Hepatic Neoplasia (Liver Tumors) in Dogs - Page 5

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Hepatic Neoplasia (Liver Tumors) in Dogs

By: Dr. Erika De Papp

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Therapy In-depth

Therapy for the common primary hepatic neoplasms includes:

  • Medical stabilization. Unstable animals or severely dehydrated animals may require medical stabilization prior to liver biopsy. This might include intravenous administration of fluids, as well as blood transfusions in animals that are severely anemic. In dogs that have evidence of severe and sudden blood loss into the abdominal cavity, an external pressure wrap is placed around the abdomen to aid in stopping the bleeding. Animals that show a deficiency in their coagulation tests may require plasma therapy – the constituent of the blood that does not contain red blood cells – to replenish clotting factors.

  • Surgical removal of liver masses. This is the treatment of choice, whenever possible. The feasibility of mass removal depends on the nature of the tumor. Many hepatocellular carcinomas are solitary masses. If they have not spread throughout the liver, partial removal of the liver can be performed. As much as 80 percent of the liver can be removed without causing harm, if the remaining liver is normal. Hepatocellular adenomas are usually surgically removable. Bile duct carcinomas are very difficult to remove, and have usually spread by the time of detection. Bile duct adenomas can often be treated by surgical removal.

  • Chemotherapy. This is a recommended treatment for many tumors that involve the liver, although it has not been shown to be useful for primary malignant hepatic neoplasia. Unfortunately these tumors tend to be highly resistant to chemotherapy drugs. This is also the case in human hepatic neoplasia.

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