Hemangiosarcoma in dogs: Causes and Symptoms

Hemangiosarcoma in dogs is a relatively common serious disease in this species and little or nothing usual in others, like the cat. Although, equally, cats can suffer hemangiosarcoma.

This article will talk about hemangiosarcoma in dogs, also known as canine angiosarcoma. We explain what is, what causes it, and what symptoms suffered a dog with hemangiosarcoma.

What is hemangiosarcoma?

Hemangiosarcoma in dogs is a highly malignant tumor cell line derived endothelial – cells that line the inside of the sanguíneos- vessels. It is characterized by the rapid and aggressive development of metastases.

It sees more commonly in older animals, although occasionally cases occur puppies. The average age for a dog to suffer hemangiosarcoma is in a range between 8 and 13 years old. On the other hand, it seems that males or females have more or less predisposed to this type of cancer.

It seems that the large dog breeds are predisposed to suffer this type of cancer, such as the German shepherd, golden retriever, pointer, Boxer, Labrador, etc.

Also, dog breeds with little pigmented skin and thinning hair can suffer these tumors, but at skin level. These races are different beagle breeds of beagle, bulldogs white, Salukis, dalmatian, etc.

Causes of hemangiosarcoma in dogs

Cutaneous hemangiosarcoma in dogs has been associated with exposure to ultraviolet light. Therefore, it is common for dogs who spend time in the sun during the summer months. This type of cancer usually occurs in the ventral abdomen, where there is less hair.

The subcutaneous or hypodermic type appears to be associated with exposure to this light spectrum.

Other types of radiation appear to be linked to the visceral hemangiosarcomas, as the case spleen or bladder — for example, those dogs who have been exposed to several sessions of radiotherapy.

Dogs that have been in contact with high concentrations of strontium, cerium, or arsenic seem to develop hemangiosarcoma in the lungs, bones, and liver.

The hemagiosarcomas can arise in any tissue with blood vessels, but the most common places in dogs are the spleen (50% – 65%), the right atrium (3% – 25%), subcutaneous tissue (13% -17% ) and liver (5% – 6%) .

Initially, the clinical signs of a dog suffering hemangiosarcoma can be subtle. Typically, they go through episodes of weakness because of a collapse caused by small internal bleeding recovering from being reabsorbed by the body.

Other symptoms include:

  • Hypovolemia caused by bleeding itself, such as tachycardia, tachypnea, and pale mucous membranes.
  • Abdominal distention.
  • Anorexia.
  • Weightloss.
  • If the cancer is in the heart, you will hear muffled heart sounds and dyspnea.
  • When arrhythmias are strong, they appear symptoms such as syncope, ataxia, and cyanosis.
  • If the tumor is in a bone, the dog may suffer lameness and bone pain.
  • Seizures if metastasis to the brain.
  • Petechiae hemorrhage or mucous membranes.

In many cases, the presence of this type of tumor is detected incidentally in analyzes post mortem, due to the rapid development of the disease.

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