Protecting your Pets from Asbestos Exposure!

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Asbestos is absolutely lethal to humans and this leads to many asbestos related deaths each year, but what about our much beloved pets? This is something which is overlooked by property owners. Humans can be exposed to Mesothelioma, but pets can develop this asbestos related cancer too.

Asbestos Fibres

Asbestos fibres are microscopic and needle like, they shouldn’t EVER enter the lungs. If they do, the lungs struggle to break down these fibres and they get stuck there. This is what damages the lungs over a long period of time, depending on the number of fibres that are there.

Pets & Asbestos

We can forget about our pets in the midst of an asbestos worry – but asbestos can affect animals lungs in the same way the humans lungs can be affected. Pets can scratch asbestos boards, release fibre in to the air etc. If the owner brings asbestos home on their skin, clothes, pets can breathe this in or ingest them by licking!

A multicenter Italian study in 2008 involved three privately-owned pets (two dogs and a cat) diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma. The small cohort underlines the rarity of the condition among domesticated animals.

Researchers found that, as with humans, pets cannot be cured of malignant mesothelioma. As with humans with down-staged malignant mesothelioma at the time of diagnosis, surgical excision can only be rarely performed in pets.

Because surgery is usually not an option for most pet owners, it’s important to learn how to avoid exposing your pets to asbestos.

Who is at risk?

  • Dogs are more likely to be affected than cats.
  • Older dogs are affected most often ; however there has been cased confirmed in dogs as young as seven weeks old!

Symptoms will not show until the late stages, but they do present themselves in similar ways to humans.

What Should You Do if Your Pet Has Mesothelioma?

First thing is to go to the vet! At that point, your veterinarian will perform a thorough physical exam on your pet, it’s important to mention any  possible asbestos exposure the pet has had. X rays, surgery, and other treatments will be available.

Keeping your pet AWAY from asbestos is the number one way to prevent this, check your property for asbestos, if you suspect asbestos call a professional right away. Ice Asbestos will always carry out a very thorough asbestos survey. Things such as asbestos boards have been covered with plasterboard or other coatings, your pet could be being exposed to this, if you have any doubts give us a call.

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