Our dogs are very important to us, and sometimes they get sick without our even realizing it. Most of the time with cancer it starts off slow and then as they progress further into the disease there are more symptoms that appear. When you are trying to keep your dog with you for years you are already doing everything you can in care and health. Sometimes that just isn’t enough, especially if they are genetically predisposed to having some type of cancer form. You will find that there usually is nothing you can do to really prevent cancer from occurring in your dog, but there are treatments and of course understanding the disease is very important.
Lung cancer is just one type of cancer that can really affect your dog. With lung cancer in dogs there are several symptoms that will help your figure out that your dog is ill. You have to keep in mind also that lung cancer doesn’t really pick just one breed. In fact lung cancer can be in any dog. There are a couple of types of lung cancer. The types of lung cancer are carcinoma and hemangiosarcoma. We will concentrate on carcinoma for this article. Carcinoma lung cancer is usually malignant, which means that it will cause death if it is not treated. As you can imagine we are still unsure about the actual cause of the cancer, but it has been linked to smoking for some dogs. Second hand smoke as we all know can affect a dog. So be careful if you smoke to not smoke around your dog. They will have a longer healthier life because of your caution.
Lung cancer is most usually marked by chronic coughing, lethargy, trouble breathing, weight loss, and coughing up blood. The symptoms will usually start off slow. In other words the carcinoma will form in the lung as a small mass. This usually causes trouble breathing and a little cough at first. As the mass grows the symptoms will begin to get worse. Usually when there is blood present in the saliva it means the lung has begun to deteriorate and the dog may have actually ruptured the cancer cells. This exacerbation of the lung cancer can cause immediate death if you don’t rush them into surgery. You mat also begin to see numbness in the limbs. Your dog may begin to drag their hind legs rather than walking, they may also begin to show less movement in sleep as well as during the day.
Prevention is very difficult when you do not know the cause, however when you keep your dog away from smoke, give them a healthy diet with the proper nutrients, and exercise them daily they are less likely to form cancer cells in the lungs. For treatment you will find surgery is usually the first option. Surgery will remove the mass from the lung and medication will help the lung to heal. In some cases the mass may be too large to remove without compromising the entire lung. In this case the vet may suggest radiation therapy to reduce the mass until they can remove it surgically with some safety or until the actual mass disappears. Radiation and chemotherapy work to reduce the mass as well as hinder abnormal cells from forming again. In some cases it may take a couple of surgeries or treatments of radiation before your dog is truly healthy again. As the owner you have the responsibility to see that your dog is properly cared for. Lung cancer in dogs can be deadly so make sure to watch your dog for symptoms.