Hello! I have a 14.5 year old japaenese splitz who had disc surgery 2 years ago. This year …

Hello! I have a 14.5 year old japaenese splitz who had disc surgery 2 years ago. This year he developed new weakness in his lower extremities and had a 2.5 kg weight loss so he had a full body ct with contrast and ct brain.
Findings included a chronic herniated disc explaining his weakness and an incidental finding of a splenic mass with some splenomegaly and no evidence of metastasis. Ultrasound findings were non significant. The nature of the mass remains unknown. His blood tests were good and he has no anemia. My veterinary doctor recommends a splenectomy. But i am worried of putting him through general anesthesia given that he has a heart murmur (on no medical Tx). I want to maximize his quality of life. I dont know if i should put him through major surgery given that he is asymptomatic but i am also worried abt internal bleeding and the suffering of metastatic disease if i dont operate. What should i do?

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Good morning- The first thing that I would do is sit down with the vet and have a heart to heart about your thoughts and concerns. Hopefully you have a good relationship with them, and you are able to have an open discussion regarding whether or not surgery is the best option. I would mention your concerns (anesthesia, etc.) about quality of life and surgery risks for sure. I would also recommend having a “family” meeting with the household of applicable, regarding the pros and cons, the vets advice, and the recovery process (if you go through with surgery) or… Read more »

Krista Magnifico

Hello, I had the same situation a few weeks ago. I am asking that patients mom to contribute to this question too. My first piece of advice is to ask for an echocardiogram exam. You don’t mention the degree or severity of the heart murmur (usually graded on a scale of 1-6) and it is important to say that a low grade doesn’t always indicate it is safe or irrelevant. From here you can better assess anesthetic risk. In general I tell clients to take out the spleen before it becomes a problem. A bleeding spleen can kill a dog… Read more »

Krista Magnifico

this is the answer from my client, Trish, who’s dog had a very similar issue (heart murmur and incidental splenic mass found via ultrasound). “Wow, what you are going through sounds quite sillier to what I just experienced with my oldest dog, who is almost 12. He is a Lab mix weighing about 54 lbs. A few months back he had is senior checkup, including a full blood panel and all looked good except trace amounts of blood in his urine and he has had a heart murmur his whole life and had never been on heart medication. He ate… Read more »