Asbestos is a common issue in homes built before the 80s, where it can be found in insulation, air conditioning/heating systems, flooring, and more. Just like us, our dogs can develop health issues related to asbestos exposure.
Asbestos Exposure Can Cause Mesothelioma in Dogs
While this is generally a rare cancer in dogs, they can develop mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos. Studies have found that this cancer developed into lung cancer in dogs exposed to this substance.
Ingested Asbestos Can Lead to Intestinal Blockage
In addition, if your dog ingests asbestos in large amounts, there’s also a chance the material can become lodged in somewhere in the digestive tract. If this happens, your dog could develop a life-threatening condition called an intestinal blockage.
How are Dogs Exposed to Asbestos
Exposure can vary from walking in the woods, to materials found in your own home. It’s generally through secondhand contact, which means the dog may inhale or even ingest fibers.
Asbestos is often found in older homes, built before the 80s. It was used in everything from insulation, flooring, siding, and more. Dogs can be exposed to this carcinogen through sniffing older flooring, in areas that have been worn down or damaged, and more.
There’s an increased risk during renovation work. That’s because this work usually includes tearing out older materials. If asbestos is on the property, then there’s a chance the fibers can become airborne and be a danger to your dog and everyone in the home.
Symptoms of Ingested Asbestos in Dogs
You may notice these symptoms if your dog has ingested asbestos and has an intestinal blockage:
- Abdominal pain/swelling
- Loss of appetite
If you notice these symptoms in your dog, then call the vet immediately, this could be a medical emergency.
Keep in mind that if your dog has been exposed to asbestos, he may not show any symptoms of a health problem. Mesothelioma, for instance, can take years to develop. So, you may not see symptoms until the disease has progressed.
My Dog Has Eaten Asbestos, What Should I Do?
If you know for sure, or suspect, your fur baby has eaten asbestos, then call the vet immediately. Follow their directions on next steps. They will have the knowledge and training needed to assess the situation and decide on how to treat your dog.
As you can see, asbestos can be a real problem for our fur babies. During home renovations, it’s a good idea to get your dog out of the house, literally. You may want to consider boarding him until the work’s done, ask family/friends to watch your dog during this time.
TomTom has always loved to write since he was little - he wanted to be either a writer or a veterinary doctor, but he ended up being a professional writer while most of his works are based on animals. He was born in San Francisco but later moved to Texas to continue his job as a writer. He graduated from the University of San Francisco where he studied biotechnology. He is happily married and a soon to be father!
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