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Canine haemangiosarcoma is also known as malignant haemangioendothelioma or angiosarcoma. It originates in the endothelium cells, which are the cells that line the interior surface of the blood vessels. It then invades the blood vessels.

There are three types of haemangiosarcoma. Dermal when found on the skin, hypodermal or sub-cutaneous when found under the skin and visceral when found in the organs like the spleen or heart. The spleen is where haemangiosarcoma is most commonly diagnosed and  the prognosis in this area without treatment is poor.

These tumours are mostly found in middle aged to older dogs. Although haemangiosarcoma can affect any breed of dog, some breeds of dogs such as German Shepherd, Golden Retriever and Labrador are at higher risk.

Dermal haemangiosarcoma appears as a red or black growth on hairless portions of your dogs coat. Dogs like Dalmations and bull terriers are at higher risk of the disease. Sub cutaneous and visceral tumours appear on internal organs and there is often very little warning before they cause severe clinical signs. The average time for survival once a visceral tumour has been discovered is six to eight weeks. Symptoms of haemangiosarcoma can depend on the location of the tumour. Your dog may show signs including lethargy, weakness, lack of appetite, coughing, weight loss and swelling of the abdomen.

Surgery for dogs with a cutaneous tumour is curable but it has to be aggressive to ensure that enough tissue surrounding the tumour is removed so the margins are clean and no cancerous cells remain. When a tumour is found on the spleen the preferred treatment is to remove the spleen. Chemotherapy is normally recommended after surgery for the subcutaneous and visceral forms. Surgery combined with chemotherapy increases the median survival rate. Overall the prognosis for dogs with splenic or atrial haemangiosarcoma is poor.

 **Accuracy checked 13 September 2013, 


Registered Specialist in Veterinary Oncology,

Perth Veterinary Oncology  

  Splenic Haemangiosarcoma

Other reliable and more detailed information on Hamengiosarcoma