Spleen Tumors In Dogs: A Comprehensive Guide

Spleen tumors in dogs are common, especially in older dogs, and maybe both malignant or benign. The most frequent malignant splenic tumor in dogs is splenic hemangiosarcoma, which develops from vascular endothelial cells and has a terrible outcome.

According to the “double two-thirds” rule, two-thirds of canine splenic mass lesions are malignant, with hemangiosarcoma accounting for two-thirds of them as well. Non-neoplastic nodular disorders of the spleen in dogs include nodular hyperplasia and splenic hematoma. Nodular hyperplasia is a benign proliferation of cells that occurs normally in the spleen and is one of the leading causes of splenic mass lesions in dogs.

Splenic hematoma is a collection of blood in the splenic parenchyma produced by a hemorrhage or interrupted blood flow in the spleen. The causes of parenchymal disruption are many, including trauma, benign nodular hyperplasia, and hemangiosarcoma, although the majority are idiopathic. Although the clinical and imaging aspects of canine splenic mass lesions have been studied in numerous research, the histology of canine splenic mass lesions has not been explored in many nations, including the Republic of Korea.

Types Of Spleen Tumor In Dogs

Spleen Malignant tumors

Splenic hemangiosarcoma is a frequent malignant tumor that develops in the spleen of dogs, particularly older canines such as German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, and Golden Retrievers. Hemangiosarcoma is a cancer that develops from the cells that line blood arteries and is very deadly since it has the potential to spread to other organs.
Other malignant tumours: Aside from hemangiosarcoma, additional malignant tumors that may affect dogs’ spleens include lymphoma, leiomyosarcoma, fibrosarcoma, and mast cell tumors.

Spleen Benign Tumors

Benign spleen tumors are not cancer-causing, yet they are easily confused with malignant tumors. When veterinarians discover a tumor on the spleen, they may suggest further testing to rule out more serious disorders. Benign tumors do not spread throughout the body and do not represent a danger of metastasis. Many benign tumors may still be removed and have a favorable prognosis if detected early.

Spleen Tumors In Dogs: A Comprehensive Guide

Symptoms Of Spleen Tumors In Dogs

Spleen tumors in dogs may be benign or malignant, and they are usually difficult to identify without surgery.


Signs of spleen tumors in dogs vary, although most often include;

  • weakness or collapse,
  • abdominal distension
  • pale gums
  • decreased appetite
  • and weight loss

Diagnostic testing like ultrasonography and blood work may assist in identifying the existence of a spleen tumor and examine the dog’s general health.

Spleen tumors in dogs are normally treated surgically, with a splenectomy. This is also a diagnostic and medicinal surgery since it removes the malignancy and offers tissue for pathological evaluation. The outlook for dogs with spleen tumors varies according to the kind and stage of the tumor, with malignant tumors such as hemangiosarcoma having a bad prognosis. However, early identification and treatment may increase the likelihood of a positive result. Dog owners should be aware of the signs of spleen tumors and seek veterinarian treatment if they observe any changes in their pet’s condition.

Characteristics of Canine Splenic Mass Lesions

The maximum lesion size varies significantly between malignant and benign tumors, with malignant tumors typically being larger. Tumor margination can indicate the type of tumor. Malignant splenic tumors frequently have irregular margins, whereas benign tumors generally have regular margins. Precontrast lesion attenuation is an important imaging characteristic.

A diagnostic flowchart can improve the survival rate of patients with splenic malignant tumors. For instance, one study discovered that using a diagnostic flowchart based on imaging characteristics was effective in distinguishing between malignant and benign tumors. Use fine needle aspiration or magnetic resonance imaging to identify tumor type before surgery and histopathology.

10 Steps to Diagnosing and Treating Tumors in Dogs

  1. The first step in identifying a tumor in dogs is to locate the lump or bump.
  2. To assess if the lump is benign or cancerous, a fine needle aspiration or biopsy is required. This method entails obtaining a tiny sample of the tumor for testing.
  3. Blood tests and urinalysis: Blood testing and urine may give useful information about the dog’s general health and assist in identifying probable cancer red flags.
  4. Imaging tests, such as X-rays, ultrasounds, and CT scans, may assist detect the tumor’s position and size, as well as if the cancer has spread to other regions of the body.
  5. Diagnosis: Based on the test findings, a diagnosis may be formed. The veterinarian will decide if the tumor is benign or malignant and the kind of malignancy.
  6. Staging: Once cancer has been diagnosed, it will be staged. Staging determines the cancer’s extent and guides therapy recommendations.
  7. Treatment Options: Cancer treatment options in dogs include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy.
  8. The surgeon may recommend removing the tumor with surgery if it is small and hasn’t metastasized.
  9. To kill cancer cells and stop them from metastasizing, your doctor may recommend chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
  10. Care after treatment: To make sure the dog doesn’t get cancer again, it has to be checked often. This might involve routine veterinarian checks, blood testing, and imaging tests.


Spleen Tumors In Dogs: A Comprehensive Guide



Which spleen tumors are most common in dogs?

The most common malignant tumor is splenic hemangiosarcoma, whereas benign tumors include nodular hyperplasia and splenic hematoma.

What are the signs of a spleen tumor?

Symptoms might vary, but they often include weakness or collapse, abdominal distension, pale gums, reduced appetite, and weight loss.

In dogs, how are spleen tumors identified?

It is common practice to monitor the dog’s vitals and look for signs of a spleen tumor using imaging techniques such as ultrasonography and blood tests.

Can dogs live without a spleen?

Yes, dogs can survive without a spleen since it is not necessary for life. They may have a healthy life after a splenectomy provided they get regular veterinarian care and monitoring.

Are spleen tumors in dogs painful?

Spleen tumours in dogs may cause discomfort, particularly bigger or malignant tumours such as hemangiosarcoma. Monitoring for indicators of discomfort and seeing a veterinarian for pain treatment is critical to the dog’s well-being.


In Conclusion, spleen tumors in dogs may be either malignant (splenic hemangiosarcoma) or benign (nodular hyperplasia or splenic hematoma). Recognizing the symptoms early, establishing a good diagnosis by imaging and histology, and pursuing suitable treatment choices like as surgery or chemotherapy may have a substantial influence on a dog’s prognosis and quality of life. Regular veterinarian check-ups and post-treatment monitoring are critical for controlling spleen tumours and providing the best possible result for afflicted pets.

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