Dogs presenting in a collapsed state is one of the most traumatic conditions we see as veterinarians. Splenic tumors are one of the most common causes for this presentation. The spleen is a nonessential organ that produces some blood cells and also helps to filter and remove old or damaged blood cells from the body. As other organs in the body work to perform these same functions, the spleen can be surgically removed when necessary without causing harm. Splenic tumors often present as an emergency as the tumor is most often found when it decides to bleed, causing the animal to feel weak and anemic and sometimes collapse. At this stage of the game, the animal is very critical and emergency surgery and often a blood transfusion is needed. How can we avoid this? Catching splenic tumors early is the best way to remove them before an emergency arises as well as to have the best chance of removing the tumor before it has spread. However, dogs with early splenic tumors generally appear otherwise healthy and may show no signs of illness making catching the tumors in early stages difficult.
One way we can screen for problems such as splenic tumors is through the use of abdominal ultrasound. Did you know Parktown offers in-house abdominal ultrasound that can be performed same day? Call us for details (408)263-3990.