Sinus Hemosiderophages of the Spleen in Dogs

by Lee Parker

Dogs love to keep up with their humans when it comes to exercise, work and play. Unfortunately, there are times when your dog may be overworked or injured, and you simply can't tell. Dogs are great at not showing pain, even when they may have experienced severe trauma. Sinus hemosiderophages of the spleen are a symptom of pain that your dog is in; fortunately it is treatable if indicated early enough.

Meet the Macrophages

Sinus hemosiderophages are a type of macrophage. Macrophages are immune cells that make up an integral part of the immune system. These cells fully engulf debris, dead and dying cells, and invading pathogens, then digest them. Macrophages are found in all living tissue; they help protect your dog's body from cancers, infection and disease. These important cells also assist your dog with muscle and cell regeneration.

Hemosiderophages to the Rescue

Hemosiderophages are a particular kind of macrophage that ingest dead or diseased blood cells. They have a unique cavity that filters iron from the blood cells they digest. These blood cells typically appear in damaged bronchial walls, or in organs affected by extreme activity or overexertion. When blood appears in your dog's body as a result of overworking, hemosiderphages find the blood cells, ingest them, and attempt to salvage iron and store it.

When Seen in the Spleen

The spleen is an organ that operates as a blood filter. When hemosiderophages are found in your dog's spleen, your dog either is experiencing direct trauma to his spleen, or, more commonly, has undertaken extreme activity, resulting in spleen damage. Dogs with high blood pressure are at more risk for trauma from overexertion. If sinus hemosiderophages are found in the spleen, they are also likely in your dog's lungs as well.

Addressing the Issue

If your dog has high blood pressure or has difficulty breathing, keep his exercise consistent but in small doses. Try not to let him run too hard or too fast for great lengths of time, and keep him from extreme wrestling or physical activity. The presence of sinus hemosiderophages are merely an indication that trauma may exist, not a diagnosis. If you are worried that your dog is experiencing overexertion, or if you see any blood around his nose or mouth after playing, take him to your vet for a complete checkup.

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