Mesothelioma, or asbestos cancer as it is commonly called, is a health condition that affects both humans and animals. And as with humans, mesothelioma in dogs and other pets like cats, are still incurable. And as with humans, it only manifests on its later stages when it is already severe.
Surgery and chemotherapy are the only option. As you would not afford to see your dog or cat suffer from this life-threatening
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a rare malignant tumor that develops from the lining cells. The resultant tumor often displaces the internal organ, causing cardiac or gastrointestinal symptoms and producing lots of internal fluids.
How your pets get exposed to asbestos?
Much like us, animals can die due to asbestos exposure. Commonly, it is the owners that are first exposed to asbestos. Pets get exposed mostly when their owners brought home asbestos-contaminated clothes or when fibres sticked to their skin. When owners cuddle their pets, they can lick and ingest or sniff asbestos fibres.
Also, pets are hazardly exposed to asbestos during home renovation or during asbestos abatement. When asbestos containing materials are tampered or disturb, it can release micro fibres to the air which you and your pets can breathe in.
Pets owned by those who are exposed to asbestos are more likely to develop mesothelioma. There are wide array of factors that increase the risk of developing this asbestos cancer
● Dogs are more susceptible than cats
● Breeds: German shepherd are the most prone breed to develop mesothelioma. Other breeds include Bouvier des Flandres and Irish Setters.
● Age: old dogs with an average age of 8 years old are more likely to be affected.
● Sex: more common to Males than females.
Types of Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma in dogs can develop not only on lungs but also on other parts.
● Lining of the lungs.
● Lining of the abdomen
● External lining of the heart.
● Lining of the testes.
Symptoms of Mesothelioma in Dogs
Most commonly, you wouldn’t notice the symptoms until the later advanced stages. It manifests much in the same way as with humans.
● Trouble breathing
● Abnormally rapid breathing
● Muffled heart, lung, and abdominal (ventral) sounds
● Pulmonary edema and/or enlarged of the heart
● Large scrotum
● Pain or swelling in abdomen
● Sudden weight loss
● Chest pain
● Changes in sleeping patterns
● Night sweats
● Exercise intolerance
How will my pet be diagnosed?
If your pet have the above symptoms, you should take your pet to the vet. The vet will perform a thorough physical examination on your pet and will take health history and will ask you about any possible asbestos exposure. Blood and urine tests, chest and abdominal X-rays will be conducted as of first importance. The doctor will further take fluid samples for a lab examination.
Treatment options for mesothelioma in dogs are limited. Firstly, it can be done through surgery by removing the tumor. Another is through chemotherapy or both. Mesothelioma in dogs can also be treated on an outpatient basis, but may need to be hospitalized such as in the case of excess fluid built up.
Your pet will no longer be allowed for long walks and longer playtime. It is important to minimise the activities of your pets by taking short walks, and keeping him away from children or other pets.
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