FAQ About A Dog That Has Hemangiosarcoma Of The Heart

Posted on: 22 June 2016

Does your dog have a swollen stomach and seem to struggle with breathing? It is important for you to take him or her to an animal hospital to get examined as soon as possible. Your dog has symptoms that are possibly related to him or her having hemangiosarcoma, which is a type of heart cancer. Take a look at this article to find the answers to some of the questions that you might have in mind about dogs with heart cancer.

What is Heart Cancer in a Dog?

Heart cancer in dogs begins as an aggressive cancerous tumor that originates in blood cells. The tumor can originate in any of the blood cells in a dog's body and metastasize to the heart. The bad thing about hemangiosarcoma in the form of heart cancer is that the chances of survival are very low because of the complications involved.

What Kind of Complications Are There?

One of the worst complications of hemangiosarcoma of the heart is internal bleeding, as it can be difficult to stop. The bleeding stems from the tumor getting big and rupturing. Some of the symptoms of intimal bleeding include frequent nosebleeds, extreme fatigue, seizures and collapsing. Another complication that your dog can experience is fluid building up around his or her heart and abdomen.

How Can a Diagnosis Be Made?

A veterinarian will have to review your dog's overall health history before a diagnosis. You must explain any illnesses, injuries or behavioral changes that your pet has experienced. Your dog will have to take blood tests that can help with determining if anemia is present, such as by measuring the count of red blood cells. Fluid will be taken from your dog's chest and abdomen to determine if it is blood, as blood is a sign that hemangiosarcoma is present. An electrocardiogram is also likely to be done to measure the electrical currents in your dog's heart muscles.

What Type of Treatment is Necessary?

Treatment for hemangiosarcoma of the heart is usually only done to prolong a dog's life a little longer, as it is rarely curable. For instance, your dog may have to undergo chemotherapy to prevent the disease from metastasizing so fast. Surgery may be done if there is only one tumor on the heart. Other types of treatment may be necessary as well, such as for relieving some of the complications that come with hemangiosarcoma heart cancer. Take your dog to an animal hospital in case he or she has heart cancer.