There are some specific diseases that not only attack humans but also animals. One of them is mesothelioma . The asbestos cancer in animals is also caused by asbestos exposure. Animals tend to smell everything new for them, and most of the times asbestos is very new for animals, especially dogs. When the animal starts to scratch the mineral, asbestos fibers and dust is released that is easily swallowed or inhaled by the animal. Rats are mostly found to be suffering from mesothelioma because they tend to look for food and shelter in places with high concentrations of asbestos fibers and dust.
EPA estimates are stating that a number of 2000 animals are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year. This is only concerning househeld animals, such as cats, dogs or farm animals.
Symptoms in animals suffering from mesothelioma
Most of the symptoms exhibited by animals suffering from mesothelioma are very similar to those of humans. These are some of the signs of lung cancer in an animal:
- The animals’ abdomen or chest starts to swell a little, as a result of excess fluid
- Shortness of breath is obvious when the animal has not been under physical stress for a very long while
- The animal will lose weight
- Chronic coughing may be present
Veterinarians say that the most mesothelioma cases have been reported in household female dogs, because they tend to react to the mineral faster and their bodies are unable to eliminate the substance fast enough.
Treatment for mesothelioma infected animals
Mesothelioma is very similar in both humans and animals, so the treatment methods used are also similar. Surgery is the first way of combating asbestos diseases in animals because, as is the case with humans, it allows the doctor to accurately determine the damage done by the asbestos fibers.
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy may also be used, but the drugs used and radiation materials are not the same with those used for humans. Mesothelioma dogs and mesothelioma cats are usually treated with surgery followed by several chemotherapy cycles. The veterinarian will also prescribe a clear diet for the animal that has to be strictly followed. Also, keep in mind that, although mesothelioma is not contagious, the animal you own might bring the asbestos fibers on its’ fur or feet. Clean the animal as often as possible if you think it might have come in contact with asbestos.
Please feel free to contact asbestosis and mesothelioma centers for any kind of questions you might have. It is completely free.