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Thread: Anyone had a dog that had a splenectomy?

  1. #1
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    Anyone had a dog that had a splenectomy?

    I am so freaking out, Wylie was diagnosed 2 weeks ago with auto-immune anemia. The red blood cells in the liver attack and kill each other. The possible causes are quite long. cancers, viral and bacterial infections, triggers to vaccines, and now antibiotics.

    The first course of treatment is to nuke the body with prednizone to kill the immune system she is responding well to that. The first thought, was was caused by a round of recent amoxiliccilin or a tick borne disease. She did come back positive with a few rocky mtn fever antibodies that could hav cause it.

    But on Friday they did an ultrasound and found a 2 centimer growth on on her spleen and want to remove it, as this could be be the cause too.

    So has anyone had their dogs spleen removed and what did you go through?


    Laurie

    The vet

  2. #2
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    Valentine (at age almost 14) had her spleen successfully removed, when it had a grapefruit-sized tumor on it. She had hemangiosarcoma, which ultimately is fatal.

    However, the operation gave us almost 5 more months together.

    The biggest post-surgical issue for us was getting her on her feet, down the stairs and to the yard. For the first week, she couldn't handle it at all, and had to be carried. DH was out of town, and I was just recently in a cast on my left arm and had no strength. TG for a dear, dear, friend who came over 2 times a day to carry Valentine outside for me. Not a small feat, as she was 75#. We then used a large towel as a sling to assist her on the stairs for a few days. Then, she was OK with that short stairway.

    She never was a bounding puppy again, but she was able to navigate the house and the interior stairs eventually. I did take to using the baby gate to keep her on one floor as she insisted on following me up and down stairs as I did chores and things.

    Good luck with your puppy -- it sounds like she is being well cared for.

    Amy

    PS http://community.cookinglight.com/sh...ad.php?t=83271

    Here is the thread that I talked about the surgery/post surgical experience.
    Last edited by doggerham; 04-28-2008 at 11:16 AM.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the info Amy, Glad to hear she gave you some good months after. I read a majority of these growths are cancerous so I just have to get thru if the results are cancerous. It gives me some hope since hers is small. Luckily we are on one floor, and if they do surgery this week, Dh will be out of town too.


    I have been reading that they should have compatible blood ready if there is an emergency and they need to do a transufusion.

    Did you know if your vet did that?

    Laurie

  4. #4
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    I have no idea about if they were ready with a blood transfusion or not. This is a little old practice, but with a brand new surgical suite. The head vet told me that he wanted Dr. X to do the surgery, because she was younger, and much quicker than he was, and in that surgery, that was important.

    If you read through that entire thread, I did comment that she was on IV fluids post-surgery, to help support blood pressure, because the spleen holds a lot of blood.

    Hang in there, it sounds like your puppy's situation still could be any number of things, and the growth was caught pretty early. Puppy kisses for Wylie!

    PS I went and hunted down a picture of Wylie -- love those ears! You really have been through the mill with dogs recently. Its so hard when our furry pals get older.

  5. #5
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    Seeing as how it sounds like your vet is kind of shooting arrows at so many different possible causes have you thought about taking your dog to a specialist for second opinion? No doctor, be it human or veterinary can be an expert in every type of disease and it sounds like this may be the type of thing that is quite challenging to diagnose and treat properly. Remember, our beloved veterinarians have to know not only the things that can afflict our dogs, but our cats, bunnies, ferrets, hamsters etc.


    "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself" ~ George Bernard Shaw


  6. #6
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    Amy, thanks for the link to your original post, that really helps. I didn't see it at the bottom,
    And since I am a dog nut I noticed I responded to your original post.

    You really have been through the mill with dogs recently. Its so hard when our furry pals get older.

    And to add to my stress, (a great way to lose those 5 # I have been trying so hard to do)

    Jake my 11 year lab all of the sudden started really moping around last week, he went from playing a lot to nothing and just lays around. He got a chicken bone on Tuesday night, but didnt start acting lethargic until Thursday. So when I took Wylie in for her ultrasound on Friday I took Jake and they exrayed him, but didn't find a bone. So now I also have to talk to the vet about this sudden change in Jake


    When it rains it pours
    Laurie

  7. #7
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    Robyn, we only have one internist in town and I took Wylie to see her on Thursday. She was the one that recommended an ultrasound since she said a dog at that age with this autoimmune disorder is more likely to be triggered by a cancer and said to do an ultrasound.

    I also found out UC Davis, the big vet school in Calif will consult, so I sent a list of questions along with my request to my vet to talk to them today.

    After reading Amys post, Am I being paranoid about wanting a 24 hour clinic to do the surgery? THat is where the only internist is, but she has really wierd hours. I see Valentine was in the hospital for 6 days, I worry what if something happens and there is no after hour care?

    They are a VCA hospital, and dont take apppointments,

  8. #8
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    FWIW, the vet where Valley had her surgery isn't 24 hour, and she was fine. They usually do last rounds around 10-11pm, and then they're back about 6 am. I'm guessing that if there's an especially sick patient they refer them to Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists, where I think it is 24 hour care. (I've only used them once, many years ago for a sick cat. Took me 2 years to pay off the bill.)

  9. #9
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    This is going to be the longest day of my life

    I just dropped off Wylie for her splenectomy so now for the wait to ehar everything is okay and pray its not cancer.

    Laurie

  10. #10
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    wew, just heard from the vet and she is doing okay, she had a few nodules on and in her spleen as well as her liver so they are sending it off for biopsy.


    crossing my fingers for her coming out of her anesethiea okay and if so she can come home tomorrow

    Laurie

  11. #11
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    Fingers crossed!

  12. #12
    Laurie,

    I've only got a sec, but I wanted to let you know that our 12-year-old shepherd-lab mix, Annie, had a splenectomy early last September and is just fine. (The vet discovered evidence of at least two previous ruptures while checking Annie for something else, so the surgery was semi-emergency.) She was obviously uncomfortable for the first couple of days, more whiney than usual and very clingy, but by the end of the first week she was back to mostly normal behavior, and a few weeks later she was back to her normal hyperactive self.

    Hope all goes really well for Wylie!

    Robin

  13. #13
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    Thanks Makarius for your story that makes me feel better, and I just got off the phone with the vet and she is up and moving around

    Laurie

  14. #14
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    Wylie came through great with her surgery on Wed. I picked her up on Thursday and thought this dog had surgery! Here she has a 12 inch incision and yet she was so happy. She continues to heal well. I am waiting for the pathology reports of the biopsies. I have come to grips and feel its cancer, will know for sure next week.

    As if this isnt tough enough. My cat Shasta was sitting on our patio Thursday night and a cat came out of nowhere and attacked him. It happened in less than 5 seconds but he was hurt pretty bad, ripped his rear end open and multiple puncture wounds on his back. So he had surgery and is doing well. His poor bum, looks so painful.

    Laurie

  15. #15
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    Laurielee--Sorry, I just saw this thread today. Glad to hear surgery went well. I'm curious to know what the pathology report says about the spleen. PLease keep us updated, and feel free to ask me any questions; now that I'm subscribed to this thread, I'll get notified if you respond.
    -Rebecca


    Endurance comes from exhaustion. Keep running!
    --DH, aka "Coach"

  16. #16
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    Great News. No Cancer! The growths were benign, now we are watching her red blood cells, they went up to 37 which is the bottom normal and we need ot get her liver enzymes down, they were at 600 due to the prednizone.

    You would have never thought she had major surgery. She has made a very fast recovery.

    Laurie

  17. #17
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    Laurie -- HAPPY!!!!!

    I know you've been so worried about Wylie -- I guess the quick recovery was indicative of a good outcome for pathology.

    And how's the kitty?

  18. #18

    Dog splenectomy success story

    I just wanted to give some hope to others out there - because when I was told my 11yr old collie/alsation cross would need to have a splenectomy due to a mass on her spleen the first thing I did was came home & Googled it to find out more info. All I could find were stories with a bad ending & I spent night after night crying myself to sleep worrying about it.

    Basically the vet told me 2/3rds of all spleen masses come back malignant... thats 70% chance my poor baby had cancer, I literally tormented myself with worry & couldn't find any positive outcomes on the internet.

    I was made aware that there could be complications with this operation, but my dog was relatively healthy for an 11yr old & I decided to put her through the op because I thought to myself, what if i dont put her through this op & she is the 1/3rd that doesn't have cancer - I wouldn't have forgiven myself for not saving her life.

    I dropped Jodie to the vet that morning for the splenectomy & cried saying good bye to her... A few hrs later we got a call from our vet saying the op went well and there was no sign that if she did have cancer, that it had spread... So I was over the moon :-)

    Later the same day around 7pm we went down to collect jodie & brought her home - she was crying now and again & slightly uncomfortable... But this only lasted 2-3days & she slowly started becoming back to her normal self...

    5 days later we got a fone call from the vet telling us that the tumor was benign & everything was clear - I couldnt have wished for better news :-)

    Jodie has never been as happy (probably because of all the extra attention she gets now lol ) And I have never been more thankful to my vet for saving her life before perhaps the tumor bled etc.

    I just wanted to give hope to others out there that there IS a chance you're dogs tumor will come back benign & to stay positive :-)

  19. #19
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    Well since this popped up again, Wylie is still with us and it has been almost 4 years sincer her operation. at 14+ years she is stilldoing pretty good.

  20. #20
    Laurielee- I have a dog that has Immune Mediated Thrombocytopenia. It is the destruction of platelets. We have been battling this horrible disease for almost two years and it looks like she will never be cured. We have tried all kinds of drug combos with no success. The next step is to take out her spleen. Did the surgery take care of your dog's immune problem?

  21. #21
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    Laurielee, glad everything came out okay bc as I was reading, I was trying to figure out how to word what happened to my neighbor's dog. She was about 13. Had the surgery and they brought her home and she didn't stay in the hospital at all.

    Once they got her hom, they had tickets to a football game. They left and the MIL was supposed to check on her.

    When the MIL came over to check on her, she had died....I was very angry with them for leaving their dog, but their thought was she was very sleepy and was going to sleep anyway.....


    Glad to know that your dog is fine! My first dog died of hemangiosarcoma so I am SO glad yours didn't have it.

  22. #22

    Unhappy

    I took my 6 year old maltese, Rufus, into the emergency vet about six weeks ago because he just wasn't acting right. He was very lethargic, whining and his belly was just as hard as it could be. They ran him through a bunch of tests and really couldnt figure out what was wrong with him. They thought that maybe he might have twisted his back.
    During these tests, they did an ultrasound and found a mass on his spleen. They said that it was probably not causing him any pain but they would watch it and I would need to bring him back for another ultrasound.
    I took him yesterday and the mass has grown and there is another mass that has appeared.
    They are concerned because it has grown so much in only six weeks time. I take him in this Monday to have his spleen removed. Hopefully, we will have good results and no sign of cancer.

  23. #23
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    Janice, I hope Rufus comes out today with flying colors and wishing you the best.

    JBjones, I am sorry I just saw your post. There is conflicting information about removing the spleen in IMHA cases if there is not a mass on the spleen. For Wylie we wont know if that was the cause.

    If you have not already found these sights. please do


    A wondferful message board for IMHA/IAHA dogs

    http://www.vetnet.co.uk/cgi-bin/gen5...list&subject=7


    and this
    http://www.cloudnet.com/~jdickson/

  24. #24

    My dog Pebbles

    Hi everyone I'm new to this forum. I just would like to tell a true story. I have an 8 yr old dog named Pebbles she is sweet as can be, also very stubborn. Lol. I love this doggie to death. She is the family dog so she stays with my parents and I visit from time to time. Well to the story...

    This past September of 2012 I went to visit my parents and my sweet Pebbles. She is a heines 57 of German short haired pointer, Irish setter, lab, chow and terrier. What a mix! When I went out back where she was I noticed an enlargement in her belly. I brought attention to it to my parents and my dad just said she eats a lot and he would cut back on the treats. I insisted that she be taken to her annual check up early but my parents said she was fine.

    Three weeks later I came back to visit to make sure my beloved doggie was okay. When I went to see her her ribs were showing and the sides of her stomach stuck out weird and abnormal. I then was in rage....question my dad and said "I'm taking her to the vet!" I took her to the vet clinic that she always goes to and had them run a fecal on her to check and see if she has a paracite and since my parents live in a wooded area that was the first thing that came to mind. This vet said that she did have worms and was heart worm negative. I thought ok she just ate an infected flea from outside and contracted worms no problem. They gave me some meds and dewormer and sent us on our way.

    October 2012....
    Went to visit my parents and check on Pebbles. Only showed a little difference in her belly. I was not happy at all. Also her belly started to harden up! I called around to get the best price of an x-ray or ultra sound and hopefully find a vet hospital who would not rip me off like the last one...$85 dollars and some deworming.pssh... I found one I was so excited. I told them what was going on and they said come on in.

    San Juan Animal Hospital (Jax, FL)

    The vet assistant emediatly saw my poor Pebbles, at this point did not like the vet anymore. I filled out some paperwork and we all went in a room to wait on the doctor. The assistant takes her temp which is a little low and looks in her mouth and checks her heart and weight. She was 50lbs in September now she weighed 42lbs. Not good for a med size dog.

    Doctor Bennett walks in and examines her poor belly. Runs an x-ray first and then maybe an ultra sound. $$$$$ I thought. Oh well I love my baby more than $$$ and she deserves it. Doctor leaves with her to the back and runs the x-ray. A little while later he comes back in to give the news. No need for an ultra sound, come see the picture he says with a stern look on his face. I walked in the room with my mom and I saw the x-ray. I about passed out!!! I started to ball like a baby.

    The tumor.

    The doctor hands me some tissues and discusses some options. he said that it is is a tumor and can't tell if it is attached to the liver or the spleen. The only way to tell is if he operates. I said do it! Please take it out please help my baby. She is only 8yrs old. She's not ready to go yet.( Everyone who reads this...the tumor that was inside my Pebbles from what the x-ray showed was the size and shape of a soccer ball. It pushed her stomach to the side that's what the weird buldge was and her digestive intestines were pushed to her rectal area, her colon was raised to her spinal column. It was horrifying!
    Now I know what your thinking....how could you not notices? Well Pebbles would run and play chase squirrels and stray cats. Basically, live a dogs dream. My parents thought she was just getting fat and I was in ?? Because she didn't act sick at all and it's a medical miracle this tumor didn't rupture.)

    Back to the story....I agreed to go on with the emergency surgery. Kissed Pebbles and told her ill see her later. My mom paid a $500 deposit And they went home and I had to go to work. At this time it was about noon and I had to go into work. I cried the whole way home and I couldnt even call my boss without crying just to let her know what's going on incase I have to take a call from the doctor and step out from my desk.

    The phone call

    I'm just about to start work and a minute before I even clock in I get a call. It's the doctor. I leave the office quickly answer the phone. Doctor Bennett said that his best surgeon is conducting the surgery and is half way through. He says to me do you want the bad news or the good news first. I said the bad news as I busted into tears. He said the tumor is bigger than what the x-ray showed it's attached to the spleen which is the main host. It is also attached to the stomach the pancreas and the liver. The tumor in size is as large or a little larger than a basket ball. Now the good news is we can remove this huge mass and we promise to be a delicate as if it were a small piece of crystal. All I could say was please save my baby and just tie it off and then cut it out, which they knew that. I just felt so sorry that I didn't see it sooner. And my boss kindly felt my pain and thank goodness for PTO time. I called my parents in tears and went home. Loved on my other two doggies a Dalmatian and a Bull terrier. Took them for a walk and was still in tears. I just could not stop beating myself up.

    End of surgery

    I asked all my friends and the people i knew on facebook to please pray from my sweet Pebbles. I received a call the same day about five o'clock. The vet called and said the spleenectomy went very well and the tumor stayed in one peice and she didn't loose any of her other
    organs. Suddenly my mood changed and a little smile appeared They said I could pick her up the same day only because no one would be there after-hours. She was so thin after surgery and weighed just 34lbs. My poor baby. The doctor gave me pictures of the horrid tumor and left the I V catheter in her arm so she can come back in the morning. I took her to her home and she walked right to her bed and went back to sleep. I laid with her and told her I was so sorry and I kissed her head.

    The next morning it was back to the vet and she needed to stay the
    whole day to be monitored and hooked up to fluids so she doesn't
    dehydrate

    It's Friday october 19th as I'm telling this to all who reads. So far pebbles is walking around she is eating, drinking and alert. I put her on all organic foods and she only drinks filtered water. She takes a half of an iron pill every other day. The ones that are made for dogs of course so she doesn't get constipated. She will be in the recovery stage for a few months. She is so strong and I am praying everyday she pulls through and I'll get to have her for a few more years.

    The surgeon told me he has never for the 20 some old years he's been working to care for animals has he ever seen a tumor in a dog that big coming from the spleen. He asked me if he could send it off and I of course said yes. Today we will get the results back from the lab and pebbles is in for another check up. It could be cancerous and it could be a dud.


    Wish Pebbles luck!

  25. #25
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    Oh dear Cgbutler - that's quite a story. Here's hoping for a full recovery for Pebbles. Welcome to the boards and let us know the outcome.

  26. #26
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    Cgbutler, I am the one that started this thread. I do know of one case where a 7# tumor was removed and it was non-cancerous.

    Wylie gave us 4 wonderful years after that and sadly we had to let her go over the bridge 2 weeks ago. My heart still aches, she gave us us 14 wonderful years.

    I hope it is good news for you.

    Laurie

  27. #27

    Thanks, Laurie

    Quote Originally Posted by Laurielee View Post
    Cgbutler, I am the one that started this thread. I do know of one case where a 7# tumor was removed and it was non-cancerous.

    Wylie gave us 4 wonderful years after that and sadly we had to let her go over the bridge 2 weeks ago. My heart still aches, she gave us us 14 wonderful years.

    I hope it is good news for you.

    Laurie
    Thanks, Laurie, your posts here give me great faith that my little 11 year old will have a few years left after having had her spleen removed. The biopsy revealed no cancer but vet says I still have to be aware that she could succumb to something else within a year's time. I don't want to hear that. I want her to have a full life, as long as she is able to do all she can do. I have incorporated veggies (both fresh and organic baby food) in to her daily diet. Her appetite, post surgery, is awesome. She ate well before but now it's like she has a whole new appreciation, and is drinking lots of water as well. Did you do similar things with your pet's diet? I also give her a daily supplement (glucosamine, etc). Up until she had the surgery, she was taking one rimadyl tablet a day. I'm extremely reluctant to give that to her now, as I know without a spleen her liver is going to have to work harder. I need to discuss that with the vet. But I like other opinions as well. It has been one month since the surgery and I have yet to take her to any of her familiar spots...the dog park. I'm just so anxious about it. Is that something you and your dog did, after the surgery? I just want NOT to be afraid but instead give her all the joy and fun she can have. Again, I am so glad to read of such a happy ending. 4 years was a blessing, even though it hurts like anything to have to let a pet go. If there's anything else you can share, I would sure love to hear it. I know I certainly don't have all the answers, and I know I've probably left things out of this message. Look forward to your reply!

  28. #28
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    HI, wow, I am glad this old post keeps popping up to help people. You don't say what prompted the surgery. After Wylie,s surgery she bounced back to her old self. I did not exercise her has much since you are not supposed to have vigerous exercise. We still went on our long walks, b, but I discouraged any kind of running. because she was originally diagnosed with autoimmune hemolytic anemia I did not want to have any kind of relapse so we never wnet where their were a lot other dogs. She already had high liver values, so I supplemented with milk thistle. but it was not until a few years that she started getting arthritis. She was on synflex, my vet said it was the best. If you can I highly recommend laser therapy, both my dogs benefited greatly. Both had a real hard time getting up and after a couple of treatments its was wow, they were back to their old self.

  29. #29

    I'm happy to hear that there are good outcomes.

    I'm happy to hear that there are good outcomes. I've been researching online and it seems most places say your dogs probably got the bad kind of cancer and will probably die even with the surgery but you don't have much choice. So I, needless to say, have been freaking out.

    I took my ten yr old boxer/lab mix to a different vet last week due to a reoccuring uti and a distended belly because I didn't think the vet I was at was doing a good job helping her. They gave her an ultrasound and an x ray only to find out her spleen is huge. The vet told me that since it's been going for about a year now and the spleen is so huge and there are no other masses that it probably is not malignant or else she wouldn't have survived this long. She did chest x rays and blood tests everything looks good. But she won't know for sure until she opens her up.

    But then I read that she might need blood transfusions during the surgery and though my vet does have ultrasound I'm worried she might not have the ability to do the blood transfusions because she never mentioned this to me. I don't want to call her and ask her because I have called the vet every day sometimes twice a day with questions because this is my baby. My vet finally laid it on the line for me that without the surgery be it malignant or benign she will die from a ruptured spleen. With the surgery no matter if it's the good or the bad she will live a more comfortable life for however long she has left. So it's really not an option.

    Doesn't mean I don't worry though. She has the surgery on Tuesday and I'm terrified. I'm staying at the vet's during the surgery and for two hours afterwards to make sure she is ok. My dog is not my pet she is my daughter and that might seem silly but I don't have kids and I've had her for 10 years since she was 6 weeks old.

    But anyway too much google is not a good thing. But what is a good thing is that I found this thread. This thread that gave me some hope that everything might be ok after all. So thank you for sharing your story. I might can stop crying now. I just gotta pray a little harder and have faith.

  30. #30
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    MikaPotts, believe me, you don't sound silly. Many of us on these boards consider their pets their children, and we understand. Fingers are crossed for your doggie.
    And yes, too much googling can be a bad thing. Have positive thoughts, and spend more quality time with your dog instead.
    Vicci


    Can't you just eat what I put in front of you? Do you have to know what it is?
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