I was out of school a week ago Friday because I had jury duty in the tiny city I live in. They needed 6 people for the jury and I was number 10. So I got to leave early! (There weren't any other trials that day - tiny city, remember?) I went home and only one golden retriever came to greet me. This is quite odd. Desi always comes to the door when I get home. So I went looking and found her in the living room. Her abdomen was very distended, so I checked her gums and they were almost white. These are signs of internal bleeding.
I quickly called my vet and told them I was on the way. Once there, they did a quick exam and sent me to the emergency pet hospital, about 15 minutes away. She had a tumor on her spleen that had ruptured and was filling her belly with blood.
They did emergency surgery to remove the spleen after first doing a chest xray to be sure there was no metastasis to her lungs. They found about 4.5 liters of blood in her abdomen and a huge tumor on the spleen. They removed the spleen and sent off a specimen for biopsy.
Desi spent 3 nights and 4 days at the emergency vet. The lab report came back as hemangiosarcoma, a form that, unfortunately is found all too often in older golden retrievers. This type of tumor is highly malignant and has probably already metastasized. We can do chemo, but that only delays the inevitable by a month or so. We may have 2 weeks; we may have 6 months. But Desi will be crossing Rainbow Bridge way too soon.