Cancer is terrifying. It can break you and your family down to tears. It is a long battle with a lot of pain and suffering. Hemangiosarcoma too is cancer and that too an aggressive one. Hemangiosarcoma is a very infectious blood vessels cancer found in dogs. The worst part is it does not stick to an organ. It has the ability to spread. In no time it will infect the liver, heart, etc. This disease is not easily detectable. You cannot even know that your dog has cancer until it is in the last stage. This is the reason that the question ‘When to euthanize a dog with Hemangiosarcoma?’ is really common these days.
What Is Hemangiosarcoma?
There are two reasons that can cause Hemangiosarcoma in your dog. The first is genetic. Cancer is a genetically inherent disease. Several dog breeds are more prone to inheriting Hemangiosarcoma like Golden Retrievers.
The other way that can infect your dog with Hemangiosarcoma is carcinogens. When exposed to certain substances, your dog is prone to Hemangiosarcoma. These substances are certain chemicals, asbestos, etc. Prevent your dog exposure to these substances to save it from Hemangiosarcoma.
Types Of Hemangiosarcoma:
There are different types of Hemangiosarcoma. The broad ones are three. We have listed them below:
- Dermal: This type of Hemangiosarcoma infects the skin and the symptoms are visible on the dermis. This type of Hemangiosarcoma is curable. This is rare but the treatment is possible. Surgery removing the infected tissue in your dog can save its life.
- Hypodermal: This too infects the skin but is more aggressive. In the majority of the cases, the infection spreads internally and can make survival chances negligible.
- Visceral: This is when the infection spreads internally. This directly affects the heart or the spleen. if the heart is affected, it can even lead to pericardial effusion. In this situation, the heart stops working. There is no chance of survival. You can consider euthanization of your dog with Visceral Hemangiosarcoma if your vet advises you to.
Lifespan Of A Dog With Hemangiosarcoma:
While a majority of dogs succumb to this disease there are minimal chances of survival. A major portion of dogs diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma survives only for 6 months. With surgeries too, only around 20% survive. These figures are enough to say that the euthanization of a dog with Hemangiosarcoma can save your dog from a lot of pain and suffering. Euthanization is preferred in most cases of Hemangiosarcoma.
Symptoms Of Hemangiosarcoma:
There are only a few chances that your dog will show any of the symptoms. Sometimes there are no symptoms visible. This makes it very difficult to detect Hemangiosarcoma. However, we list a few indicators below, if noticed get your dog checked:
- Bruised Skin every now and then.
- Frequent fainting.
- The gums are pale most of the time.
- The dog pants heavily.
- Appetite loss results in weight loss and weakness.
Treatments Available For Hemangiosarcoma:
A lot has to be done in the case of Hemangiosarcoma. A blood transfusion is an important part in most cases. Your dog needs surgery to take the bleeding lump out. If the bleeding mass is in the liver or spleen there is nothing that could be done. Surgery too is a temporary relief. As you cannot take all the bleeding lumps out of your dog. These lumps are created in your dog every now and then. The other treatment is Chemotherapy. This will prohibit the spread of cancer cells. It is to be kept in mind that this is only relief and not the cure. As no cure is generally available, euthanization of a dog with Hermangiosarcoma may be the best thing to do.
When To Euthanize A Dog With Hemangiosarcoma?
This can be the hardest decision to make on earth. It can put the dog owners at a fix. To chose the euthanization of a dog with Hermangiosarcoma may be the right thing to do but will give you the guilt of a lifetime. In severe cases, your dog might suffer a lot. Frequent surgeries, shocks, transfusions are a lot for a living being to take in. even after surgery, the chances of survival are only up to a few months. If your vet advises you to euthanize your dog suffering from Hermangiosarcoma, you need to analyze a few things. The quality of life your dog has. If the pain and suffering are too much to handle, you can consider putting your dog to sleep.
This one thing to be kept in mind is the fighting spirit of your dog. If it is ready to fight and shows signs of living, do give it a chance. You should also consider the medical treatments. If you have exhausted all of them and your dog is not responding to them, you can consider euthanization.
It is a personal choice. You best understand your dog and its health. It is a hard decision. If in a fix, take second and even third opinions if you need to. It the question of life. We wish the best to you and your dog.