“Poor Charlie had a short battle with lung cancer and the time has come to say goodbye. I have been very fortunate in my life to have been given the opportunity to have had such a sweet, kind, and loving dog as my best friend. He was much more than a pet to me. He loved being involved in everything we did from camping trips, walks, runs, and even kayaking on the Bay in Baltimore.”
Dog lung cancer when to put down
There are many things to consider when faced with the decision of when to put your pet down. The most important thing you can do is to be informed about what your pet is going through, and have realistic expectations.
For example, it is not uncommon for a dog with lung cancer to live for several months after diagnosis; however, this time is usually very unpleasant for both the dog and owner. It is also important to keep in mind that many dogs experience a good quality of life until their final days.
If your dog has been diagnosed with lung cancer, it is a good idea to talk with other people who have gone through the same experience as you, whether they are friends or strangers. This will help you gain an understanding of how long your pet might live and what symptoms they might experience.
When deciding whether or not to put your dog down with lung cancer, it’s a very tough situation to be in but there are a few things you can look for in order to help make your decision:
- Difficulty breathing (e.g. shallow breathing, panting)
- Lethargy and tiredness
- Loss of appetite or weight loss
- Avoiding social situations with other people or animals
- Excessive sleeping (sleeping more than normal)
Also, consider these questions:
What is my pet’s quality of life? Is my pet experiencing significant pain? Is my pet having trouble eating? Is my dog continuing to enjoy favorite activities? Does he/she want me around? If a dog lacks a desire for food, water, and human companionship, it may be time to let go.
Generally speaking, dog lung cancer is very aggressive and it’s hard to predict how long a dog may live with cancer. The exception would be if the dog is only experiencing metastasis in the lungs alone and has no signs of spread elsewhere. In that case, the disease may be more manageable, but it will still be very difficult for your dog.
Unfortunately, lung cancer in dogs tends to metastasize quickly and thus your first step should be to have your veterinarian take radiographs of your dog’s chest and abdomen. If the vet finds any suspicious-looking masses on these films or if she has any concerns about lymph nodes, she may also recommend an abdominal ultrasound or aspiration of those lymph nodes to look for signs of cancer spread.
If the lung tumor is found to be benign or it is a solitary malignant tumor (not spread outside of the lungs), then surgery may be feasible depending on where the tumor is located.
How can I help my dog with lung cancer?
It is a sad fact that lung cancer in dogs is often fatal. It has one of the worst prognoses of any cancer affecting dogs and this is because it can be so difficult to treat successfully. However, some dogs can survive for weeks or even months with the right treatment and care.
It typically affects middle-aged to older dogs, with an average age range of 7-12 years old. However, it can affect younger dogs too, especially those that have been exposed to cigarette smoke or secondhand smoke.
Each dog is different. Sometimes, very aggressive treatment is warranted. Other times, it is more appropriate to provide palliative care and make the pet as comfortable as possible. The goal of treatment is to prolong life (with a good quality of life) for as long as possible.
If chemotherapy or radiation therapy is recommended for your pet, you will discuss the different protocols with your veterinarian. Together, you will decide which option best suits your dog’s needs and your family’s finances. For example, if your dog has metastatic lung cancer, then a combination of chemotherapy and radiation may be recommended in an effort to offer him more time with his family. This approach is known as “adjuvant” therapy. It means that it is used after the primary treatment (surgery).
Depending on the specific protocol selected, your dog may need to receive treatment every day or every two weeks. He will also likely experience some side effects from the treatment protocol. Some dogs are able to maintain a fairly normal life during this period of time; others require more intensive monitoring at home or even hospitalization for supportive care such as pain management and intravenous fluids.
You will see significant changes in your dog’s behavior after the diagnosis of lung cancer has been made.
Takeaway: You should consider putting your dog down when it is no longer able to live a happy life. If you think that it might be time to put your dog down, talk to your vet about how the process works.
Conclusion of euthanizing a dog with lung cancer
The prognosis for dogs with lung cancer varies and depends on the type of tumor, its stage at diagnosis, and the overall health of your dog. In general, dogs diagnosed with primary lung cancer have a better prognosis than those with metastatic disease.
Lung cancer is very difficult to treat and cure. If your dog has been diagnosed with lung cancer, there are treatment options available that may help improve their quality of life. It’s important to understand that even with treatment, it rarely leads to a complete cure.
Treatments for dog lung cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. These treatments will not always eliminate the tumor or the disease completely but may improve their quality of life for a period of time. The average survival time after diagnosis for a dog with lung cancer is between one and three months although it varies depending on a number of factors including the overall health, size, and aggressiveness of the tumor.
Most cases are diagnosed during the later stages of the disease. However, more than half of dogs treated with surgery (removing the cancerous mass) and radiation therapy can live another year or longer. Dogs who cannot undergo surgery may still live six months to a year if treated with chemotherapy alone.