Haemangiosarcoma (HSA) is a common disease in dogs.

The most commonly affected site is the spleen, followed by the right atrium, skin and liver.

Visceral and cutaneous haemangiosarcomas are evenly distributed in cats. 70% of patients presenting with a non-traumatic haemoperitoneum are diagnosed with haemangiosarcoma.

Two thirds of splenic masses are neoplastic and of these, two thirds are haemangiosarcomas.

Surgery is only palliative because 80% of patients have micrometastatic disease at presentation (this does not show on conventional and advanced diagnostic imaging), therefore adjuvant chemotherapy is indicated after surgery except for tumours confined to the dermis

Outcome with surgery only: visceral or subcutaneous HSA have median survival of 19-86 days, with less than 10% of patients surviving 1 year.

Outcome with surgery plus chemotherapy: treatment with doxorubicin every 3 weeks for 6 treatments starting 10-14 days after surgery have shown to DOUBLE the patient’s survival compared to surgery only. Metronomic chemotherapy has also shown some efficacy on preliminary studies.

Patients with measurable (unresectable) disease may receive palliative chemotherapy treatment with doxorubicin or radiotherapy.