by on November 30, 2020

Mesothelioma is a rare disease in dogs. Usually found in older dogs, mesothelioma is more widespread in males than females; however, it may occur in juveniles and females. Some dogs are at higher risk of contracting mesothelioma, the highest being the German Shepherd. It is an unusual tumor that occurs from the lining cells of the peritoneal, pleural, and pericardial cavities or the vaginal tunic of the testis. Tumors are typically solid and pink. Mesothelioma is most common in older dogs and has an estimated lifespan of 8 years.

Types and Symptoms of Canine Mesothelioma

There are many distinct kinds of mesothelioma which can be diagnosed in dogs.

  • Pleural Mesothelioma attacks the pleura or lining of the lungs.
  • Peritoneal Mesothelioma attacks the mesothelioma lining of the abdomen, recognized as the peritoneum.
  • Pericardial mesothelioma attacks the outer lining of the heart.
  • Testicular Mesothelioma attacks the lining of the testes.

In most cases, signs will not start showing up until the late stages of the disease, but they manifest in various ways. The most common signs are:

  • Respiratory distress: intense, uncomfortable breathing, abnormally quick breathing or shortness of breath.
  • Trouble in travelling or resistance to exercise.
  • Stomach discomfort.
  • Sleep disorders or lethargy.
  • Muffled heart, lung and abdominal echo.
  • Enlarged scrotum.

Diagnosing Canine Mesothelioma

Your veterinarian will perform veterinary tests on your dog, taking into account background clinical records, onset of symptoms, and potential events that may have precipitated this disorder. A full blood profile will be performed, including a chemical blood profile, a complete blood count, and a urinalysis. X-rays of the chest and abdominal cavities may be the most important medical assistance for mesothelioma diagnosis. Radiograph and ultrasound scans can also be used to display effusion or masses in the body's cavities and in the lining around the heart.

Your veterinarian will also take a sample of blood for a microscopic examination of the fluid. Exploratory or abdominal surgery can be done to extract mesothelial masses for cellular analysis in the laboratory.

Recommended: laboratory test kits for dog

Treating Canine Mesothelioma

 In certain cases, fluid accumulation caused by mesothelioma may be so extreme in vital organs (such as the heart) that the needle or catheter drainage of fluid is a mandatory emergency treatment. For less extreme situations, the fluid is removed as an elective treatment. Surgery can be of some use in some cases of mesothelioma. However, relief, even if it lasts for months to 1 year or longer, is not a permanent solution but will bring a decent quality of life to the dog's normal life cycle.

Topics: pets, animals
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