Case of the Month
Lady is a 10-year-old mixed breed dog brought to Blum Animal Hospital in a state of collapse associated with deep shock. Within moments of arriving at the hospital , Lady's circulatory failure was treated by our technicians and veterinarians, whose goal was to increase her critically low blood pressure. As she was being treated, diagnostic tests were started to find out the reason for Lady's acute collapse.
An abdominal X-ray revealed a large mass behind Lady's stomach, and ultrasound indicated the mass was associated with her spleen. The ultrasound also showed Lady was losing large amounts of blood into her belly.
Once a diagnosis had been made it became evident that Lady's only chance for survival would be emergency surgery. Lady received a blood transfusion and once her state of shock was stabilized she was taken to surgery. During the operation, our veterinarians found a five-inch tumor growing on Lady's spleen and the tumor had ruptured, leading to massive blood loss. Lady's spleen was removed to stop the hemorrhaging.
It is common in dogs that have had their spleens removed to have abnormal heart rhythms in the post-op period and Lady was no different. Her condition was treated intensively and she made a complete recovery. In dogs, tumors of the spleen can be benign or malignant. In Lady's case, fortunately, her tumor was non-cancerous. Blood vessels in the tumor had weakened to the point of bursting. Her spleen then grew like a large blood-filled sac known as a hematoma until it ruptured. Lady's owners were astute in recognizing that something was seriously wrong with their beloved companion and rushed her to the hospital. Had they taken a "wait and see" attitude, the outcome of Lady's case would have been different.