I lived every pet parent’s worst nightmare. Hemangiosarcoma in dogs is a canine cancer that is evil, insidious, and strikes like a bolt of lightning. Our beloved Cocker Spaniel, Dexter died approximately 18 hours after first being suspected of having HSA.
We did everything right: limited vaccines, an amazing diet, plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, regular veterinary checkups, supplements, and lots of love. When Dexter came into our lives, we hit the “dog lottery” and he was treated like a king. My heart beats dog® and we love our life’s journey with a Cocker Spaniel by our side.
Maybe you’ve arrived at this page because your dog was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma. Maybe you are waiting in an emergency room, outside in your car, or at the veterinarian’s office for further testing. Or maybe your beloved dog was stolen from you without warning due to the nightmare that is HSA.
This is our dog’s sudden and fatal journey with hemangiosarcoma. It is our hope that the more pet parents who know about HSA, the better. In addition to our experience, we are sharing the input, knowledge, and information obtained from our interviews with:
- Dr. Laurie Coger, a holistic and integrative veterinarian and founder of The Healthy Dog Workshop
- Patrick Mahaney, VMD, CVA, CVJ, veterinarian, certified veterinary acupuncturist, and certified veterinary journalist
- Julie Buzby, DVM, CVA, CAVCA, an integrative veterinarian and founder of ToeGrips
- Sharon Loehr Daley, veterinary technician of 30 years who is now in her third year of vet school
- Katie Reynolds, a veterinary technician who also works in an animal emergency setting
You’ll be given exclusive access to what the above experts have to say about HSA and their experiences with it. I will also include further resources so you can be diligent in fighting this form of canine cancer that often strikes without warning.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I am also a Chewy affiliate.
What is Hemangiosarcoma in Dogs?
Hemangiosarcoma (HSA) tumors are malignant and derive from the cells lining blood throughout the body. Your dog has blood vessels everywhere, so HSA can occur anywhere.
The most common locations for HSA tumors are the spleen, liver, and heart. In my dog’s case, his suspected hemangiosarcoma was a large 5.3 cm x 6.2 cm cavitated mass arising from the caudal aspect of his right liver. It was adjacent to the neck of the gallbladder.
I feel like this is a “your hands are tied, and there’s not much you can do about it” type of canine cancer. I am a health and wellness pet writer and copywriter, yet I never encountered this cancer until it killed my dog.
According to Colorado State University’s Flint Animal Cancer Center, one in four dogs will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetimes. Cancer is the leading cause of death in pets beyond middle age. Many cancers can be caught early, and there is a multitude of treatments available.
Hemangiosarcoma is sadistic in its silent attack, aggressive nature, and bleak long-term prognosis. Stay with me so you can understand the types of hemangiosarcoma and which one has a better outlook for longer survival.
What Types of HSA Exist in Dogs?
Ironically there is no “cure” and HSA is nearly impossible to detect, but there are several types of hemangiosarcoma, some more aggressive and invasive than others:
Dermal (skin): Most often, the skin form of HSA appears as a red or black skin growth, as seen in this photo from VECC. The mass may become ulcerated and bleed. At least 33 percent of these tumors will spread to internal organs.
If you take nothing else away from this article, please remember this: Don’t wait, aspirate. If a lump or bump appears on your dog, your veterinarian needs to aspirate and/or biopsy it. No one, not even the most qualified veterinarian or specialist, can tell you what a lump is simply by looking at it or guessing.
Dr. Sue Ettinger is one of the most respected veterinary oncologists in the world, and she advocates for raising awareness of cancer in dogs. She advises all pet parents if you see something, do something, don’t wait – aspirate!
Subcutaneous: The layer beneath your dog’s skin. You may suddenly feel a lump beneath your pup’s skin. Two-thirds of subcutaneous hemangiosarcoma tumors spread internally. Don’t wait, aspirate.
Visceral: This is the type of HSA that killed my dog and countless others. Visceral generally pertains to the organs of the dog’s abdominal cavity. Visceral HSA is usually life-threatening and is the most common type of this cancer.
How Many Dogs Are Affected By HSA?
“I’ve lost three dogs and one cat to hemangiosarcoma, and one was my beloved Cocker Spaniel best friend,” says former veterinary oncology technician Sharon Loehr Daley. “It is extremely aggressive, does not show up on blood work, and is rarely seen on radiographs unless it’s affecting the heart and lungs.”
Daley says the only way you may be able to buy some extra time is if the mass affects the spleen. Dexter’s suspected HSA affected his liver.
If we tried to save Dexter’s life, he would have had to:
- Undergo a CT scan of his abdomen under general anesthesia (risky)
- Undergo major surgery to remove the mass only if the oncologic surgeons felt it was resectable. Unfortunately, the mass did not appear resectable.
- If the mass were removed and he had no postoperative complications, he would have required chemotherapy to extend his life by days, weeks, or maybe months.
Of the five most common cancers affecting dogs, hemangiosarcoma is on the list. It is often in the advanced stage before it is diagnosed.
Did My Dog Have Any Signs of Hemangiosarcoma?
No. I am a diligent note-taker, I keep accurate records, and I document anything out of the ordinary. One month prior to his sudden death, Dexter had an “off afternoon.” We gave him a few new chicken treats and he had some loose stool, but nothing unusual.
His gums seemed a bit light but certainly not what I could call “pale.” If gums are pale or white, we would rush him to the emergency room.
That day, he was sort of punky and we chalked it up to a tummy ache. We fed him boiled beef and rice for dinner, gave him something for his tummy, and he was fine by the next morning.
In fact, we visited a pet-friendly winery with friends and he was spunky, energetic, and his typical happy-go-lucky self.
You can read more about Dexter’s brief but detailed battle with hemangiosarcoma.
Did My Dog Have Any Recent Tests or Veterinary Visits?
Yes, in detail my Cocker Spaniel, Dexter’s history of recent tests and vet visits included:
07/07/21: Complete wellness exam, blood work, and head-to-tail checkup by his regular veterinarian: Blood levels were fine.
07/10/21: Echocardiogram performed by Dexter’s board-certified veterinary cardiologist. Dexter has a history of mitral valve disease controlled by medication. His echo was normal and the cardiologist reported his heart to be “strong” with no changes.
08/09/21: I checked Dexter’s urine levels with pH strips at home, as I do once or twice a month. Everything was normal.
09/29/21: Complete head to tail exam, blood work, complete thyroid panel, tonometry pressures in eyes (normal). Blood work revealed one level was slightly elevated but nothing of concern and had been elevated for years (amylase – and he had no pancreatitis)
When Did My Dog Show Signs of Hemangiosarcoma Trouble?
On Saturday, November 13, our Dexter went from playing, wagging, eating, having a snack, going for a walk, and then suddenly he stopped and became well, frozen in time.
He breathed heavily. He had super pale gums. He laid down. He drank inordinate amounts of water as we caressed him on the couch.
We called around to different emergency hospitals but were hit with one roadblock after another. No one could take us. Local vet hospitals had an 8 to 10-hour wait, and one of my worst fears was realized. What if I couldn’t get him help?
At this point, we had no idea what was happening. My wife and I thought Dexter hurt his back, but something was definitely wrong. A local veterinarian offered emergency services and gave us an 8 pm appointment. Dexter would never return home.
Symptoms of Hemangiosarcoma in Dogs
One of the leaders in the research of HSA in dogs is the Modiano Lab of the University of Minnesota. They report most dogs show no signs of pain or discomfort until the disease has progressed to the later stages.
Some of the more common signs of a ruptured hemangiosarcoma in dogs include, but are not limited to:
- Depression or lethargy
- Inability to stand or walk
- Refusal to move or play
- Pale/white gums
- Breathing difficulty
- Distended abdomen
“How long has your dog’s abdomen been distended,” I recall the first emergency veterinarian asking me the evening of my journey into hell.
He called my wife and me into the back room where we were shown x-rays of a large mass. He was able to aspirate blood from Dexter’s abdomen and called that a “hemoabdomen,” meaning blood in his abdominal cavity.
The vet said Dexter was bleeding internally and they were not equipped to handle his case at their smaller facility. One of the veterinary technicians made several calls to emergency hospitals but no one could take us.
Everyone was either filled, not accepting transfers, or did not have blood in the event Dexter needed a transfusion.
Finally, one hospital came through and accepted Dexter as a patient. He was transferred via car, laying on my lap with an IV port in his leg. The three of us drove three hours from home to the hospital where the nightmare continued.
What Do Experts Say About Canine Hemangiosarcoma?
Katie Reynolds: If you do surgery, even with no spread, with hemangiosarcoma dogs generally only have a few months to live (even with chemotherapy).
Purdue is trying a medication along with chemo in their clinical trial, which shows promise.
I see similar cases like Dexter’s almost daily in the busy emergency room where I work. I mostly see larger breeds like Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, and Pits or Pit mixes. It is less seen in smaller and medium breeds but did take my Pomeranian, Parker.
I hadn’t experienced curbside as a patient before, but my dog, Parker, started acting “off.” He looked spacey and wouldn’t eat breakfast. The doctor called and said, “I did a quick ultrasound and found a large, cavitated liver mass.”
Katie’s reaction was to scream uncontrollably (which was my reaction), “no no no no!” Katie knew what that meant: Parker had hemangiosarcoma.
At the tender age of 16, everything seemed under control with Parker’s health: he was spunky, his Cushing’s was under control, and his IVDD was stable. Within hours, he was gone.
She says if HSA tumors are caught early, they can be removed. But because they grow so fast, they are hard to find in the early stages. I talked to Dexter’s veterinarian about this, and she agreed.
Can Hemangiosarcoma Be Misdiagnosed?
Sometimes, dogs can have a benign bleed called a hemangioma, but Katie has rarely seen this. The few visceral hemangiomas she has seen have been in dogs around five years old and younger.
“I have seen many older patients over seven years of age go to surgery for a splenic or liver mass, and the surgeon opens them up, realize they can’t move forward, and the pet parents say goodbye to their dogs under anesthesia,” she shares.
I questioned if Dexter really had a hemangiosarcoma because I like proof. I am all about evidence and facts. As a journalist and writer and dog mom, I don’t live my life on guesses and “could be’s.”
During his 14-hour stay at the final emergency hospital, Dexter had blood work and an abdominal ultrasound. The only way to know with certainty that the mass was HSA would be a CT scan and surgery, both under anesthesia, both huge risks.
We had a long conversation with one of the veterinarians on call, who explained to us that the large tumor in Dexter’s liver was “highly likely to be cancerous and aggressive/malignant.”
They were unable to determine spread because of the large size of the mass. I asked about a fine needle aspirate of the mass, but that was nixed because the mass was “cavitated (bleeding into itself) and there was a risk for internal bleeding if it were sampled.”
Dexter likely had a small bleed from the mass the night before which is why he had blood in the abdomen. However, his body was able to reabsorb it. The mass did not appear resectable. We had the option to take Dexter home and try to make him comfortable. However, he’d be at risk of bleeding out.
Of note, I noticed there was a unique, sweet but rancid type odor from Dexter’s breath that he never had before. I am told that was the internal bleeding.
How Can Hemangiosarcoma Happen In Previously Healthy Dogs?
Sharon Loehr Daley: Reading your records, it shows what excellent pet parents you are. Dexter’s initial bloodwork looked great. If I just saw that and did not know he had a bleeding mass, I would think he was in great health.
Sharon says the internal bleeding often takes time to show up on blood work. Dogs can form clots that are reabsorbed in the abdomen. The fact that Dexter had a cavitary mass coupled with his other signs, lethargy, and white gums, the tumor behaved like a hemangiosarcoma.
When Sharon’s Cocker was diagnosed with an HSA on her spleen, she had the organ removed. Two years later, her dog had hemangiosarcoma throughout her abdomen. Some dogs do get extra time.
She says that even if there is no evidence of metastasis, there can always be microscopic cancer cells in the bloodstream. Sharon lost four animals over a 25-year span to HSA. Each of her pets had different presentations.
Her dog, Daphine, was playful and spunky but suddenly fell ill.
“I thought she had pancreatitis and was shocked to find out it was cancer,” she recalls. “I was totally blindsided.”
Hemangiosarcoma tends to knock pet parents off their feet and force us to make life-altering decisions in panicked moments with veterinarians we barely know.
Can Ultrasounds or X-Rays Catch Hemangiosarcoma in Dogs Early?
Daley says some people recommend abdominal ultrasounds every six months, but that doesn’t guarantee anything.
I asked Dexter’s veterinarian the same question. She did an abdominal ultrasound on a Golden Retriever, which came back clean and no signs of tumors. A few days later the dog died from hemangiosarcoma. It grew that fast.
Dr. Coger says there are no screening tests and everything seems fine until something starts bleeding.
“Often there is no time to prepare yourself,” Coger says. “You get a better idea if surgery is an option [for a dog with HSA] once an abdominal ultrasound is completed.”
In Dexter’s case, Dr. Coger says if the cancer was primarily in his liver (which it was) and the spleen was secondary, there isn’t much that could have been done. If it invaded his gallbladder and surrounding liver, the mass would not have been resectable.
She says the spleen and liver are two of the most fragile organs in dogs. During an exploratory surgery in Dexter’s situation, they would likely bleed. With cancerous tissue, it would be even more fragile. Any pressure could fracture the organ.
Sadly, cancerous tumors like HSA have huge blood vessels that are multiple times the diameter of normal.
“You can’t clot blood that is streaming out of the biological equivalent of a fire hose,” Coger shares. “That’s the scenario many hemangiosarcoma dogs are facing.”
Her final words to me resonate over and over in my mind like a broken record: “You did nothing wrong, Carol.”
Can Hemangiosarcoma in Dogs Be Prevented?
Dr. Mahaney reports there is no way to prevent cancer. However, he advises general avoidance of toxins and radiation and keeping the dog’s immune system functioning well to eliminate cancer cells before they become tumors. Dexter did not have an abdominal ultrasound since 2017.
“Regularly ultrasounding a senior dog is a good means of potentially catching tumors of the liver, spleen, or other organs before they show clinical sign,” Dr. Mahaney advises.
He reminds pet parents to maintain a slim body condition in their dogs, as the burden of obesity causing inflammation can cause a variety of cellular changes and be taxing on organ systems.
Most dogs don’t have regular CT scans under general anesthesia as a screening tool, which Mahaney says would be the best means of seeing changes consistent with tumors.
“Take comfort in that he likely did not suffer as the clinical signs happened so suddenly and the bleeding from his liver is what led to him declining so rapidly,” he shares.
I asked Dr. Coger about HSA prevention and her six-step system includes:
- There are no guarantees.
- Read The Forever Dog book by Dr. Karen Becker and Rodney Habib (I own it and have gifted it to several people)
- Follow up with the references in that book
- Do not feed kibble or “feed grade” dog foods
- Minimize and thoughtfully use vaccines, flea and tick products, etc.
- Use genetic screening tests and cancer screening tests as they become available and proven accuracy (we are in the infancy stage on many of these).
There are no known methods for the 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. Learn more about hemangiosarcoma basics at Modiano Lab.
Can Canine Hemangiosarcoma Be Detected In Blood Work?
Dr. Julie Buzby reports most cancer does not show up on blood work. She feels Dexter’s mass was not palpable on recent examination, and his cardiologist wasn’t looking at the liver.
Unfortunately, HSA is usually detected when the tumor bursts or bleeds.
“The signs are typically a sudden onset of weakness and inability to get up. These can happen in any breed of dog, but the majority are in dogs that share a genome with German Shepherds. Golden Retrievers, sadly, probably take the number two spot,” per the Veterinary Information Network.
“Any dog over eight years old that’s related to a German Shepherd or Golden is potentially at risk for a spontaneous hemoabdomen, and this disease should be considered in any dog of this type who has a sudden episode of unexplained weakness. Check their gums, as they are often as white as a sheet during this event”
What About Genetic Testing?
I am a fan of genetic testing for dogs, such as Embark Dog DNA test for purebred pets, which I performed on Dexter prior to his passing. Embark is able to screen for over 210 genetic health risks, which you can then share with your veterinarian. HSA is not one of the tests they can screen for as of this writing.
Regarding multiple dogs developing HSA from the same litter, Modiano Lab says each dog is independent of any other dog.
More specifically, “Imagine risk this way: Two people begin flipping coins at the same time. Both will get heads and tails about 50% of the time, but what Person A gets in a toss does not influence what Person B gets on the same or subsequent tosses – just like the result of one toss by any individual does not influence or predict the result of the next toss. Every toss is a 50/50 chance of heads or tails. The same is true of cancer risk and dogs.”
On a sad and unexpected note, Dexter’s littermate brother, McGee, passed away from metastatic cancer exactly 8 days after Dexter. His prognosis was 2 weeks to 2 months. He passed away surrounded by his mom and dad, Maureen and John McGee, with the services of Lap of Love at his home.
Important Facts About Canine Hemangiosarcoma
Modiano Lab indicates, “The major goal of treatment is to prevent or delay a terminal bleeding episode. The most effective treatment for hemangiosarcoma includes surgery to remove visible masses (to the extent that it can be done safely) followed by chemotherapy.”
It is more common in dogs than other animals or humans. Any breed or mixed mutt can get HSA, but some breeds are overrepresented. These include:
- Golden Retrievers
- German Shepherds
- Portuguese Water Dogs
- Bernese Mountain Dogs
- Flat-Coated Retrievers
- Skye Terriers
It is not known why hemangiosarcoma happens, which is terrifying. Modiano Lab says it appears to start from bone marrow cells and then travel throughout the body to form new blood vessels.
HSA doesn’t cause pain or discomfort. Our Dexter took his final breath shortly before the veterinarian administered the euthanasia cocktail.
Questions to Ask If HSA Is Suspected Or Diagnosed in Your Dog
In the throes of despair, confusion, shock, and fear, we didn’t have much time to prepare questions for the veterinarians and veterinary nurses we encountered. Here are some things to ask if your dog is diagnosed or suspected of having HSA:
- Where is the suspected tumor located?
- Has the tumor ruptured?
- Will you perform an abdominal ultrasound and by whom? (you really need someone experienced with abdominal ultrasounds)
- Could this be something other than hemangiosarcoma in my dog?
- Can you perform a CT scan of the area safely on my dog?
- Is anesthesia a risk to my dog?
- Can the tumor potentially be removed?
- Will my dog need chemotherapy or other treatment afterward?
- If I opt for surgery and chemotherapy or other treatments recommended, how long might this extend my dog’s life span?
- Will my dog have a quality of life?
- What do my dog’s blood levels show?
- Is my dog in pain?
- If my dog has pain, how will you control it?
- Will you be using any holistic treatments such as Yunnan Baiyao to control bleeding (which the hospital used on my dog, Dexter)?
- What is my dog’s prognosis and what is this based on?
- If my dog’s tumor is successfully removed, how often will he require followup care, ultrasounds, and xrays?
- What are the costs involved?
- Will my dog need the services of an oncologist?
- What doctor(s) will be treating my dog?
- Have the veterinarians working on my dog dealt with hemangiosarcoma in dogs before? (We were at a major veterinary hospital so they see HSA in dogs on a regular basis)
What Are the Latest Treatments For Canine Hemangiosarcoma?
eBAT: This drug was tested on dogs with splenic hemangiosarcoma. Researchers at the University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine shared results and an update in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics.
I’m-Yunity: A study at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine shows survival times of dogs with splenic hemangiosarcoma tumors when using I’M-Yunity. This is a newer compound derived from the mushroom, Coriolus versicolor.
Clinical trials at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
Clinical trials at Tufts Cummings Veterinary Medical Center
Ethos Discovery battle against hemangiosarcoma – this is very promising
American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation Hemangiosarcoma Research Initiative
Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine clinical trials
Nu.Q Vet Cancer Screening Test: Developed by a Belgium-based epigenetics company, the test measures early markers of cancer. Learn more about Nu.Q and what veterinarians are saying. In preparation for this article, this is the first I heard of Nu.Q.
More information can be gleaned on the Texas A&M website, where the test is being offered through their Gastrointestinal Laboratory.
Essential information about hemangiosarcoma in dogs – from a presentation by Dr. Sue Ettinger, aka the Cancer Vet.
A link between stealth pathogens and malignancy – Dr. Karen Becker with the latest research on Bartonella bacteria and HSA.
Is There Hope to Cure Hemangiosarcoma in Dogs?
There have been few advances beyond chemotherapy, which was added to the standard of care for HSA in dogs over 40 years ago.
Hemangiosarcoma affects thousands of dogs every year, but because it is primarily a canine cancer, investigation into it has been limited beyond the clinical trials and research noted above.
There is great hope in what Dr. Jamie Modiano, at the University of Minnesota, and the work he and his colleagues are doing.
What Does A Veterinary Oncologist Say About Hemangiosarcoma?
Dr. Sue Ettinger goes by the name “the cancer vet,” and she is a boarded veterinary medical cancer specialist. She is also a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in Oncology.
This prestigious honor means she is only one of 400 board-certified veterinary specialists in medical oncology in North America.
Dr. Sue has a popular YouTube channel, and she has highly detailed information about hemangiosarcoma in dogs. Here are the videos on the topic you can reference:
Is HSA Expensive To Treat and Manage?
Yes, hemangiosarcoma can be very expensive. In most cases, pet parents arrive at the emergency hospital. We pay emergency services prices because thank DOG the hospitals are there for us.
North Carolina State Veterinary Hospital provides some hemangiosarcoma treatment-related options but each facility and case is different.
I recommend you have a savings account, emergency fund, Care Credit, veterinary insurance, and/or start a GoFundMe if you are in a bind.
Further Reading and Research on Canine Hemangiosarcoma
Liquid biopsy for cancer detection: American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation
How cancer chooses a breed: In-depth article from Dr. Karen Becker
Can we find a cure for canine hemangiosarcoma: Interview with Dr. Jamie Modiano (of Modiano Lab) and recent research
White paper and research on hemangiosarcoma: Morris Animal Foundation resources
Shine-On project following 200 healthy dogs at risk for HSA: Dr. Jamie Modiano interview
Clinical evaluation of recent trial for HSA: American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation
Ty’s story with lymphoma and hemangiosarcoma: One blogger’s journey from helplessness to hope
Latest treatments for hemangiosarcoma in dogs: Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care
HSA road from hope to despair: American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation
Research in Golden Retrievers (which benefits all dogs): Golden Retriever Club of America
Where to Find Experts in Canine Hemangiosarcoma
In most cases, you will be rushing your dog to an emergency hospital or developing a plan of care and management with your veterinarian if the tumor(s) are caught early. Your veterinarian can often make a referral to an oncologist.
Know where your nearest emergency veterinary facilities are and their hours of operation. Many facilities are backed up, overbooked, and unable to take new patients since the onset of the pandemic.
To locate a board-certified veterinary oncologist, visit the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.
For board-certified veterinary surgeons, visit the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.
Locate a board-certified veterinary emergency and critical care specialist by visiting the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care.
Bonus: Unexpected warning signs of canine cancer
Why Did My Dog Die From Hemangiosarcoma?
I have no idea. For two weeks, I blamed myself.
“I must have missed something.”
“Was he acting off and I just didn’t realize it?”
“Were the cold laser treatments he got for his spine arthritis causing cancer?” (if your dog has cancer you don’t want to do cold laser, but cold laser itself is not a cancer-causing agent according to the veterinarians I spoke with)
“If I got him to an emergency hospital sooner, would he have survived?”
I realize now that I am not to blame, but grief does these things to a person. Sudden trauma and unexpected death messes with the mind. Add a broken heart and sheer devastation on top of that, and it’s the perfect storm of guilt and being blindsided by the grim reaper.
I’ve spoken with dozens of pet parents whose dogs of all ages, sizes, breeds, and health status have succumbed to hemangiosarcoma. There are some breeds that are more prone to get HSA than others, but any dog at any age can be affected.
I am so angry and so devastated because I thought we had a few more years with him. Fellow blogger Melissa Chapman wrote me the most poignant and simply beautiful message. I hold onto this:
The burning questions I’ve received to date and which I am sure others might be thinking:
- Will we get another dog? Yes. My wife and I love dogs, and have a strong affinity for Cocker Spaniels. Dog is in our DNA.
- Does it scare you that this can happen to another dog in your life? Yes, but I cannot live in fear. We will provide our third Cocker Spaniel with the same level of veterinary care, exercise, mental stimulation, healthy eating, limited vaccines, no chemicals, and king status.
- Is there such a thing as a heart dog? Yes, some people say there is a dog that can touch you like no other. I believe every dog is my heart dog and I love them equally. There will always be something other-wordly and spiritual about Dexter’s presence in my life.
The above information discusses how our precious dog, Dexter, died but it is not how he lived. I want others to know about hemangiosarcoma and how many dogs it affects.
Dexter came into our lives, taught us about love, and left us with grief of epic magnitude. Our little boy suddenly and tragically crossed from this earth to the Rainbow Bridge on November 14.
This tribute is in memoriam of a life well-lived. Dexter will forever be missed and forever be loved. By us, but also by all those whose lives he touched.
Over the years, Dexter received his Canine Good Citizen, the AKC Novice Trick Dog title, the AKC Intermediate Trick Dog title, he was a Brand Ambassador, and a National Dog Show Therapy Dog Ambassador Team Member. To us, Dexter was our heart dog who inspired us to trademark, “My Heart Beats Dog®”. Dexter was our heart shaper, love keeper, treat beggar, bone burier, ballplayer, and life changer.
“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is not.” ~Henry van Dyke~
“We suffer so they don’t have to.” ~Unknown ~