Dog Lung Cancer

by Hannah
(Wilmngton )

Dog Lung Cancer Reader Question: I rescued a half lab probably 11 years ago, developed "Kennel Cough" - in October, then got better.

Two weeks ago she seemed to start with a dog cough again, 10 days on delta alba? - cough got better , then came back with breathing problems.

Doctor x-rayed one lung - black in the branches, he said it was canine lung cancer. Should I get a second opinion? The dog is on a bronchial dilator now, is not having breathing problems and is eating and tail wagging now... She lost about 5-6 pounds during all of this...

Dog Lung Cancer Editor Reply:

Dear Hannah,

Thank you for your question and sorry to hear about your dog cancer problem.

Lung cancer in dogs may be of two different forms, i.e. primary and metastatic lung tumors. Primary tumors are those which start within the lungs, while metastatic forms of lung tumors are transferred into the lungs from other parts of the body, through blood circulation.

In either case, there are some symptoms which should be carefully noted. Symptoms such as consistent/chronic non productive cough, anorexia (loss of appetite), loss of weight, lethargy, intolerance to exercise, dyspnea (difficulty breathing), wheezing, consistent fever and sometimes lameness. Although these symptoms do not represent lung cancer in dogs, these are the most common symptoms for which a dog is suspected for developing cancer in the chest.

Further, to diagnose lung
cancer, x-rays can help to identify anatomical changes in the lungs, but this does not confirm whether or not your dog has lung cancer. X-Rays do help, but they cannot confirm the type and exact form of cancer, it is only possible through a biopsy.

In my opinion you should arrange for further probing, so that the exact problem can be figured out. Also, confirmation is essential in order to decide a specific treatment plan, if it is proven to be lung cancer.

In addition, as you said, your dog is now on bronchodilators and is eating and the tail is wagging. This means that your pet feels comfortable. In the respiratory tract, lung cancer has caused congestion, note that this not a good sign at all. Your dog might get secondary infections in the respiratory tract, so you should discuss this possibility with your veterinarian.

While your dog is being properly diagnosed, you can help her by using some natural remedies. To support her respiratory tract and to reduce symptoms, a product like Respo-K can help. To maintain cellular strength C-Caps Formula could help the remaining healthy cells. You can discuss this with your veterinarian as well.

Take good care of her, and carefully follow the instructions of the veterinarian.'

Please keep us up to date on your dog's condition and let us know the results of any additional examinations. Our thoughts are with you and your sick dog.

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Canine Lung Carcinoma

by Michelle G. Hall
(Martinsville, VA, USA)

It was April 19, 2010 and it had been 2 weeks that Maggie (my almost 10 year old Cocker Spaniel) had been having fresh blood in her stools. She didn't seem to be bothered by it. She was still eating and drinking, and playful towards the kids.

We had noticed in Febuary, during cold weather, she was stiff and bothered by getting around. So, I would give her a baby asprin, and it would help. Then she would be running through the house. We thought it was old age or arthiritis setting in.

On her Vet visit on April 19, the Dr. said she was bleeding from inflammed/infected anal glands, and prescribed Amoxicillin. He said she would still bleed for a few more days. His exam on her was benign. Her vitals were normal, even though I had thought her respirations were faster than her norm that past weekend.

So another week goes by, still blood in her stool. She starts to slack off on eating and her respiratory status in changing. She is breathing faster and harder, with maybe 2-3 coughing spells that week. So we take her back in on April 26, a week later from the previous visit.

But I took her to a new place, for a second opinion. It was there that they did another rectal exam (found a bleeding polyp), did a CBC, and chest x-ray (because she was wheezing, congested, and short of breath). This Vet Dr. said she was not anemic, but her Chest x-ray was very conerning because, her lungs appeared to have something all over her lung fields. She thought it was either a fungal infection or some type of cancer.

Well you mention that word cancer, I just lost it. I was hoping for something simply to fix, not this. That night she went to an ICU in Greensboro, NC to receive oxygen therapy for her resp distress. The next day an abdominal US was done, which showed no other internal organs affected. A needle aspirate of lung cells was obtained as well.

The results were back, and Maggie had an advanced stage of carcinoma in her lungs, that they believe was metastatic (maybe from her colon or rectum). I guess will never know. I was told that nothing could be done for her now, no chemotherapy or other medications could save her now.

She was now oxygen dependent. I couldn't provide that for her at home. I was so lost and angry that we couldn't do anything to save our baby that we had raised since 8 weeks old. The Vet said for my family and I to come and see Maggie and recommended to put her asleep.

So we did. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. I was alone with Maggie when she slipped away in my arms. It was the best gift I could give her, to end her suffering. She was the best dog and will be forever loved and missed.

Editor Comment Canine Lung Carcinoma

Dear Michelle,

We are so sorry to hear about your loss. Just know that by sharing this story, perhaps you have helped other dogs and their family understand the signs of cog lung cancer so that they too can try and catch the disease before the canine Lung Carcinoma spreads to the point that it cannot be treated.

Rest assured that you did all that you could for your dog.

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