How Long Can a Dog Live With an Enlarged Spleen

When petting a dog pet owners need to face many concerns and among the major causes of concern is the enlarged spleen of the dog. So what can be done if your pet gets diagnosed with an enlarged spleen? There are a lot of things that can bear trouble on your dog and cause it to have a larger than normal spleen such as canine hepatitis, abdominal injury, inflammatory bowel disease, infectious disorders, spleen cell tumors, bacterial infection along other disorders of the immune system.

Dogs and splenomegaly

The condition of enlargement of spleen in dogs is known as splenomegaly. The medical condition can possibly occur in almost all dog genders and breeds, but the larger breeds and middle-aged dogs are more prone. Also, the condition isn’t specific to the spleen, but can also be another conditions or disease symptom. The treatment options are also recommended depending on the splenomegaly cause.

What causes enlarged spleen in dogs?

There can be many reasons for enlarged spleen such as infections, cirrhosis and other diseases of the liver, blood diseases that are characterized through abnormal blood cells, lymph system issues, or other problematic conditions. Various other reasons for an enlarged spleen can be inflammatory diseases like sarcoidosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus.

Types and symptoms

The general symptoms observed with the enlarged spleen condition are:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Less activity and lethargy
  • Abdominal pain
  • Feeling weakness and collapsing
  • Similarly, there are many spleen cancer symptoms in the dogs such as:
  • Weakness
  • Weight loss
  • Lameness
  • Muscle incoordination (ataxia)
  • Seizures
  • Dementia
  • Partial movement loss (paresis)
  • Intermittent collapse

Many pet owners are not aware of the life of their dog with life-threatening conditions like spleen cancer. So, what is the average survival dog time with splenic HSA that got chemotherapy and surgery is approx. 4-6 months (compared with 1-2 months alone with surgery).

How serious an enlarged spleen in a dog can be?

The prospective complications that your dog can get through an enlarged spleen are: Catching infection. With a larger than normal spleen the dog gets reduced total amount of healthy red blood cells, white cells, and platelets in the bloodstream, which results in more infections frequently. It is also possible to get anemia with increased bleeding.

Enlarged Spleen through hemangiosarcoma (HSA)

Hemangiosarcoma (HSA) of spleen remains to be a devastating cancer form affecting a lot of dogs. This is vascular epithelial cells (lining blood vessels) compromising roughly 7% of all canine cancer. The tumor can occur through site of the body which is vascular but frequent dog locations (40-50%), right atrium/heart (10-25%), and skin (15%). Hemangiosarcoma of spleen is among the common spleen cancer causes in dogs.

Is it possible for your dog’s enlarged spleen to become normal again?

This depends a lot on the cause of the problem. An enlarged spleen can turn to normal function and size when the underlying disease gets timely treatment or resolution. Most commonly, in the infectious condition of mononucleosis, the size of spleen returns to normal in the recovery phase of the infection.

Management and living with an enlarged spleen

Various underlying medical issues can easily get treated through prescription medication. In case when the enlarged spleen gets removal, your dog will require some time and rehabilitation for proper healing, and make sure to restrict its activity.

Currently, there are no known preventable measures that you can get for an enlarged spleen. You should consider the best pet insurance services. That will also help you in the process of taking care of your pet

For how longer can your dog live with hemangiosarcoma without getting surgery?

Based on the findings, the average duration of survival for dogs having hypodermal HSA is around six months. Without getting the right treatment, a lot of dogs diagnosed with internal organs HSA will die within one to two weeks of getting diagnosed. Although, a few would be able to survive for a lot of months while others only for a few days.

For how long a dog lives with the hemangiosarcoma condition without getting treated?

Without having treatment, the dogs diagnosed with the hemangiosarcoma of internal organs die within one or two weeks, although a few would be able to survive for various months.

Does the absence of a spleen in dogs shorten their lifespan?

People or animals without the availability of spleen can have a hard time in getting recovered from an injury or an illness. For getting reduced risk of infection, your doctor would recommend getting vaccinated against influenza, pneumonia, meningococci, and Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib).

How long does it take for a dog for recovering from spleen removal?

The recovery period would last for around four to six weeks

What is advisable to feed your dog with enlarged spleen?

  • Anti-cancer dog diet
  • All the ingredients must be highly bioavailable, fresh, easily digested, and palatable with good smell and taste.
  • Organic foods
  • Fish-oil based supplements
  • Vitamin C
  • Garlic
  • Digestive enzymes
  • Fresh and organic meats, cooked or raw.


While getting examined a protruding abdomen or a protruding spleen might get noticed. Then fine needle aspiration is used for diagnosing spleen disorder. Also, x-rays and ultrasounds are used for viewing spleen with surrounding areas for checking out any present abnormalities. Additionally to imaging, the blood work also provides comprehensive review of underlying medical troubles.

Foods that irritate the spleen

Make sure to avoid icy cool drinks, frozen foods, winter or bitter melon, cucumber, grapefruit or lettuce deplete “fire” of the spleen. The “damp” foods like refined sweets and sugars, dairy products – can also hinder digestion processes.

Around what percentage of splenic dog tumors are benign?

Splenic Masses overview: nodular hyperplasia and splenic hematoma are among the different non-cancerous lesions present in the spleen and these accounts for around 20-41% of all the splenic lesions. These are benign masses/nodules of the clotted blood.

What should you do when your dog x-ray shows an enlarged spleen?

If your vet has discovered enlarged spleen then more investigation would be required. With ultrasound, you can detect any signs of spreading to abdominal and neighboring organs. With a CT scan, it can be revealed if any other distant organs have become affected which might be suggestive of any metastatic cancer.

Proper blood work would be helpful in revealing if any anemia is present which might suggest any bleeding through spleen. After getting all the findings, the vet might also suggest biopsy and removal of spleen and/or consultation of an oncologist.


Recommended options for treatment depend largely on the underlying enlarged spleen causes. As the enlarged spleen is normally sign of any underlying medical condition, it would be vital for understanding causes before you establish proper animal treatment. For severe cases, spleen removal (splenectomy) is recommendable.

Unfortunately, to date, hemangiosarcoma remains to be among the most mysterious and challenging conditions that have been present in modern-day veterinary practice. Also, it is unfortunate that within previous 20 to 30 years no advances were there for the treatment of such condition. This is most likely because humans normally don’t get information about hemangiosarcoma because of limited research or funding.

Lisa Thompson

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