There are a number of causes that can result in the symptoms of a hemoabdomen including; trauma (i.e. road traffic accidents), bleeding disorders, post-surgical complications or spontaneous diseases.
In some patients the cause of abdominal bleeding is unexplained and categorised by neoplastic or non-neoplastic causes.
- Non-neoplastic causes include; conditions such as Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV), and twisting or rupturing of the spleen
- Neoplastic causes; accounting for the majority of non-traumatic abdominal bleeding in dogs. Non-cancerous lesions in the spleen (splenic hemangiosarcomas) account for most registered cases.
In cats, the causes of abdominal bleeding are both neoplastic and non-neoplastic diseases. However, as in dogs, non-cancerous lesions in the spleen are the most common neoplastic cause.
Several mass causing conditions may affect a pet’s spleen including:
- Non tumoral masses: haematoma, nodular hyperplasia, abscess and granulomas
- Benign tumours: haemangioma, myelolipoma
- Malignant tumours: hemangiosarcomas, fibrosarcoma, leiomyosarcoma and histiocytic sarcoma
- Metastatic disease: lymphoma, multiple myeloma, high grade metastatic mast cell tumours and carcinomas.