When To Euthanize A Dog With Hemangiosarcoma

If you are already at the point where you are thinking about when to euthanize a dog with hemangiosarcoma, we can’t begin to understand what you are going through. 

When To Euthanize A Dog With Hemangiosarcoma
Image by Couleur from Pixabay

We do concede that whether or not our pups are going through a difficult time, deciding to euthanize them could be really difficult. 

However, through it all, it is important that we try to do what is right for our dog, irrespective of how it makes us feel. Also, bear this in mind:

Consider euthanizing your dog when it looks like they can no longer stomach the pain.

Now, let’s see what hemangiosarcoma is really about.

What Is Hemangiosarcoma?

Hemangiosarcoma is a cancer of the blood vessels and is usually found in the liver, the heart and the spleen too. However, it isn’t unusual to find it in some other parts of the body.

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for this cancer. A dog that has hemangiosarcoma can be made to undergo surgery. 

However, this can only remove the primary tumor and maybe also stop the bleeding. As for the other places the cancer has spread to, even surgery won’t be able to remove those tumors because they are so microscopic.

Now, with hemangiosarcoma, you hardly ever notice any symptoms out of the ordinary until things are already pretty serious.

And as a result, by the time a dog has been diagnosed of having hemangiosarcoma, they are already pretty close. That said….

Cheshire Animal
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Symptoms Of Hemangiosarcoma

At the early stages, hemangiosarcoma will resemble basically any other ailment with presentations such as diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss and a loss of appetite.

As the cancer continues to spread, your dog might begin to present symptoms such as a distended belly, difficulty breathing, reclusive behavior, internal or external bleeding  and they could even just collapse all of a sudden.

One thing you’ll have to bear in mind, though, is that the symptoms will not get better. Instead, they’ll progress for the worse. It’s sad but true.

Considering Euthanization

Your vet might suggest euthanization to you if they think it is what is best for your dog. However, something as serious as this is your decision to make.

Now, while making that decision, consider the fact that your dog might be seriously uncomfortable. However, this is different for some dogs and they might not be in so much pain till the last day.

So, here is what we’ll say. Be attentive to your dog. It is easy to think about yourself and the fact that you’ll miss your dog when you consider euthanization.

However, we implore you to think about your dog and the discomfort and pain they might be feeling.

So, if your dog looks like they can’t stomach the pain, they cannot move and they are not even eating, you might want to consider euthanization.

However, if your dog still seems fine; eats his food, plays around and generally still has a good disposition, you might as well enjoy their last days with them and hope that their passing is a very peaceful one.

Also, be prepared to take the euthanization road if anything changes for the worse. This guide might help you some:

Check out these other articles:

When To Euthanize A Dog With Hemangiosarcoma — FAQs

How Long Can A Dog Live With Hemangiosarcoma Without Surgery?

Without surgery, a dog with hemangiosarcoma would only live for between one (1) week or two (2) weeks, tops, unfortunately.

Of course, some might live longer out of pure chance. But considering that with surgery, a dog with hemangiosarcoma would be looking at about six (6) months of extra time, without surgery can’t be that long.

How Aggressive Is Hemangiosarcoma In Dogs?

Hemangiosarcoma is very aggressive in dogs. We are looking at a very high mortality rate with suffering dogs living between 3 and 6 months after the first few symptoms.

Can My Dog Survive Hemangiosarcoma?

The chances that your dog will survive hemangiosarcoma are practically non-existent without any sort of treatment.

With treatment, you’ll extend your dog’s life span a bit but the probability that they won’t eventually succumb to the cancer is also really low. This is because modern medicine is yet to come up with a sure fire treatment plan for taking care of hemangiosarcoma.

Hopefully, the miracle we seek will come sooner rather than later.

How Do I Know If My Dog Is Bleeding Internally?

Your dog may be bleeding internally if they:

  • Have a dry gum.
  • Have a distended belly.
  • Have trouble breathing.
  • Are not eating.
  • Are eating but vomitting.
  • Are lethargic.

Does Hemangiosarcoma Show Up In Blood Work?

Hemangiosarcoma does not show up in blood work because, unfortunately, there is currently no blood test that can effectively detect hemangiosarcoma.

Right now, hemangiosarcoma is diagnosed using biospsy which is then reviewed by a veterinary pathologist.

Can Hemangiosarcoma Be Misdiagnosed?

It is pretty easy to misdiagnose hemangiosarcoma as hematoma. The danger here is that while hematoma is benign and has a really good prognosis, hemanangiosarcoma is malignant with a terrible prognosis.

Simply put, a dog with hematoma is way more likely to recover than a dog with hemangiosarcoma. But probably the worst thing is that a misdiagnosis robs your dog of time.

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