11 Aug Patient of the Week – Spud
Spud came to Mountainside after not acting like his normal self in terms of energy levels. One of our emergency veterinarians palpated a large mass in his abdomen, which was confirmed by ultrasound to be on his spleen.
Spud was in pretty good spirits about the whole thing, and even had his radiographs performed with a tennis ball in his mouth.
Spud immediately went to surgery to have his spleen removed. The mass was sent off for histopathology and the results showed that the mass was a hematoma (not cancerous!).
He recovered quickly and wanted to play fetch soon after surgery (…much earlier than he was allowed to). Good job Spud!
Splenic lesions that are non-cancerous are either a splenic hematoma (what Spud had) or nodular hyperplasia. These are benign and removing them surgically is the cure.
Another cause of a splenic lesion, which is more sinister, is hemangiosarcoma. This is a malignant splenic tumor.
In this case, if the disease process has not spread to other areas of the body (evaluated by radiographs), animals are often able to have a good quality of life if the spleen is removed.
Low energy in older dogs can be related to a number of underlying medical conditions. Older dogs should have more frequent wellness exams with their regular veterinarian to catch any abnormalities early.
Your veterinarian will perform a full physical exam, which includes checking that vital signs are within normal limits, evaluating musculoskeletal pain, and palpating internal structures externally to feel for any abnormalities.
A general blood panel should also be run on a regular basis to check and compare ongoing organ function. If anything abnormal is detected, radiographs and/or ultrasound may be indicated to get a clear view of the thoracic and abdominal cavity.