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I Came Home and My Dog Was Dead - A Scary Cancer in Dogs

By: Dr. Debra Primovic

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"I Came Home and My Dog is Dead"-The Canine Cancer You Need to Know

The other day something awful happened to my neighbors and their dog. It's a sad story but reading it might save your dog's life. I wanted to share it in case it can keep one of my readers' dogs safe.

My neighbors went out for dinner one night and when they came home, their dog was dead. They were absolutely devastated. She had not been sick a day in her life and was perfectly happy when they left the house.

The dog's name was Maggie and she was a 9-year-old mixed breed dog. My guess is that she had some Lab in her and maybe a little Border Collie, too. Maggie was a sweet dog and very loyal to her owners.

Looking back, I asked if there were days where Maggie seemed really weak or if she had ever collapsed. They thought she did seem quite weak some days, but after a day or two she seemed better. Earlier that day Maggie had vomited once but this was apparently not unusual (Maggie loved to eat grass). She also seemed lethargic.

I don't know for sure, but based on those things I suspect that Maggie had hemangiosarcoma. This is a relatively common cancer in dogs and I see a fair number of dogs come into the clinics with this condition...unfortunately, some of which have already passed away by the time I see them. Often the first sign that the dogs have this problem is when they collapse - and by then, the condition is life threatening.

Hemangiosarcoma is a malignant cancer of the cells that form blood vessels. Because these tumors start in blood vessels, they are frequently filled with blood. Consequently, when a blood-filled tumor ruptures, it can cause problems with internal or external bleeding. This can be deadly for dogs and can kill in a matter of hours. Learn more about recognizing this condition at Hemangiosarcoma in Dogs.

Dogs can collapse for reasons other than hemangiosarcoma. Take a look at some of these common reasons here: Acute Collapse in Dogs.

If your dog shows any signs of lethargy or unusual behavior, please call your vet as soon as possible.

Here is another great article every dog owner should read - go to: 21 Symptoms You Should Never Ignore in Your Dog.



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