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"Lottie" - Doberman with Haemangioma


The first time I saw "Lottie" I was suspicious of something sinister! Despite initially responding to symptomatic treatment I was sufficiently concerned to admit her for further investigation.

Blood tests revealed that "Lottie" was bleeding heavily internally and that there was a large abdominal mass which was probably the source of the bleeding.

By the fourth day a blood donor (Kizzy Turner) had been sourced, health checked and was available to transfuse "Lottie". Exploratory surgery was then performed to control the haemorrhage.

A huge mass (melon sized) engulfed the spleen and had started to incorporate the bowels and pancreas. Careful dissection freed these vital structures from the main mass but the spleen was removed in its entirety along with the tumour.

Despite my initial concerns of the collateral damage to adjoining organs "Lottie" recovered astonishingly quickly........200% better according to her owners within 48hours of the operation!



The spleen has several functions but principally blood storage and filtration of abnormal or damaged redblood cells. When this organ contains a tumour, even a benign one such as a haemangioma, it can look and behave like an enormous overripe strawberry which is extremely friable and will rupture without much provocation.

Because it can reach giant proportions over a period of time the symptoms tend to relate to blood loss as the "strawberry" ruptures and bleeds internally.

It was only when "Lottie" had started to become much more anaemic after a bleeding crisis that her symptoms had become apparent to the owners. It comes as no surprise to me that "Lottie" has perked up when you can see what she has had removed! Still won't put me off my favourite fruit though!!


Terry Dunne BVMS, Cert SAO, MRCVS

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