Case Report: Partially Torsed (Twisted) Spleen

Mosby, a seven-year old intact male Scottish Deerhound, was referred to the Internal Medicine Division of the Veterinary Referral Center of Northern Virginia for loss of appetite, lethargy, and fluctuating fever. Previously Mosby had visited his regular veterinarian for these issues and x-rays were done. The x-rays showed an enlarged, abnormally positioned spleen. The spleen acts as a filter for the blood by removing old or damaged cells. Humans, canines, and felines can all live without their spleen.

Dr. Birnbaum with the Internal Medicine Division performed a physical exam, bloodwork, urinalysis, and an ultrasound. The ultrasound showed that Mosby’s spleen was curled around itself with a very large blood clot in the main splenic vein and a smaller clot in another splenic vein.

Mosby was then referred to the Surgical Division for removal of his spleen. Dr. Morris noted that Mosby’s spleen had three distinct regions suggesting a chronic partial torsion. Dr. Morris successfully removed Mosby’s spleen but his heart went out of correct rhythm. This was most likely due to the blood clot present in the main splenic vein. Mosby’s heart issue was effectively managed with medication in the hospital. Mosby’s spleen was sent to a laboratory to determine if a cancerous disease process was present.

Mosby was released from the hospital two and a half days later on a heart medication and a pain medication. Mosby’s Dad reported that his heart issue resolved within three days of returning home. His appetite and his activity level returned to normal as well.

Mosby returned for his suture removal two weeks later. He is doing very well and has returned to his old self. Fantastic news—the pathology on Mosby’s spleen was not cancerous so the surgery was curative. We are so happy for the great news for this gentle giant!