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. Deb Your Own Question
Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 9965
Experience:  I have owned, bred and shown dogs for over 40 years.
Type Your Dog Question Here...
Dr. Deb is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My dog of 10 years has just had her spleen and a 11 pound tumor

This answer was rated:

My dog of 10 years has just had her spleen and a 11 pound tumor removed. She is doing well. It has been almost a month. I notice that her energy does not last very long.. before she is ready to sleep. I am concerned about what to do to help replace the lost function of the spleen. I am using beet root pwd. for iron and blood assistance and oil of oregano in olive oil for an antibiotic. Have had any cases of spleen removal in dogs and what do you suggest for dietary support.

Hi Anne, I'm Dr. Deb. I will do my best to assist you today.
That's pretty impressive that Noodle is doing so well after her surgery!

I have a few questions to ask first, if you don't mind:

1. Was a biopsy done of the tumor?
2. Was her blood work normal before the surgery?
3. Has it been repeated since the surgery?

There may be a slight delay after I receive your answers since I have to type up a response to you. Thanks for your patience. Deb

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Deb, The delay was mine:) The blood work was done before surgery and they told me she was anemic. They checked her blood during the 3 days she was there and before they released her when I went back for the 1 month check up they checked gums and visual vitality and hands on felt for anything a miss. Declared her doing VERY well. I asked about the biopsy and they said it was expensive and not conclusive. They did not do a biopsy because I am on a very limited budget.

Presently she is doing well, but sleeps a little more than I remember and is a little more hesitant about just running around. she is happy and appears to not be in any pain.

Thanks for your help, Anne

Thanks for getting back to me, even though it's been a few days:)
It's great that she's doing so well; I'm constantly amazed at these older dogs after a splenectomy!

Dogs don't become anemic when their spleens are removed. In fact, red blood cells can be sequestered in this organ, thus causing anemia. It's possible for some dogs to do better after their spleens are removed but much depends on the underlying problem that affects this organ.

Without a biopsy of the spleen, it's obviously going to be difficult to know how serious the situation might be with Noodle but the possibilities are either cancer or a benign process such as multiple hematomas...although I suspect that this is something that you already know.

1. If this was cancer, then clearly the long term prognosis isn't very good...not because the spleen was removed but primarily because there is usually metastasis to other organs by the time the diagnosis is made. The average life expectancy could be anywhere from 4-6 months.

Something to consider for Noodle would be a cancer diet which is high in protein and low in carbohydrates. There is a prescription cancer diet (N/D) which could be given but you would have to purchase this diet from your's not available in stores. There haven't been any specific studies, though, that prove if it will help with this kind of cancer.

There are cancer diets listed on the internet but you have to be somewhat careful of them since they may not be balanced.


High doses of fish oil (fatty acids) are often recommended for their anti-oxidant properties but, again, no specific studies have been done to prove their effectiveness in slowing the progression of cancer.


Probiotics such as Forti Flora may be helpful; these products can help boost the immune system.

There are a number of spices shown to have anti-cancer activity.

Garlic --Try FRESH minced garlic - about 1 clove per 40 pounds of body weight. Be careful of the dose, though, since in large amounts, garlic can cause toxicity (anemia). A cbc (complete blood count) should be monitored regularly to monitor potential problems.

Turmeric, the yellow (and rather mild) spice that gives curry its yellow color, is a strong antioxidant. Turmeric is rather milder tasting than one would expect. Most dogs accept it readily. The dose of turmeric is high, up to one tablespoon daily for large dogs.

2. If this was a benign process such as a hematoma or multiple hematomas, then no additional supplemental support or dietary change is needed, in my opinion.

I've had multiple dogs through the years who've had splenectomies. One had her spleen removed 5 years ago (she bloated and her spleen had torsed). I've not supplemented her in any way, I feed her regular dog food and she's not had any issues with her health.

My 8 year old dog recently had a splenctomy with a diagnosis of hematoma; again, I haven't supplemented him (and don't plan on doing so) and he's doing fine.

A close friend has the same breed as mine who was diagnosed with an hemangiosarcoma after her splenectomy. She's doing better now than before her surgery but we both know that this won't last.

Believe it or not, there are some breeders that I know who are actually recommending prophylactic splenectomies in their young, large breed dogs to prevent the risk of splenic torsions, splenic cancer and splenic issues secondary to bloat. This may seem a little extreme but since dogs can function and live just fine without their spleens, I can understand why they would want to remove it to prevent serious problems in the future.

These breeders don't plan on supplementing after the surgery and I agree that it will not be necessary.

I hope this helps you and Noodle, of course. Deb

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

Thanks so much. That was wonderful information and very helpful.


You're welcome:)
And, thank you so much for the rating; it's greatly appreciated.
I hope that Noodle continues to do well for a long time to come.
Regards, Deb

Related Dog Questions