Dog and enlarged spleen, causes and remedies
The spleen is a little known organ but which plays a useful role for the health of the dog, so it is good to identify anomalies related to its functioning.
Splenomegaly is an enlargement of the spleen in dogs, a very frequent condition that affects older quadrupeds in a higher percentage. This abnormal enlargement can show different origins, identifying the correct one in time is very important for the animal’s welfare. The vet is the figure delegated to the examination and to the ritual controls, able to intercept the problem, suggesting the most suitable solution. Knowing the role of the spleen is very important, so as to capture the symptoms and the relative problem: in this case, timeliness is fundamental.
The role of the spleen in the dog
The spleen is one of the organs that over time can develop the most health problems: its function is often little known, but it is fundamental both for the dog and for man. It is a sort of warehouse where the blood is stored as a reserve for the body, it also helps to create new red blood cells, filtering and removing old stocks, it is also a valid support against infections as an active part of the immune system.
From the physical point of view it is located in the left part of the body near the stomach, it appears slightly elongated with a size halfway between the size of the kidney and liver, but with a reddish color due to the presence of blood and capillaries.
The main symptoms of a spleen problem are many and not to be underestimated: often the dog shows a strong lack of appetite with vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal swelling and evident physical tiredness. In some cases the dog is in pain and also appears lethargic and can collapse. The general attitude is a slowing down of daily activities that interferes with your friend’s routine, but if the spleen becomes damaged, more severe and sudden symptoms such as shock and sudden death may appear.
Health problems: the most common
There are several problems that can affect the wellbeing of the spleen, including an abdominal lesion, intestinal pathology, many forms of cancer, hepatitis, then the presence of other diseases that can interfere with the regular functioning of the spleen to the point of inflammation. Finally, the most serious, i.e. the injury of the organ caused by a trauma or a collision with bleeding.
It is very important to pick up the various symptoms even if they manifest themselves individually, and to list them to the vet, after having taken the friend to his study so that he can examine the abdomen starting from palpation, also to exclude the presence of nodules. At the same time, he can carry out blood tests and an X-ray, so as to observe the spleen in its entirety.
Treatments and remedies
In case of mild splenomegaly, the dog will be treated through the administration of drugs, while in case of trauma with rupture or tumour the surgical removal of the same will be carried out. If the spleen has been affected by tumour, a part will be sent to the laboratory for histological examination, while the dog will be examined to exclude the presence of metastases. Usually the removal is decisive, but in some cases the doctor will prescribe a few cycles of chemotherapy.
The dog can live peacefully even without the spleen, leading a quiet and healthy life, also thanks to the support therapies. Prevention through visits and check-ups is of vital importance: only in the most serious cases with aggressive tumours and metastases the doctor will confront with the owner to decide what to do, also considering the extreme hypothesis of euthanasia.