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Bone Hemangiosarcoma | Treatment, Recovery and Oncology


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Bone Hemangiosarcoma
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Forum Posts: 2
Member Since:
30 May 2018
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27 June 2018 - 8:31 am
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Our almost 10 year old soft coated wheaten terrier was recently diagnosed with probable bone cancer and to alleviate the pain his left leg was amputated to the shoulder on May 31st. The histopathology report identified primary bone hemangiosarcoma.  We are researching best treatment options and would appreciate any insight you may have. 

It is our understanding that primary bone hemangiosarocoma is pretty rare.(the surgeon said he had never seen it and the oncologist said he had only seen it a long time ago.) Based on our research and our discussion with the oncologist, the appropriate treatment and success rates aren’t clear. The oncologist said if you ask 100 oncologists what chemo to use, 70-80% would say doxorubicin, although the research has been related to hemangiosarcoma in the spleen. However, he said it is possible that it is a type of bone cancer (I’m a little fuzzy on this, something with a T-cell) so it is possible that carboplatin might be appropriate. After much discussion and concern about the negative health effects of the doxorubicin on our dog,  we agreed to alternate treatments starting with carboplatin and next time doxorubicin.  

Apparently, there are no statistics and no set treatment protocol for primary bone hemangiosarcoma. As a side note, his lungs were clear as was his abdomen on recent scans. The only definitive location of the cancer was the bone, although we are aware that it is aggressive and metastasizes quickly. 

All the statistics for hemangiosarcoma in the bone are extrapolated from the spleen. Survival dates are from date of diagnosis, which obviously varies from those who discovered it early and those who didn't, so the dates aren't helpful except to indicate there isn't much time. Also, it appears that when chemo stops, the dogs die.  

So, we are at a loss as to what is best to do.  We don’t want to cause him more pain and get the feeling the doctors don’t really know what to do. We’d like him to live as long as possible as long as he isn’t suffering.  We would appreciate your thoughts on treatment and life expectancy.

Here and Now

Forum Posts: 11350
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25 April 2007
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27 June 2018 - 11:25 am
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Welcome and best wishes for your pup! Is his name Webster?

We're sorry to hear about his diagnosis, but you have come to the right place for help and support.

While you wait for comments from others, use the Advanced Search above to refine your forum search results with specific phrases, and you're sure to find lots of helpful feedback. You can also search all blogs here . Or, consider downloading the Tripawds e-books for fast answers to common concerns and feel free to call the toll-free Tripawds Helpline anytime!

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Oakland, CA
Forum Posts: 671
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20 December 2008
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30 June 2018 - 8:03 pm
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Hi there, I am so sorry for your diagnosis. Hemangio is nasty and bone hemangio is pretty rare so, as you have already found, there is not a ton of research. One thing I have seen used for hemangio is a product called I'mYunity and we have seen Tripawds members that have had success with it. It is made from turkey tail mushrooms and there is clinical evidence that it significantly increases survival time for dogs. I had a dog die from splenetic hemangio and if I ever get a hemangio diagnosis again I will definitely try the turkey tail. You can get other preparations of turkey tail but as far as I know I'mYunity is the only one that has been used in clinical trials. Talk to your vet about it, I would think it would not interfere with the chemo. 

As far as life expectancy, as you know it is typically poor with hemangio. But one thing we say around here is our dogs (and cats!) dont have an expiration date stamped on their butts! Statistics are based on averages and there are always outliers and exceptions to the rules. We have seen plenty of pets buck the odds and survive much longer than the statistics say they should. The key thing to focus on is quality of life and being in the present--try to Be More Dog

Hope this helps a bit. 


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Forum Posts: 61
Member Since:
31 December 2017
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1 July 2018 - 8:17 am
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Welcome Webster, but what's a nice dog like you doing in a place like this.

Our younger Golden, Jet, will be seven in August, and was diagnosed with subcutaneous/intramuscular hemangio a month ago.  We looked into IMYunity but balked at the cost, and opted instead for mushroom powders from Canine Matrix, and K9 Immunity Plus wafers.  The thing with IMYunity is that there was only one clinical trial involving just 15 dogs (five dogs each on three sample dosages) that was funded by the manufacturer.  We've put all of our dogs on the mushroom "cocktail" and it seems to be having a positive effect on all.

Jet's surgery did not leave clean margins (the tumor was woven into the muscle on his chest wall), and our oncologist recommended revision surgery plus treatment with Doxorubicin.  He explained that there is a huge difference between primary visceral (spleen/heart/liver) hemangio and the subcutaneous form.  He also recommended the IMYunity, but is supportive of our cocktail. 

We've passed on revision surgery so far, but are proceeding with the Doxorubicin.  I know that this drug can interact with the heart unfavorably, but our vet states this is generally not a problem with dogs as they take lower doses for shorter periods than people.  We've also passed on the revision surgery for now, as well as any imaging.  Jet shows no signs of visceral hemangio on physical exam, and there is no evidence of a tumor growing at the site of his original tumor (the original tumor grew ridiculously fast).  If we did imaging, the results would not likely alter our treatment plan.

That's our experience to-date with hemangio.  Our oncologist is optimistic and as Jet shows zero signs of any illness today, so are we.

Wishing you success with your treatment protocol, and we be following your story.


Forum Posts: 16002
Member Since:
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1 July 2018 - 9:45 pm
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Jet, your Dad passed on some great info!  Let him share in one of your treats tonight , okay?😁😁

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

Forum Posts: 2
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30 May 2018
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3 July 2018 - 11:41 am
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Thanks all. We feel as though we are in a science experiment. It's never good when your doctor hasn't treated your issue before. We are still exploring options but have given Webster one does of carboplatin and he is scheduled for doxorubicin on the 13th. Still not sure about the mushrooms. Have a nice 4th. It's Webster's worst holiday of the year (major anxiety with thunder and fireworks. ) Poor thing, lose a leg, have cancer and then fireworks!  


Forum Posts: 16002
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3 July 2018 - 12:33 pm
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Well Webster, you loke to do things in a very  way!!  Yep, you're  definitely  one of a kind alright!

Thanks for posting uour journey here.  It will be helpful  to anyone else who jas a dog who likes to do things in a unique  way.  Plus, with tons of experience here, someone  may pop in with some insight.

Yeah, I think most of us here are not fond of the 4th of July fireworks.  😥😝

Keep us in the loop.  We'll be cheering  for Webster.

Oh, one more thought. You may want to post under Ask A Vet.   Our Volunteer Bet came here years ago when her Mastiff Tazzie had on amputation.   She's  been kind enough  to offer advice to any of us with questions, especially  "unique " questions!


Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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