When you adopt a dog and bring it home to be a part of your family, the last thing you probably have on your mind is your new companion's potential health issues or problems. However, as a pet parent, it is important to understand that much like humans, dogs can develop a myriad of health conditions that need to be addressed and treated quickly in order to avoid further complications. Splenic masses, which are growths on your dog's spleen, are one such condition you should be aware of. Get to know more about this canine health issue so that you can get your dog to your vet or the animal hospital as soon as possible to have it treated.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of A Canine Splenic Mass?
If your dog has developed a mass on their spleen, one of the first noticeable signs is an abdomen that is swollen. It may also be tender to the touch. Because of the growing mass on their spleen, your dog may also have pressure building on their stomach, making it so it cannot function properly and cannot expand as it normally would to hold the food that your dog normally eats.
This stomach pressure can cause your dog to have a significantly reduced appetite as well as vomiting. Other symptoms may include a lack of energy, diarrhea, and weight loss. They could possibly even suffer from dehydration or other serious health issues.
How Are Splenic Masses Treated?
When your dog suffers from the aforementioned symptoms, your next step will be to take them to the vet or animal hospital. They will run a series of diagnostic tests to determine the cause of those symptoms. X-rays or CT scans can identify the mass in your dog's abdomen and determine how large it has grown.
Splenic masses are best treated through surgical removal. Your dog will be put under general anesthesia and an incision will be made in their belly. The size of the incision will depend on how large the mass is on your dog's spleen.
Once it is removed, the veterinarian will send a sample of the mass to the lab for testing and examination. These splenic masses can be benign but oftentimes, they are a sign of cancer. If it turns out your dog does have cancer, you may be looking at further surgeries (to remove the spleen or other infected tissues) as well as chemotherapy or radiation therapy to try to eradicate any remaining cancer cells in the body.
Now that you know more about splenic masses and your dog, you can better care for your dog and get them the care that they need if they begin to show symptoms and signs.