This is a typically ‘silent’ form of cancer affecting the cells which line the blood vessels. It has a very high mortality rate due to it’s tendency to metastasize to critical organs and the difficulty in making an early diagnosis. Tumors usually develop in the spleen, heart or liver, but can also occur in other organs and the skin.

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Symptoms: Weakness, lethargy, pale gums, anemia, weight loss, poor appetite, arrhythmia, disorientation, collapse, in some cases enlarged and/or painful abdomen due to hemorrhage. Sudden death can also occur.

Treatment Options: Surgical removal of the tumor along with the affected organ in the case of the spleen. Follow up with chemo may be helpful if indicated. This treatment can help to temporarily relieve symptoms and prolong life, but unfortunately this cancer is typically fatal unless caught in it’s earliest stages before metastasis occurs.

Known Mode of Inheritance: Unknown, but some associated markers have been identified in breed specific cases.

Age of onset: average 8-13 years.

Breeds affected

  • Cardigan: yes
  • Pembroke: yes
  • Other Breeds: yes

Incidence in Cardigans: Unknown.


  • Cardigans: no
  • Other breeds: yes, most dog breeds and mixed breeds.
  • Active?: yes, currently for GSD, Golden Retriever and Portuguese Water Dogs.

Registry: no

Tests Available: no

Research links:

Published papers and Articles:

Discussion Groups:


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