A Splenectomy (spleen removal) is usually performed in dogs when there is a growth or mass on the spleen that has broken open and started bleeding or when there is splenic torsion. It is also performed when cancer of the spleen is diagnosed or when damage or trauma to the spleen has occurred.
There are many common symptoms associated with issues of the spleen. Your dog may experience loss of appetite or you may feel a hard lump in the abdomen. Your dog may also exhibit pale gums and weakness. An enlarged spleen can sometimes be detected during a physical exam.
Diagnostic tests may include blood testing, to determine red and white blood cell count, and imaging to see if the spleen is enlarged or has a mass. An abdominocentesis can be performed to detect free blood in the abdomen (indicating a bleeding splenic tumor). If the spleen is enlarged and a cause cannot be determined a splenectomy is often recommended. A biopsy can be performed to determine if and what kind of cancer is in the spleen.