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Spleen Tumors

January 1st, 2009, 07:48 PM
Last week, our dog Maggie would yelp when she jumped off the bed or recliner. My husband rubbed her hind legs and she was fine. We thought maybe she pulled a muscle. We didn't think anything more about it.

On Saturday, we took her for a truck ride and when we came home, she jumped out of the truck (which she did many times), she yelped. After that she didn't want to do anything but just lay around. She didn't even want a treat. I called the on call vet who said it sounds like she hurt her back. She said to give her 2 aspirin a day for 2 days. We went to bed that night and while in bed I was rubbing her belly. I felt a lump. My husband said he didn't fell anything and that it's probably just a muscle.

On Sunday, she was fine, eating, playing and acting normal. I called the vet on Monday and took her in because there's a reason she would yelp when jumping. Our vet felt her belly and didn't feel anything. I thought oh well, maybe it's just me. He said he thinks it's her back and he took an X-ray. Sure enough, she had a tumor (as big as an orange) in her belly. We decided to do surgery to remove it. I was a nervous wreak. I called a few times to make sure she was ok. Then the tech called and told me that the tumor was attached to the spleen which they removed and our vet is pretty sure he got it all out. The bloodwork came back great but she was alittle anemic. When they put her on the operating table, they saw the tumor. They said we got her in in the nick of time. It already started bleeding and when he took the tumor out, it exploded in his hands. She probably only had a few hours left if we waited because it would have exploded in her and she would have bled.

Nobody felt this tumor but me. We were so lucky that we got her in when we did. My vet said the reason I probably felt it was because she was laying next to me and relaxed because we couldn't feel it when she was standing up because it was probably hiding behind her ribcage. They were going to keep her overnight but they said she was doing really well and that she can come home. She's doing better today. Ate and drank alittle, loves her treats and even tried playing alittle. My girlfriend let me borrow a big silver cage to keep her mobilized so she can get better. I slept next to her on the sofa and my husband slept on the recliner. Now we hope that the tumor comes back benign. He said that the tumor wasn't as big as it looked on the x-ray because it was forming blood clot around it. She's my baby and we're so lucky we got her in when we did. Does anyone know about this type of tumor?

Please pray that the tumor comes back benign.

Thank You


January 1st, 2009, 07:53 PM
Wow, what a way to end the year.

Good for you for trusting your gut and bringing your beautiful Maggie in to the vet. :thumbs up

I don't know anything about any of this but I do send you and Maggie :goodvibes: that everything will be ok.

Please keep us posted and post a few pics whenever you have time (soon!!!:D)

January 1st, 2009, 08:19 PM
Sending good vibes to Maggie. I faced an emergency splenectomy with my little Scottie girl. We too were fortunate to get her to the vet ER, just in time. Waiting for the biopsy results was so hard. Tipper's spleen was engorged to the point of rupture. When removed, it weighed 1 pound and was the size of a 16oz. soda bottle. Her biopsy was negative for cancer. I think they called what she had a splenetic hematoma (like a giant infected bruise). She had not had any known trauma to cause this.

What we did face was following surgery she started throwing odd cardiac enzymes and needed to have extensive heart monitoring/testing and an extended stay in ICU. Once we got her through that, we needed very regular followup cancer screenings--the spleen is a part of the lymph system and lymphomas can occur. Although we didn't get a cancer diagnosis, Tipper did end up having major infections that she could not throw off. The spleen works with the immune system to fight infection. Be aware that Maggie could have difficulty fighting infections so stay on top of this.

Background: my dog was not in great health. At the time of this surgery, she was 10. She had experienced cardiac arrest following spay surgery. After the surgery we faced urinary tract infections, bladder surgery, hepatitis and eventually lost our baby to kidney failure. The spleen removal did not cause these problems, but her weakened immune system did lead to her not being able to heal. I wish you luck with Maggie. Even with our health issues, I was blessed to have one extra year with my girl.

January 1st, 2009, 08:31 PM
:fingerscr for the biopsy to come back benign. There are benign tumors of the spleen. If the tumor has not metastisized, there is a good chance that it is benign.

So :goodvibes: for good biopsy results and quick healing. Try not to worry too much until you know exactly what you're dealing with :grouphug: I know that's difficult to impossible to do, though :o

Please keep us updated, okay? :grouphug:

January 1st, 2009, 08:47 PM
Thank goodness u were able to get her to the vet's in time. I'm hoping her test will be normal.


January 1st, 2009, 08:50 PM
Thank you all. Her bloodwork was great except she was alittle anemic from loss of blood. Our vet took an xray of her lungs and heart and said that was good. When he opened her up for surgery, her stomach and other organs looked good. So everything is looking really good but I'm still nervous about it until it hopefully comes back benign.


January 2nd, 2009, 12:36 PM
Bernice, I wanted to give a link to the posts I received when Tipper had her surgery.

Please know I am keeping you and Maggie in my prayers. Tipper did well following her surgery once her heart was stabilized. The vet doing her surgery said her liver was abnormal, but she had run very abnormal liver enzymes (ALK PHOS) from the time we got her. It is a Scottie thing. When we did her bladder surgery (bladder cancer is also a Scottie thing :cry:) we found out she had hepatitis. The medication used to treat Transitional Cell Carcinoma (TCC) could not be processed by her diseased liver and threw her into kidney failure and we lost our girl. I want you to know that her spleen surgery was not what caused her to pass. I do sometimes wonder if it affected her immune system however.

Best wishes to Maggie. Stay strong and cherish every minute with your girl!

January 2nd, 2009, 02:47 PM
Thank you for posting the link. When reading the posts, some made me feel alittle better while others made me worry more.

Her bloodwork came back normal and our vet said her organs looked good. We have things that are looking good but I read that most of time these tumors are cancerous. Plus it was big (as an orange) but the blood clot around it made it look bigger on the x-ray. From what I read 33% chance that it's benign is not very high. Our vet said it's a 50/50 chance it's benign.

Is that a good sign that her bloodwork is normal, the x-ray of her heart and lungs was normal and that all her organs look good?

Thank You,


January 3rd, 2009, 12:19 PM
Actually, my vet told me to stay off the internet because it would scare me too much. The ER vet who operated said that these things are likely cancer. Ours was not. They are not always cancer. Remember that. Keep saying that. I know it is hard waiting.

Our bloodwork with the spleen surgery showed Tipper was very anemic and had abnormally high Alkaline Phosphatase liver level (this was always elevated). Other blood work was good. Anemia was due to the blood going to the spleen. She did receive a transfusion. Tipper had heart tests run by a veterinary cardiologist. I know they kept saying they were worried about tumors in her heart, but she didn't have any. I know she had heart X-rays and an echocardiogram. They also tested to see if her medications were stabilizing her heart enzymes. My vet followed up with an EKG two weeks later and things were normal with her heart. I was told that spleen removal could cause the dog to "throw" abnormal cardiac enzymes that could lead to cardiac arrest. This was evident in Tipper immediately following surgery. Also remember my dog had cardiac arrest following a previous surgery. My dog was not in great health when we faced this. Her organs looked good, except for her liver. I believe it was her liver issues that caused her so many problems in the end.

Still keeping you and Maggie in my thoughts. An orange size tumor sounds huge and it is scary. I actually saw Tipper's spleen following her surgery. The assistants allowed us to visit with Tipper for a few minutes. The doctor was working on preparing the biopsies. I saw what he was working on. The best way to describe the size and shape of her organ was that it looked like a 16 oz. soda bottle with the top cut off. Huge for a dog under 30 pound. Please update us when you get your results. Big hugs for your sweet Maggie. I understand how hard this is for you. It is hard for me to even write about our experience, but if it can help someone else--I know Tippy would want that.

January 5th, 2009, 05:05 PM
The vet tech also told me to stay off the computer but I can't help myself. She said there's a lot of misinformation out there but I don't believe that.

On Friday I called to talk to the tech because I was feeling upset and needed to talk to her even though the biopsy hasn't come back yet. The receptionist ask me what it was regarding. I told her that I was upset and couldn't eat and was sick to my stomach waiting for this biopsy to hopefully come back benign. I told her that I need to talk to the tech because I needed to talk to someone. The receptionist said "well, have you thought about seeing a doctor yourself?" I said "well if her biopsy comes back benign, I'll be ok then". I can't believe she said that to me. To me, that wasn't very professional and I should tell the office what she said.

January 5th, 2009, 05:37 PM
I just wanted to check back and see if you had gotten the results. The waiting is very hard. Trust me--I understand. The whole time Tipper was sick, I had to listen to my mother tell me that I needed to see a doctor. It wasn't normal to be so attached to a dog. I was making myself sick. That really hurt so much. She did finally admit that she could not understand. I also understand that you can't eat, can't sleep. I can tell that you love your Maggie with all your heart.

Please know you and Maggie are in my thoughts. Please keep us updated. Prayers that the results are benign.

January 5th, 2009, 05:47 PM
Thank you. It is so hard waiting for the results but parts of me really don't want to know if it's bad. Our animals are a part of our family and for me, my animals means more to me than some people. Hopefully her biopsy is will come back benign. Does it really take so long for it to come back? Is it good that it's taking this long?


January 5th, 2009, 09:25 PM
With Tipper, we got our results back in a week. We didn't have any holidays involved during the time. Honestly, the best thing to do right now is just say prayers for Maggie.

I understand about the pets being part of the family. And so many people don't understand this. Losing my Tipper was one of the worst things in my life.

How is Maggie's recovery going? It took Tipper a good two weeks to get any energy back and a solid month to be back on her feet. We had follow ups with our vet every two days once she was discharged from ICU, then weekly for a couple of weeks after that. Her surgeon used dissolving stitches, so we didn't need to have those removed. Most of her followup care was to check her heart though. Is Maggie eating well? I was able to get Tipper back on her food pretty quickly. The first day or so after surgery, I gave her scrambled eggs--she loved those so much.

I know it isn't related to the spleen surgery, but I think it took us about 10-12 days to get Tipper's bladder polyp biopsy results back. They were precancerous and her liver biopsy showed hepatitis. This was when her health really began to deteriorate.

I would think it is good that Maggie's other organs looked good when they did the surgery and the blood work was otherwise normal. I don't know if you want to hear this, but the way I tried to view things with my Tipper was that if my girl had not had this surgery, she would have died. Every day I had with her after her spleen surgery was a true gift and a treasure. This surgery really made me stop and realize just how important she was to me and to never take my time with her for granted. I was blessed to have her with me as long as I did.

What kind of dog is Maggie, and how old is she? My Tipper was a beautiful black and silver brindle Scottie--she was 10 when she had her surgery.

January 6th, 2009, 09:25 AM
Maggie's doing really well. In fact, she came home the same day she had the surgery. The tech said usually they keep them overnight but she was doing so good, she was able to come home. The tech said they had her hooked up to a heart monitor during surgery and had no problems with her heart, which is good. She was groggy that day and night. The next day she was eating, drinking and wanting to play. She was back to herself. She's trying to lick her staples but with the help of a cone she can't. LOL I called the vet yesterday to see if the biopsy came back yet. They said they called and it's still pending. My stomach is in knots. When I got up this morning, she threw up alittle. I'm hoping that's not a bad sign. Hopefully her biopsy will come back and it will be benign.


January 6th, 2009, 12:34 PM
I would think it is good that she was able to come home so quickly. It means her body wants to heal itself. My little girl didn't get a cone. She was a little on the round side and couldn't reach her stitches.

If she is wanting to play then she must be feeling pretty good. So that should make you feel a little better. If if remember right, Tipper had an episode where she threw up about 8-10 days after the surgery. She also had frequent bowel movements that day as well. I remember it was on a Sunday, so I couldn't call the vet. When I did call the next morning, he felt it was related to pulling her off some of the medications. She was on lots of meds. Also, dogs can pick up on their owner's stress levels and that can affect them.

Hopefully you will get encouraging results back soon. Keeping you and Maggie in my thoughts....

January 6th, 2009, 01:02 PM
It's the results you really want back fast that always take the longest. :rolleyes:

Hang in there, children11! :grouphug:

I agree with ScottieDog--the vomiting might have something to do with the meds she's on. Even giving meds with food can still upset the tummy.

:fingerscr that the results are back soon!

January 6th, 2009, 06:35 PM
Our vet called and the results are in. They are 99% sure it's NOT CANCER. I am so happy. He said there's still a 1% chance that it could be but I said it's better than 50/50. He wants to do bloodwork every 6 months to check her liver. I also told him I wanted to do complete xrays every 6 months too. He said that wasn't a problem. He said since she just had bloodwork and xrays done, we can repeat it in 6 months.

After talking to him I called back to talk to the other receptionist (not the one who told me I should see a doctor) and told her that I was so sorry to be such a bother (I called them a lot over the past week) and to say thank you (she called to check up on the results for me). I told her to also tell the tech the same thing because I was a bother to both. LOL.

Thank you all especially ScottieDog for all the thoughts and prayers and for your support.


January 6th, 2009, 07:37 PM

My eyes are filled with tears of happiness. I know you feel the weight of the world is off your shoulders.

It is very good to follow up with the tests, X-rays and bloodwork. That was my vet's recommendation as well. Make sure they check the lymph nodes as well. Also, be on the look out for any odd health issues. Tipper did get these random and difficult to diagnose infections.

It has been very hard for me to discuss my little girl's health issues; her passing is still so very fresh and raw. But I am so glad I could give you some support during this time. We may be across the country from each other, but we share a special bond. Big hugs to Maggie.:grouphug:

-Sandra (ScottieDog)

January 6th, 2009, 08:16 PM
Excellent :highfive: Such good news :grouphug:

January 7th, 2009, 01:45 PM
>>It has been very hard for me to discuss my little girl's health issues; her passing is still so very fresh and raw.<<

I know how hard it must have been for you to talk about your little girl with me. So thank you again for your support and info that you posted.