ER Team at Advanced Veterinary Care Center Save a Sweet South Florida Dog

May 22, 2023

Sammy, a nine-year-old, Golden Retriever seemed depressed, according to pet mom Rosita Sandoval. For a few months on and off, the sweet girl was limping and breathing heavy. Initial treatments with steroids had little effect. One day, after a sudden onset of lethargy, Ms. Sandoval brought Sammy to Advanced Veterinary Care Center in Davie (South Florida) for an evaluation. She was concerned Sammy may not make it through the night.

An ultrasound at AVCC revealed a mass on Sammy’s spleen, as well as hemoabdomen (blood within the abdominal cavity) which is a surgical emergency. Sammy went in for surgery immediately. Dr. Bibevski found that the mass on Sammy’s spleen had ruptured and was actively bleeding.  She performed a splenectomy (removal of the spleen).  Tissue samples, along with a liver biopsy were sent for testing.

Surgery was successful and Sammy’s family was delighted to see her return to her old self. Unfortunately, test results from the splenectomy revealed the mass on Sammy’s spleen is a hemangiosarcoma. Hemangiosarcoma is a malignant cancer that arises from the vascular endothelial cells (cells that line blood vessels). Some breed of dogs, such as Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds, are predisposed to developing this disease. The most common sites of origin include the spleen, right auricle/atrium of the heart, and subcutaneous tissue below the skin.

Hemangiosarcoma is a very aggressive type of cancer that tends to metastasize (spread) to intra-abdominal organs and the lungs.  So, Ms. Sandoval met with The Cancer Center at AVCC to get information about possible next steps. While Ms. Sandoval decides what is next for her and Sammy, she is so thankful Sammy got the surgery she needed saying, “I had a great experience (with) the staff and especially the doctors.  Everyone was so nice and lovely and very caring.  I’m so grateful that AVCC was able to save my dog.  It was a miracle!”

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