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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16305
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My shepherd is 14 years old has been diagnosed with a mass

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My shepherd is 14 years old has been diagnosed with a mass on the spleen as the blood work came back ok ecept for anemia. What are my options if I do not want to operate?

Hello, my name isXXXXX and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.

I'm sorry to hear that your pup has a mass on her spleen.

Is this mass palpable on abdominal palpation?

Was it seen on radiographs or an abdominal ultrasound?

Are there any metastases seen on radiographs of her chest and abdomen?


The most common tumor we see on the spleen, especially in German Shepherds, and Golden Retrievers is a hemangiosarcoma. These tumors are very, very aggressive and usually have metastasized by the time we find the primary tumor, even if we cannot see the metastases on radiographs or ultrasound. But if we see metastases then the prognosis is even more guarded.


Usual treatment is surgical removal of the spleen to remove the primary tumor and then chemotherapy. But honestly even with that sort of aggressive treatment these pups rarely have a good quality of life for any length of time or a lifespan longer then 6 months.

With no treatment they usually have weeks to months.

These tumors usually rupture at some point as they tend to grow quickly and outgrow their blood supply, which leads to an abrupt drop in blood pressure and sudden death.


Another option is a homeopathic treatment with a product called I'm-Yunity which is derived from a particular mushroom that has had some very promising results.

Here are some links to read about a study done at Penn as well as the company's website to buy the product.




Best of luck with your pup, please let me know if you have any further questions.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

the doctor recommended putting her on antibiotics this helpful? Can I provide her with an iron supplement also?

Thanks for the questions.

If she has generalized splenic enlargement and they are worried about infectious tick borne diseases rather then a tumor doxycycline would be recommended.

If this is a tumor antibiotics are unlikely to change the mass, although there can be secondary infections as tissue dies secondary to the tumor being there, and then antibiotics are somewhat helpful. Antibiotics can interfere with her appetite though, and these dogs are often not eating well, so I would take that into consideration.

Iron supplements aren't very helpful in these cases as her anemia isn't due to low iron levels, it is due to red cells being destroyed in the affected spleen, so I wouldn't recommend them.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

DO you believe she can be in any pain?


Thank you for your answers

You are very welcome.

I don't think that she is in pain. I suspect she is tired and weak because of her anemia, and that she feels very "full" because of the mass in her abdomen putting pressure on her stomach, intestines, and other abdominal organs.

If she has metastases in her lungs then that interferes with oxygenation and that can make her more tired and if the metastases are in her liver that will interfere with liver function and increase the "full" feeling in her abdomen.

Dr. Kara and 2 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Kara