Wiki Toolbox

Dog Heart Cancer

From Pet Health Learning Center

Revision as of 20:50, November 4, 2010 by Libbi (Talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

Dog Heart Cancer


Tumors of the heart are rare in dogs. The heart is very vascular, pumping blood to all of the other organs in the body. Growths can occur in several parts of the heart. They can pop up in the base of the heart, the pericardium (covering) or the muscle of the heart itself (myocardium). When these tumors do occur, the animals are usually 7-15 years old. There has been some research that indicates that the German Shepherd Dog and the Golden Retriever are at greater risk than other breeds. Tumors in an around the heart can be benign or malignant. Hemangiosaarcomas and aortic body tumors are most common.

Symptoms of hemangiosarcoma

The symptoms of this type of tumor usually manifest due to the obstruction of blood flow within the heart. There is also the possibility of rupture that causes hemorrhage. Disruption of the rhythm of the heart is also evident. Some signs that may be observed by dog owners are shortness of breath and Dog Difficulty Breathing, fainting, Dog Weight Loss due to Dog Loss of Appetite and lack luster activity. If the tumor ruptures abruptly, the dog can immediately die.

Symptoms of aortic body tumors

Showing all of the same symptoms as hemangiosarcoma; Aortic body tumors add the threat of bleeding into the pericardium the sac around the heart. This will severely compromise the efficiency of the heart, which causes the same symptoms.


By giving an extensive history of the onset of symptoms, physical exam including lab studies and clinical signs, your veterinarian can evaluate your dog. Further studies of the heart, including EKG will evaluate the function of the heart and consequently the extent of the malady.

Treatment of hemangiosarcoma

Dog Cancer Chemotherapy and surgery are the two treatments available for this type of tumor. Surgery is only advised if there is one tumor, rather than a mass of tumors.

Treatment of aortic body tumors

The surgical removal of tumors is the treatment of choice. What limits the possibility is the characteristics of the mass and the location. In either case, surgery is difficult. There are minimal times when radiation can be used. In some instances, removal of the pericardium relieves many of the symptoms. It also extends the life expectancy of the dog.


A prognosis for hemangiosarcomas is poor at best. As a rule, dogs do not respond favorably to the available medical treatment. By initiating chemotherapy, the life span can be slightly increased.

Prognosis for aortic body tumors is not as dismal as hemangiosarcoma, but still will rate only fair. It all hinges on the type of treatment received. Dogs that have had the pericardium removed may live almost two years.

Home treatment

Treatment at home will depend on the condition of your dog. With a dismal prognosis for your dog, you may want to consider euthanasia. You are there for your dog and it is important to keep that in mind. Are you prolonging the inevitable for your sake or your dogs? What is the quality of life that your dog is experiencing? These are not easy decisions, but are necessary ones as part of proper Dog Palliative Cancer Care.

Suggested Products

ES Clear – Dog Cancer Support Cancer Support Kit for Dogs Nu-Pet Vitamin and Antioxidant Wafers Multi Essential Dog Vitamins

Additional Dog Cancer Pages

Dog Cancer | Dog Skin Cancer | Dog Lung Cancer | Dog Bladder Cancer | Dog Pancreatic Cancer | Dog Bone Cancer | Dog Cancer Prevention | Dog Cancer Diagnosis | Dog Gastric Cancer | Dog Mast Cell Tumors | Dog Squamous Cell Carcinoma | Dog Mouth Cancer | Dog Brain Tumor | Dog Palliative Cancer Care

Ask an Expert


Dr. Janice Huntingford

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

Customer Service

1 877 633-2401

Live chat by BoldChat

Click to verify BBB accreditation and to see a BBB report.

90 day money back guarantee