Bones my dog had a Spleen Tumor and I didn't know it!
He had been acting fine - walked into the kitchen, didn't eat as much as usual and then went outside. He urinated and had a normal bowel movement. Dr. Debra went to look for him and shockingly found he had passed away.
She was devastated, especially because it was so sudden. Just telling me about it she had tears in her eyes.
It turns out that Bones had a tumor on his spleen, a problem common to older dogs. Often these tumors grow and don't cause any symptoms until they start to bleed. Dogs can pass away very quickly from this condition, sometimes within a couple of hours.
Many pet owners see signs before the ones like those that Bones showed. A common scenario is to see a dog that goes out for a walk and collapses. They just don't want to go anymore. They might be having trouble breathing or suddenly become lethargic. Their gums are pale. They could have been in perfect health until the bleeding started but the illness progresses very quickly.
Dogs with a slow bleed will show signs of weakness, difficulty breathing, labored breathing and lethargy. Fast bleeds can cause dogs to collapse and die very suddenly.
A flow of blood in the main body cavity, or hemoabdomen, IS an emergency situation. Veterinary care should be given as soon as possible. Keep your pet calm and comfortable. Minimize stress until you can get to a veterinary hospital. Keep your pet warm. If a traumatic injury is suspected, be careful moving your pet, as fractures may be present.
Treatment includes stabilization and ultimately surgery to treat the bleeding organ.
Dr. Debra told me "You know, I never thought this would happen to me! But it did. I would have spent anything to keep Bones alive but this wasn't an option."
These type of health emergencies can happen at any time. We love our pets and to lose them so quickly can be heartbreaking. That's why I urge pet parents to stay alert and stay on schedule for routine health check-ups and exams. Always make sure to get proper healthcare for your pet and talk to your veterinarian if you notice any abnormal behavior or symptoms.