when to euthanize a dog with hemangiosarcoma

when to euthanize a dog with hemangiosarcoma

Hemangiosarcoma is such type of deadly cancer that cannot be detected at an early stage. Its symptoms may vary from dog to dog. It can be detected only with a proper diagnosis that too if there is a presence of any tumour or haemorrhage. This is why many dog owners need to have information regarding when to euthanize a dog with hemangiosarcoma. 

As it is difficult to detect and treat cancer at an early stage, many owners come to know about such cancer at the last stage, which is untreatable. Of them, some owners are lucky to detect such early cancer at an early stage and save their dog. But some of the dog owners have to take a tough decision to euthanize their dog and set them free from the troubles and pain through which the dog is passing through. This article will provide you with some essential knowledge regarding Hemangiosarcoma dog skin and also regarding what are end stages of hemangiosarcoma in dogs to save the life of your dog.

About Hemangiosarcoma:

Before knowing when to euthanize a dog with hemangiosarcomalet us understand this particular type of cancerous disease. Hemangiosarcoma is the cancer of the walls of the blood vessel. They are found commonly in many popular breeds of dogs such as Boxers, German Shepherds, and Retrievers. Such cancer may be present within the body of the dog or on the surface of their skin. Cancer that is present on the skin can easily be removed by surgery, and the dog may live a normal life ahead. On the other hand, Hemangiosarcoma present within the body or internal is extremely dangerous and untreatable. Such internal cancer can only be detected when they form a large tumor.

 Even at minute levels, such cancer starts spreading near the lungs and liver areas of your dog. There is also a condition that any such tumor burst within the body causes heavy internal bleeding. The symptoms such as whitening of gums and weakness in the dog will be visible to you in such cases. An owner, if he sees some lumps or discoloration in the skin of your dog, should consult the vet immediately before it’s too late. 

Such cancer is basically of two types one is dermal which is present on the skin, while the other one is Visceral that is formed internally. Genetic predisposition or exposure of your dog to carcinogens is the main reason for causing such type of cancer in dogs.

Hemangiosarcoma dog skin or Dermal Cancer:

the right time when to euthanize a dog with hemangiosarcoma is necessary

The formation of bluish, red, or black lumps in the skin indicates dermal hemangiosarcoma. The areas with colour changes usually have less hair. Such dogs who possess short white hairs on their body have greater chances of developing such cancer. Your vet may take a sample of such lumps to examine the presence of cancer.
Such type of cancer is present within the dog and is only diagnosed when the formation of the tumour is vast or bursting of one of such tumours. In case the tumour is present near the skin, it can be detected and cured easily. Other than this, there are several ways by which a vet can identify the probability of cancer in dogs. Checking for lumps near the abdomen region, paleness in gums, etc., is the other ways to detect such cancer. One perfect way to identify such cancer is through blood sample analysis and medical imaging. The biopsy of the tumour is also helpful but has to be taken carefully to avoid chances of internal bleeding.


In such cases, you can see the following symptoms in dogs:

  • Formation of lumps in the abdomen area of your dog.
  • Formation of red and black masses on the skin
  • Heart problems
  • Weakness
  • Loops in weight and appetite
  • Absence of moment and energy level in dogs
  • Paleness in the mucous membranes of your dog.

Some Important Facts regarding when to euthanize a dog with hemangiosarcoma

As I have mentioned earlier that such types of tumors are difficult to detect at an early stage until they take an advanced stage. There is a nearly 60% risk that the cancer present on the skin penetrates deeply. In case the tumour penetrates inside the body of the dog, it will be better to put down the dog. It is necessary to consult the vet before deciding to put your dog down. Such decision may depend on several factors such as-

  • You should ask the vet surgery can improve or cure your dog. If the cancer is present only on the skin, the survival chances of your pal are greater and can be cured by surgery.
  • Examine the health of your dog and ask the vet whether he can successfully survive after the surgery. Dogs that show symptoms such as lethargy, pain, inability to eat. Weight loss, then it will be better to euthanize the dog.

Do Dogs Bear Pain in Such Cases?

Many owners decide to put down their dogs suffering from such types of cancer to relieve them from pain. But you should know the fact that not all types of hemangiosarcoma give pain to your dog. For example, a dog suffering from dermal or visceral hemangiosarcoma may not be suffering from pain; instead, it follows its daily routine finely. While some other types of conditions may give them pain.

the right time when to euthanize a dog with hemangiosarcoma is necessary

Many scientists still do not understand the reason behind the development of such cancer in dogs. Many researchers found out that some particular breeds of dogs have greater chances of catching such disease they are.

1. Boxers

2. Basset hounds

3. Dobermans

4. Dalmations

5. German shepherd

6. Golden and flat-coated Retrievers

7. Poodles

8. Labradors, etc

Stages of Cancer:

In case of dermal Hemangiosarcoma:

  • Stage first in which the tumour is confined only to the dermis part.
  • Stage second in which involves hypodermis
  • Stage third is the spreading of the tumour on the muscular area, restricting the movement of dogs.

In the case of Visceral Hemangiosarcoma

  • Stage first is which tumours are formed inside the body but is undetectable.
  • Stage second in which the tumour starts to develop and spread with or without metastasis
  • Stage third, in which the tumour grows bigger and is detectable and can even burst.

Treatment of the Disease:

when to euthanize a dog with hemangiosarcoma

In case of the dermal hemangiosarcoma, careful removal of the affected area is the best treatment. If cancer has been spread with the layers of the skin, then chemotherapy can be useful. The Visceral hemangiosarcoma is also treated with the help of surgical removal and chemotherapy. The procedure takes nearly 4 to 6 months. Only 10% of healthy dogs survive for more than a year if treated for visceral cancer. Bursting of tumours and other complicated cases may take the life of your dog. 

Some Essential Tips for euthanizing your Dogs:

There are many changes in the behaviour of the dogs, which can lead you to a decision to euthanize them. The first thing that you can consider is the change in their eating and walking habits. Apart from this, some other symptoms are-


If you are noticing the changes in the behaviour of your dog, it’s confirmed that something is wrong with him. Such changes in behaviour may include a sluggish, aloof change in attitude.


Whining and crying also indicate the pain that they’re are in. In such cases, it is essential to decide to euthanize them. Such dogs also become defensive and aggressive. You can recognize them by the tone of their crying voice. 

Eating Habits:

Make notes regarding the eating habits of your dog. If you feel that your dog is eating less than normal or trying to skip its meal, it’s a problem. Occasional leaving of food is not an issue, but one has to consider if your dog has not taken his meals for more than 4 days. In such cases, consult your vet too or try to provide him with a different meal.


Such cancers in their large stage create a problem with mobility in your dog. This is mainly due to the weakness in them. In such cases, it is better to euthanize your dog.

Emotional State:

Dogs sometimes feel that their days are about to end. Their such thinking may induce some emotional changes in them. Observe the changes in moods of your dog. Try to see if your dog is still enjoying time with your family members or participating in any activities. You may also observe that such dogs are often anxious or scared. They try to remain alone in such a place where there is no one and utter darkness and silence. 

All the above cases indicate that time has come to put down your dog. Now, you have to decide whether to euthanize your dog at the vet or home. There are several advantages and disadvantages of both factors. Vets are experienced in performing the perfect process of the pets. By this, you can ensure administered drugs that will cause less pain in dogs and they can pass peacefully. You can also ask your vet to come to your house to do the same. By this, your family members will get a chance to be with the dog at his last stage. Every dog likes to be with its family members in such conditions. Make sure to prepare your kids emotionally for the same.

Some Common FAQs:

Q: What are the end stages of hemangiosarcoma in dogs?

Limping, lameness, swollen joints are the end stages of such cancer. You may also witness sudden death due to uncontrollable bleeding caused due to the bursting of tumors. 

Q: How long can a dog live with hemangiosarcoma without surgery?

Without taking any assistance from the surgery, it can be said that dogs may die within 2 weeks depending on the spreading speed of cancer. However, if the tumour formation speed is slow, some dogs may survive for months too.

Q: When should I put my dog with cancer to sleep?

IF your dog is suffering a lot and cannot eat or move, it is better to euthanize your dog and put it at the end of its pain. 

Q: Should I euthanize my dog with cancer?

Yes, if the cancer is at the last stage and cannot be cured, it is better to put down your dog.

Q: Is hemangiosarcoma in dogs painful?

Dermal type of hemangiosarcoma, which is present on the skin, is not at all painful for your dog, whereas internal cancer is quite painful for the dog.

Q: Do dogs know when they are about to die?

It is a heartbreaking situation when the dog is about to die. Many dogs understand that they cannot survive anymore and look with love to their owner and family members. Staying with your dogs at their last stage gives the dog’s happiness and courage to pass out.

Q: What are the signs of a dog dying from cancer?

The pain, inability to move and eat are some of the clear indications that the dog is about to die from cancer.

Q: What are the final stages of lymphoma in dogs?

Vomiting, weight loss, decrease in appetite, loosing of hairs or fur are some of the symptoms of lymphoma in dogs.

Q: When I put my dog down, did she know I loved her?

Yes, the dog understands the situation and will not be angry with you. But make sure to stay with them at their last hours as they do love to have you beside them.

Q: What are the signs of end-stage liver failure in dogs?

Vomiting, lethargy, bleeding are some of the symptoms of liver failure in dogs.

Deciding the right time when to euthanize a dog with hemangiosarcoma is necessary. The vivid nature of such type of cancer makes the detecting process difficult. You should keep a strong heart to let your pal free from the troubles. Do not forget to consult your vet in such cases.

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