How to Help Your Dog After Spleen Removal
The most common reasons dogs need a spleen removal are if the spleen has ruptured or it develops a tumor.
In this article, we'll talk more about what your dog's spleen does and what you can do to keep your dog feeling good after it's been removed.
The Spleen in Western Medicine
From a Western medical perspective, your dog's spleen has several important functions.
- acts as a blood storage reservoir
- fights infection
- filters and removes old blood cells
- makes red blood cells.
Fortunately, other parts of your dog's body can perform these functions if the spleen must be removed.
The Spleen in Chinese Medicine
In Chinese medicine, the spleen is in charge of your dog's blood coagulation, digestion, and fluid metabolism.
The Spleen maintains effective transportation and transformation functions, providing nutritive essence for Qi and blood.
It transforms nutritive essence, sending it upward to the lungs and heart.
The lungs and heart, in turn, transform the nutritive essence to Qi and blood to nourish your dogs entire body.
In addition, your dog's spleen governs the movement of blood. It keeps blood flowing in its proper pathways.
According to TCVM (Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine) theory, the movements of the muscles and legs depend on the power of the spleen.
Healthy muscles and legs need spleen Qi because they are nourished by the blood and Qi.
How to Help Your Dog Feel Better After Spleen Removal
Thankfully, a splenectomy will help your dog feel better and have a much better quality of life.
In addition, there are several things you can do to help your dog regain strength and vitality.
Feed a Blood Building Diet
Feeding your dog a blood building diet helps combat anemia. It also helps rebuild and tonify the blood.
Our vets recommend PET | TAO Solution Zing Canned Formula if you're interested in a pre-made product.
If you prefer to home cook, try PET | TAO's Blood Building Dog Food Recipe. The link takes you to the recipe page, where you'll find complete slow-cooker instructions and food lists.
Feeding spleen is based on the TCVM Five-Element theory and "Like treats Like" to strengthen and tonify your pet's body to compensate for the missing spleen.
Spleen treats also help pets suffering from:
- digestion problems
- muscle atrophy
- sensitive stomach
- weight loss
Many people find spleen difficult to find and prepare.
So, our vets recommend PET | TAO Freeze Dried Raw Beef Spleen Dog and Cat Treats.
All you need to do is feed several spleen treats per day for the beneficial effects.
TCVM Herbal Formulas
TCVM offers several herbal formulas for helping dogs after a splenectomy.
The formulas our vets use most often are Max's Formula and Stasis Breaker.
Max's Formula is a TCVM herbal formula for treating and preventing tumors. In Eastern medicine terms, the main effects are "to soften the hardness and clear nodules."
Stasis Breaker is another TCVM herbal formula for treating and preventing tumors. In Eastern medicine terms, the main effects are "break Blood stasis, soften the hardness, and clear enlargement."
The two herbal formulas, when combined, are a powerful tool for helping dogs after spleen removal.
However, TCVM herbal formulas require a veterinarian's authorization to purchase.
High-Dose Vitamin C Therapy
There are two methods of high-dose vitamin C therapy, intravenous (IV) and oral.
Hi-Dose IV Vitamin C Therapy
IV vitamin C therapy must be performed in a veterinary clinic. A catheter is inserted in your dog's leg and the vitamin C is delivered by intravenous drip.
When dogs receive vitamin C via IV, the vitamin C is 100% bioavailable.
In other words, 100% of the vitamin C is available to:
- support your dog's adrenal glands
- maintain energy levels
- improve and protect the skin
- strengthen tendons and bones
- boost the immune system
- fight chemotherapy or surgery side effects
Our veterinarians recommend vitamin C IV once weekly for a series of six treatments, then re-evaluate the patient's status.
You can learn more about vitamin C IV treatments on Dr. Marc Smith's website.
High-Dose Oral Vitamin C Therapy
Oral high-dose vitamin C therapy (titrated to bowel tolerance) offers the same benefits as high-dose vitamin C IV therapy, only at a slower rate.
It's crucial to use the sodium ascorbate form of vitamin C when giving a high dose to your dog.
Unlike ascorbic acid, the most common form of vitamin C supplement, sodium ascorbate is pH neutral.
Because it is pH neutral, it is much more gentle on your dog's digestive tract and doesn't cause stomach upset and cramping.
You can find complete instructions on high-dose oral vitamin C therapy and titrating to bowel tolerance, please see our article "How to Use High-Dose Vitamin C for Dogs and Cats."
For maximum response, our veterinarians recommend using oral high-dose vitamin C on the days between IV vitamin C therapy.
Some clients use oral high dose vitamin C in lieu of IV vitamin C if the IV treatments are too impractical or costly for their dog's situation.
Oral high dose vitamin C is an amazing, inexpensive immune booster our vets recommend for all pets with immune system challenges.
Do You Need Extra Help for Your Dog?
We have options if you need extra help managing your dog's digestive problems naturally. TCVM Pet Supply co-founding veterinarians Dr. Marc Smith and Dr. Casey Damron offer TCVM telemedicine consultations.
If you get a TCVM telemedicine consultation ($110), you'll get personalized TCVM recommendations specific to your dog, including:
- Food Therapy Recommendations
- TCVM Evaluation
- TCVM Herb Recommendations & Veterinary Authorization
- Supplement Recommendations
- Alternative Medicine Recommendations
If you reside in the Middle Tennessee area or would like to commute, you may prefer an in-clinic appointment. You can learn more about each vet and contact the clinic you prefer directly:
We hope this information helps you and wish you the best in making your dog feel better!