even require anesthesia. If there is no obvious tumor, a needle can be inserted into the spleen and some cells aspirated for examination to determine why the spleen is enlarged. If a tumor is seen, this can be biopsied in the same manner.
However, some tumors of the spleen can suddenly rupture and cause an animal to bleed internally. When these are found, the best prognosis for the dog is to have the spleen removed immediately. If your dog's splenic tumor has already ruptured, then surgery must be done at once to try to save the dog's life.
I hope that this information has helped you, and that you are now better equipt to ask your veterinarian questions. Good luck to you and your dog.
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Customer: replied 9 years ago.
The doctor seemed to feel she could wait for surgery on monday am. If her condition is not an emergency then I don't want to rush to surgery with her, she is 13yrs and from what I have read tumors of the spleen can be of the nasty variety. I just wouldn't want annie to think I have abandoned her.   I couldn't bear to have her put through surgery if there is no hope of recovery. It just seems like a lose lose situation.   Annies mom.
It shouldn't be lose/lose if the surgical removal of the spleen is a success, and the tumor (if there is one) has not metastasized. If she has not had an ultrasound or X-rays of her abdomen and chest, I would really recommend that this be done. If the chest X-rays show that cancer has already metastasized to her lungs, or if the ultrasound shows tumors in organs other than her spleen, then you know that the cancer has spread and there really is no point in putting her through splenic surgery. However, if the problem is confined to the spleen, then removal of the spleen just might save her life!
Don't give up hope, until you know exactly what you are dealing with! I will be thinking of you.
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