• hemangiosarcoma;
  • spleen;
  • ultrasonography


Objective – To compare the histopathologic diagnosis in dogs with spontaneous hemoperitoneum when abdominal ultrasonographic examination detects a solitary versus multiple lesions.

Design – Retrospective cross-sectional study.

Setting – Private veterinary hospital.

Animals – Client-owned dogs presented with spontaneous hemoperitoneum between March 1, 2003 and June 1, 2008.

Interventions – Dogs were divided into 2 groups based on presence of a solitary or multiple abdominal ultrasonographic lesions. Prevalences were compared between groups for malignancy and specifically hemangiosarcoma.

Measurements and Main Results – Ten of 31 (32%) dogs had a solitary abdominal ultrasonographic lesion and 21 of 31 (68%) had more than 1 lesion. The bleeding tissue was characterized as malignant in 8 of 10 (80%) dogs with solitary lesions and 17 of 21 (81%) dogs with multiple lesions; there was no significant difference (P=1.0) between groups. In this study no association (P=0.26) was found between the number of abdominal ultrasonographic lesions observed and subsequent diagnosis of hemangiosarcoma.

Conclusions – Solitary abdominal ultrasonographic lesions in dogs with spontaneous hemoperitoneum do not necessarily indicate a lower prevalence of malignancy.