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Lung Cancer / Treatment

Definition:

Lungs are a vital organ in both humans as well as dogs, and one of the most important organs in the respiratory system that canines possess. Lungs are designed to move oxygen from the air into the blood stream, and then let carbon dioxide in the blood stream back out into the atmosphere. Because the lungs are such an important organ, a lung cancer diagnosis is very serious indeed.

Prognosis:

The prognosis of lung cancer in a dog really depends on the type of cancer your dog has developed and the extent of its spread throughout the rest of your dog’s body. Dogs that present with primary lung cancer with just a single, small mass in their lungs that has stayed contained are good.

50% of dogs with this type of cancer live at least one year beyond the removal of the mass. Depending on the grade of the tumor, dogs may live and survive upwards of 22 months or only survive an additional six months.

Interestingly, another factor that seems to play a role in survival rates is whether your dog shows symptoms or not. Dogs that show cancer symptoms seem to have a lesser survival rate than the dogs who present with no symptoms at all.

 

Types of Dog Lung Cancer

Primary Lung cancer:  A tumor originates in the lung or lungs. Currently this type of cancer accounts for less than 1% of all canine cancers, so it is considered relatively uncommon.

However, the number does seem to be increasing, though experts aren’t sure whether that’s because there is an increase in this type of canine cancer, or if it’s simply because of improved diagnostic capabilities and equipment. Primary lung cancer tumors are often malignant, and usually are visible as a mass on the lung when a chest x-ray is taken.

With primary lung cancer tumors, they are often carcinomas and adenocarcinomas, although sometimes they can also be hemangiosarcomas. Carcinomas form within the actual tissue of the lungs and may be entirely made up of lung tissue. Adenocarcinomas tend to spread to the dog’s central nervous system, while hemangiosarcomas tend to originate from elsewhere and spread to the lungs. Hemangiosarcomas may start first in the spleen or the liver or sometimes skin or soft tissue, and then spread. When it begins to spread, it can reach the lungs, heart, and kidneys, as well as muscle and bone.

Metastatic Lung Cancer:  This means the cancer originated somewhere else in the body, but has spread to the lung. So, if a dog that first got cancer in their mouth for instance, or in their bones, they risk the chance of it metastasizing through the bloodstream to the lungs.  it may spread to the lymph nodes, as well as spread to thorax tissues. Sometimes it could spread to the central nervous system, depending on the type of carcinoma and how it’s classified.

When a cancer has metastasized to the lungs from elsewhere, there are usually multiple lung tumors that are found in or on the tissue, not just a single mass. However, it’s still important to have your dog thoroughly tested. Sometimes dogs can present with several lung masses due to other health conditions such as fungal infections. In these cases, the masses are not cancerous.

Causes:

   Chemicals … Cell damage …Environmental … 2nd hand smoke … short to medium snouts…old age…

Note: Medium to large sized dogs seem to be the most susceptible, in particular Labradors and German Shepherds at the average age of 11 years old.
Symptoms:

Chronic cough / Coughing blood

Depressed appetite / Weight loss

Constant Sneezing

Extreme weakness / Lethargy

Fever

Fluids in abdomen

Loss of muscle mass

Shortness of breath

Exercise intolerance

 

Conventional Treatment:

Your vet will most likely want to run tests, such as a CBC blood panel, a chemical panel, a blood gas test to see if your dog’s white blood cells are high or if your dog appears to have a high level of calcium. X-rays of the head, chest, and abdomen are often standard, as well as throat and nose cultures, and a urinalysis. Sometimes your vet may opt to run an ultrasound or an MRI or CAT scan if they can’t see clearly enough with the x-ray.  In some cases, your vet may wish to do an endoscopy to help them see inside your dog’s lungs. This is especially helpful before there’s any talk of surgery. Endoscopies are a low-risk procedure and often provide all the information necessary to give an accurate diagnosis. Sometimes a biopsy is required. Biopsies are usually the only way to figure out exactly what form of lung cancer your dog suffers from.

Your vet may wish to use a fine needle and syringe to aspirate the lung mass and remove microscopic cells to be evaluated. This also is a relatively low risk procedure, but in both procedures your dog may need to be sedated for his or her own comfort.

Regardless of treatment plans, almost all lung cancers require surgery first. This is to remove as much of the tumor or cancerous areas as possible, before starting the other treatments such as chemo and radiation. If diagnosed with lung cancer, your vet may choose to refer you to a veterinary oncologist for further treatment options.

Holistic Recommendations from DeAnimal Saver

  1. Vitamins supplements to Boost the immune system for faster healing: Minerals, vitamins, antioxidants are essential for a strong immune system so the body can heal itself.
  2. Raw meat, organ meat, and beef is best for dogs.
  3. Direct sunlight daily
  4. Detox organs and cleanse the blood
  5. Herbs for detoxing: Dandilion Root, Milk Thistle, Fenugreek seed, Elecampane root, Mullein leaf, Wild Cherry bark, Comfrey Root, Thyme leaf, Rosemary leaf, Balm of Gilead buds, Burdock root, sheep sorrel,red clover,blessed thistle,slippery elm bark,water cress, chaparral leaf, Olive leaf, mustard seed, black seed, pau d’arco, cloves,jajoba
  6. Clean diet high in protein / eliminate kibble, canned pet foods, and all processed pet foods and treats.
  7. Vitamin C Liposomal
  8. Intermittant fasting
  9. Exercise
  10. Detox the environment:
  11. Filtered water
  12. Hemp oil / Flaxseed oil
  13. Essiac Tea / Bone Broth / Phytoplankton / turmeric paste

No floor cleaning chemicals, aerosols, tick and flea repellants, tap water, perfumes, no plugins, no smoking,lawn pesticides,etc.

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