Hemangiosarcoma in dogs originates from cells in the bone marrow that help in the formation of blood vessels. Hemangiosarcoma cells travel throughout the body, increasing the risk that the disease will exist in multiple locations. Hemangiosarcoma is almost always a fatal disease although its progression can be unpredictable. Most dogs with hemangiosarcoma will show rapid disease progression after diagnosis, but, in rare cases, dogs can live with this disease for months or even years.

Are there breeds that are more at risk for hemangiosarcoma?

There appears to be some risk for hemangiosarcoma associated with “being a dog,” and the risk seems to be compounded in several breeds, suggesting that heritable traits contribute to the disease. However, our current state of knowledge indicates that preventing hemangiosarcoma through breeding strategies will almost certainly not be effective.

What can one do to prevent hemangiosarcoma?

There are no known methods for prevention of hemangiosarcoma. Altering lifestyle behaviors, eliminating exposure to toys or other factors in the environment, and/or feeding special diets have no effect on the risk of developing this disease.

What is the treatment for hemangiosarcoma?

The major goal of treatment is to prevent or delay a bleeding episode which leads to death. The most effective treatment for hemangiosarcoma includes surgery to remove visible masses (to the extent that it can be done safely) followed by chemotherapy.

The new drug, eBAT, which was invented, developed, and tested at the University of Minnesota, has the potential to alter the treatment and outcomes for this disease. eBAT is not currently available for use in the clinic.

For a detailed scientific article on hemangiosarcoma in dogs, visit this page.

Are there any clinical trials for hemangiosarcoma in dogs at the U of M?

For the most up-to-date information on clinical trials, visit the Clinical Trials page.