P. Pena; J. Salgueiro; A. Matos; A.L. Luis
An 11-year-old intact male Labrador was presented to the clinic because of lethargy, exercise intolerance, anorexia and dyspnea of 1 week duration. On physical examination the dog was depressed and laterally recumbent, presenting a normal respiratory auscultation and hardly audible cardiac sounds. The pulse was weak. Abdominal palpation suggested ascites. Thoracic X-ray revealed a grossly enlarged cardiac silhouette with direct contact between cranial cardiac border and sternum, on lateral projection. Biochemical screening revealed abnormal values for alanine-aminotranspherase, alkaline phosphatase and urea. The electrocardiogram demonstrated tachycardia with a sinus rhythm, low amplitude QRS complexes and electric alternance. Echocardiographic examination showed the presence of pericardiac effusion and two masses as part of the right atrium. Abdominal echography revealed mixed echogenicity of the right kidney, with focal hyperechoic areas, replacing most of the renal architecture. It was also seen a mixed echogenicity mass in the liver and free liquid in the abdominal cavity.
Based on this data the diagnosis was cardiac neoplasia with congestive heart failure and pericardiac effusion.
Treatment consisted of intravenous administration of furosemide (2mg/Kg/three times a day) and pericardiocentesis. The analysis of the liquid collected in the pericardiocentesis classified it as a bloody exudate. Treatment resulted in mild clinical improvement but the clinical state deteriorated soon after. The animal was euthanized and the necropsy promptly performed.
Histopathologic exam confirmed the clinic suspicion of cardiac neoplasia, identifying hemangiosarcoma of cardiac, pulmonary, hepatic and renal localization.
Hemangiosarcoma is a uncommon neoplasia that corresponds to 7% of canine malignant neoplasias. It bears a bad prognosis. The majority of the affected animals either dies or is euthanized.