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Ethos Discovery Battling to Switch Euthanasia for Splenectomy On Larger, Older Dogs with Hemangiosarcoma


Ethos Discovery - a nonprofit organization created by doctors to conduct scientific veterinary research - is performing studies to address challenges and deliver curative outcomes for dogs with hemangiosarcoma through nationwide clinical trials.



a dog waiting in an operation room

When dealing with a ruptured splenic tumor in a dog, emergency surgery to remove the spleen and examine the abdomen and internal organs is recommended but sometimes discouraged - like in older dogs diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma.  


Ethos Discovery claims in this article that "the limited veterinary literature [...] is based on weak medical evidence, which can result in misinformed opinions on the risks of hemangiosarcoma in older dogs with ruptured splenic tumors and the surgery required to help [them]. This misinformation may lead families to consider and elect euthanasia over surgery. "


To challenge this disposition, they've studied over 200 dogs and learned about the likelihood of 40-50% of tumors being benign and resolved by surgery alone in older, larger breeds with hemoabdomen. Also, surgery doesn't supposedly carry the risks for recovery previously thought, with over 96% of older, larger breed dogs that will "walk out of the hospital less than 40 hours after surgery." Professionals on Ethos believe that pursuing a splenectomy as a first step in the care of a dog with a ruptured tumor is more reliable than performing euthanasia based on antiquated and flawed veterinary literature.   


Ethos Discovery has launched the first-ever randomized prospective clinical trial for dogs with hemoabdomen. With a five-year, 400-dog nationwide study named PUSH (Precision Medicine Umbrella Study for Hemangiosarcoma), they seek to deliver needed evidence to the field and use novel genomic approaches to reimagine the care of dogs with hemangiosarcoma, hopeful that their research will offer better guidance for the tend of older, larger breed dogs diagnosed. 


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