- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Care after Spleen Removal

January 21st, 2011, 05:54 PM
My 11 year old English Setter has arrived home today after having spleen & tumour removed. We do know it is a Hemangiosarcoma, we are waiting on test results to find out if the cancer has spread (yet).

We know the immediate care required for Rodin, but am wondering about supplements we could give him to minimize the effects of the loss of his spleen.

For example some 5 years ago the same dog was diagonised with PRA (progressive retina atropy). A disease with no cure. I researched and found evidence that Lutein (an extract from Marigold flower) was having some success. We put Rodin on a course of lutein and within a year had stopped to progress of the disease (he is checked annually by our vet). It didn't reverese the damage, but did stop the progress.

I'm hoping I can have that luck again.

Any advise?

January 21st, 2011, 09:49 PM
Welcome to the board, BruceMM! I hope when things are a little less stressful for you you'll share some pics of your setters with us! :fingerscr

Wish I had some advice for you. We have setters, too, and lost one to hemangiosarcoma many years ago, but the cancer wasn't discovered till it had spread to his lungs. :(

Are there any homeopathic vets in your area? They may have a few suggestions as to supplements that will help.

When will you get the test results? Hope it's good news!! Keep us posted on Rodin's progress, please? :grouphug:

January 22nd, 2011, 07:28 PM
Hi Bruce,

I know this is a difficult time for you. Spleen removal is very hard on the dog. I had a little 10 year-old Scottie that lost her spleen. Hers wasn't cancer and the surgery gave us an extra year.

In the immediate recovery there are some concerns for heart complications. I remember the ER vet/surgeon telling me my dog was "throwing cardiac enzymes". She was in ICU for several days due to the heart issues. We also had some heart medication to give her, had to watch for signs of weakness or collapse and do followup heart monitoring.

Even without the cancer diagnosis, she was in very fragile health. The spleen works with the immune system so you should watch for infections. Research and see if you can find ways to boost the immune system. I didn't know this at the time, so can't offer advice on ways to boost immunity. Probiotics helped my dog's stomach when dealing with so many antibiotics and medications. Good luck and treasure the time you have together.

January 23rd, 2011, 12:39 PM
Welcome BruceMM :thumbs up I am sorry to hear that your lovely dog has been diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma. I have a dog who also has been diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma but we have not had the surgery to make the final diagnosis because of his age and health. As Scottiedog said I know that the immune system is compromised when the spleen has been removed and you should be giving a supplement to boost his immune system. I have my puppy on a special diet that I found on the internet. I read all the info I could find and put together a diet that he would eat and could tolerate. Here are a few links for you that I found very useful:

Dog Cancer Diet and Natural Supplements (

Nutrition for the Canine Cancer Patient by Dr Gregory Ogilvie DVM Colorado State University (

Nutritional Requirements of Dogs and Cats with Cancer, Dept of Oncology Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (

Veterinary Diet for Dogs with Cancer (

Integrative Treatment of Cancer in Dogs and Cancer Diet for Dogs (

Dr Dressler's Dog Cancer Survival Guide and Diet ( The guide costs money which I didn't spend but there is still a lot of info available through his site.
According to his website Dr. Demian Dressler, DVM is apparently known as the "dog cancer vet".

I was most interested in the diet and the supplements because that is the only treatment my boy is getting at the moment. He was given a month to live when he was diagnosed in December and he has passed the one month point now and seems to be doing fairly well. He has his bad days and really good days but he is still with me today. :thumbs up :D

One thing you should be very careful of when choosing supplements is that the supplement doesn't cause bleeding. As this cancer's symptoms include internal bleeding you definitely don't want to make it worse. I made the mistake of buying 'Red Clover' because it sounded like a good supplement that might help him. Fortunately I read the detailed information about it before I gave it to him that told me that it shouldn't be given to anyone who has bleeding tendencies. There are several out there that they say are effective and I am still experimenting with them to find one he can tolerate and will eat. The first link above has a list of supplements that are recommended in cancer in dogs and it is quite useful. Please make sure you read all the information about each supplement, that's the mistake I made. :(

The people here in this forum have been extremely helpful to me during my time here. They have had many suggestions since Raggs was diagnosed which have been very helpful especially when I was putting his diet together. :grouphug:

I hope his cancer hasn't spread and you get much more time with him.:pray: The fact yours has had his spleen removed should give him much longer than mine was given. :2huggers:

BTW what is your dog's name? :) I will keep him in my prayers :candle: