• Congenital;
  • Hemangioma;
  • Tumor;
  • Vascular neoplasia

Hemangiosarcoma is a rare neoplasm of horses and hemangiosarcoma in young horses might behave differently than in mature horses. The purpose of this study was to identify the characteristics of hemangiosarcoma occurring in horses ≤ 3 years of age. Medical records from 1982 to 2004 were searched for horses ≤ 3 years of age with a histopathologic diagnosis of hemangiosarcoma. Eleven records were identified. Thoroughbred and Thoroughbred crosses predominated. Age ranged from 9 days to 3 years. All horses presented with cutaneous or leg swellings or joint effusion. Physical examination findings included tachycardia, fever, and depression. Laboratory abnormalities included anemia (5/11), hyperfibrinogenemia (4/11), hypofibrinogenemia (3/11), thrombocytopenia (2/11), and neutrophilic leukocytosis (1/11). Ultrasonographic and radiographic evaluation was not diagnostic in any case. Antemortem histopathologic diagnosis was obtained in 10 cases. Six of 11 horses were euthanized. Surgical resection was performed in 5 horses, 2 of which were later euthanized. Diagnosis was confirmed histologically at postmortem examination in all euthanized horses. Two cases resolved spontaneously. Early histopathologic diagnosis may allow cure if the mass is localized and amenable to surgical resection. In cases where the horse is medically stable, and masses are not interfering with quality of life, a period of observation may be warranted.