Asbestos Disease in Pets and Animals

Pets & Animals

Pets are a part of the family and most pet owners do everything possible to protect those precious cats, dogs, or other animals they treasure so very much. Pet lovers always make certain their dogs or cats are safe and that they're healthy and fit. Unfortunately, however, pets are susceptible to some of the same diseases that afflict humans. Mesothelioma, which is sometimes also referred to as asbestos cancer, is no exception.

Of course, malignant mesothelioma is not a contagious disease, so pets that are exposed to an individual who has mesothelioma or some other asbestos-related disease cannot "catch" the illness from their owner. However, animals can be victims of second-hand asbestos exposure. Second-hand exposure occurs when an individual who works with asbestos brings toxic asbestos dust into their home via their clothes or body, causing it to be inhaled by others in the household. During the past few decades, the incidence of secondary cases of asbestos has increased, including in animals - primarily dogs.

Dogs can also be victims of direct asbestos exposure. It is not unusual for a dog to carry home dangerous fibers on their feet or fur if they have been in a location where asbestos is present, including at a demolition site that might be contaminated with the toxic mineral.

Mesothelioma develops differently in dogs and humans. Generally, the mesothelioma latency period can take up to 50 years for adult mesothelioma to manifest in a human being. Most dogs that have been diagnosed with the disease are approximately 8 years old, though the age can indeed vary. And while smoking and mesothelioma are sometimes related in humans, who have been exposed to asbestos, studies show that other substances, including pentachlorophenol, often used as an herbicide, algaecide, defoliant, wood preservative, germicide, or fungicide, can increase the likelihood of mesothelioma symptoms or diagnosis presenting in dogs.

Like humans, dogs most often develop pleural mesothelioma, with only an occasional case of pericardial mesothelioma or peritoneal mesothelioma being reported. Animals also exhibit similar symptoms, including shortness of breath, coughing, pain, and fluid in the lungs.

Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog


July 21, 2016

Joe Biden's Moonshot Initiative to Cure Cancer

“Earlier this year, the White House introduced a Cancer Moonshot Initiative, a new program designed to search for a cure for cancer. In his State of the Union Address in January, President Obama discussed the new initiative, asking for nearly $1 billion of extra spending over the next couple of years. Cancer centers, advocacy groups, government agencies, and companies are all working together to coordinate efforts to dismantle the barriers that often slow this process down. Vice President Joe Biden is at the helm of the initiative – his 46-year-old son having died last year due to brain cancer.”