Hemangioma & Canines

by Mary Lougee
"Keep me warm and cozy until you take me to see Doc."

"Keep me warm and cozy until you take me to see Doc."

Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images

A hemangioma is a benign mass in the spleen of canines. Red blood cells are mass-produced and do not expel through the spleen as they should. This forms a mass in your dog's tummy and causes pain. The spleen is located below your dog's stomach and is in the shape of a tongue. Canines can live without a spleen, should it need removal, though it does provide your pet with beneficial health functions. Take your pooch to the vet immediately if you notice any symptoms of this disease.

Spleen Functions

Canine spleens function exactly in the same manner as human spleens. Red blood cells travel through narrow blood vessels in a twisting, turning path in the spleen, making it a storage area for them. The spleen removes old red blood cells and replaces them with new red blood cells to fight off infection in the body. In the case of a hemorrhage with loss of blood, the spleen functions as a natural blood transfusion and supplies the area the extra blood cells when it contracts.

Hemangioma Symptoms

Symptoms of a splenic mass include weakness, extreme cold and pale gums due to the lack of red blood cell production from the spleen. Internal bleeding of a ruptured spleen can cause anemia and abdominal pain. Your pet may lie around more than normal, licking his stomach or groaning. It is most likely not because he wants some human food.

Veterinary Diagnosis

Your veterinarian will make a diagnosis determining if your pooch has a hemangioma. He will do a routine physical examine feeling his stomach to detect a lump or mass. Radiographs are taken of the stomach area to view the spleen and a complete blood count will show anemia, which is a symptom of the condition. A swollen spleen appears as if your pet is sticking his tongue out at you.

Hemangioma Treatment

Most of the time your veterinary will decide to remove your canine friend's spleen to prevent further complications that upon a hemorrhage can be very serious. This type of surgery is performed often and is a very safe alternative for a dog with a hemangioma and a sever stomachache.

Photo Credits

  • Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images

About the Author

Mary Lougee has been writing since 2004 and specializes in pets with publications in "Modern Dog" and "Pet Planet." Lougee gained extensive pet knowledge and expertise in care and rehabilitation, built a farm, and cares for rescue animals from small to large. She holds a bachelor's degree in management.