To Be Updated on June 16, 2022 – Hemangiosarcoma is a devastating canine cancer. Rapid development and metastasis of this illness mean that most dog owners have no idea their pet is sick until it is too late.
In order to not only notice a possible issue but also be prepared if hemangiosarcoma does impact their dog, it is crucial for owners to understand more about cancer’s development and recognize the subtle indicators of the condition.
These tumors, called hemangiosarcomas, tend to develop in areas where there is a lot of blood flow
Growing data suggest that hemangiosarcoma cancer cells start in the bone marrow and then metastasize to various organs and tissues very quickly. The heart and spleen are the most frequent organs to identify a hemangiosarcoma. These tumors are especially dangerous since they tend to form in vital organs like the heart and spleen. An unexpected rupture of a hemangiosarcoma may cause enormous blood loss, leaving owners and doctors with little time to make a choice before the animal dies.
Hemangiosarcoma is a disease of larger-breed, older dogs
Hemangiosarcoma most commonly affects:
- Middle-aged to older dogs
- German shepherds, golden retrievers, Portuguese water dogs, and Labrador retrievers
- Slightly more males than females (in some studies)
Unfortunately, no clinical signs (symptoms) are classic for hemangiosarcoma other than sudden, profound, internal bleeding. Other clinical signs reported by owners include:
- Intermittent lethargy or fatigue
- Sudden collapse
- Sudden death
Most pet owners will intervene quickly in the event of a sudden collapse, which is fortunate since time is of important when dealing with hemangiosarcoma. It is a serious medical emergency, and many patients will need emergency surgery to remove the bleeding mass, if feasible, and then supportive treatment if they are to live.
The prognosis for long-term survival is poor
The prognosis for dogs with hemangiosarcoma is poor, even if the tumor is caught and removed right away. As the numbers demonstrate,
- With only surgery, the average lifespan drops to the one- to three-month range.
After surgery and chemotherapy, the median survival duration is between five and seven months.
- Despite surgery and treatment, 90% of dogs die within a year after diagnosis. Twenty-two Months After Diagnosis
There has been no improvement in survival rates for over 30 years; thus, there is an urgent need for novel therapies. The Morris Animal Foundation was established to address this very problem. are life-threatening conditions that, for many patients, can only be treated by performing emergency surgery to remove the bleeding mass and then providing supportive care.
Exciting new findings on an old enemy thanks to diligent study
Research on this devastating disease is ongoing and has been for some time. In the previous two years, several novel results have been reported.
- Survival rates for small-breed dogs with hemangiosarcoma were similar to those for large-breed dogs with the disease, according to a recent study.
- As of yet, no conclusive results have been found in the ongoing study of spay/impact neuter’s on the occurrence of hemangiosarcoma.
- North Carolina State University researchers reported an increased prevalence of the bacterium Bartonella spp. in certain dogs with hemangiosarcoma; more research is being conducted to elucidate these results.
- If we are serious about finding answers to these problems, the findings of the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study will be essential.
Long-Term Analysis of Golden Retrievers
The Golden Retriever Lifespan Study of the Canine Cancer Foundation is focusing on numerous malignancies, but hemangiosarcoma is of particular concern because of its prevalence in golden retrievers. Among the 3,044 dogs in our cohort, hemangiosarcoma is now the most common cancer-related cause of death. All of the dogs in our cohort with a hemangiosarcoma diagnosis are being monitored, and we are collecting further tissue and other biological samples.
We have stored samples from afflicted dogs stretching back years, in addition to those gathered at the time of diagnosis or death, in the hopes that they would provide light on potential risk factors for this illness. We believe these samples will help scientists discover the causes of this fatal illness and provide better diagnostic tools. To better understand hemangiosarcoma and other malignancies in golden retrievers, our team is promoting Study data and samples to researchers throughout the globe and encouraging them to submit ideas.
Additional, much-requested information on the underlying genetics of this disease will be provided by the Golden Oldies project, which will compare DNA from older golden retrievers without cancer to DNA from Study dogs with cancer (including hemangiosarcoma). Results from this study may lead to the development of a screening test to detect canine forms of this malignancy.
To better the chances of dogs diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma
For over 20 years, the Morris Animal Foundation has spent over $3 million on research to find a cure for hemangiosarcoma in dogs and improve their quality of life.
Our grant-supported studies have focused on:
- Understanding the fundamentals of the disease might lead to improved diagnosis, therapies, and preventative measures for hemangiosarcoma.
- The success rate of treating hemangiosarcoma and the discovery of novel chemotherapeutic medicines hinges on our ability to determine why cancer develops resistance to chemotherapy.
- Hemangiosarcoma has a strong hereditary component, therefore examining breeds that are prone to developing the illness might lead to improved diagnostic tools and a better understanding of the disease’s origins.
Help us discover a cure for hemangiosarcoma so that our pets don’t have to suffer an untimely death. We have the power to permanently defeat cancer if we work together.