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Lung Cancer (Squamous Cell Carcinoma) in Dogs



In most patients, surgery is required. After consultation with a veterinary oncologist, chemotherapy may be advised for your pet, especially if the presence of tumor cells is suspected. However, a complete resection of the affected lung lobe is often the only way to stop the spread of this highly metastatic cancer. Such an intervention will provide the best opportunity for long-term survival of the patient. If lymph node involvement is suspected, a sample will be taken from the lymph nodes. If the lymph nodes are involved, your veterinarian may remove them all to prevent further dissemination of cancerous cells. Chemotherapy may be given before or after the surgery.


Living and Management


Overall prognosis is very poor in affected animals and untreated animals may only survive for three months or less. Even with treatment, overall survival time generally is not more than several months. The decision to go forward with surgery or chemical therapy will be based on the actual prognosis. In some cases, end of life pain management may be in order.


Always seek advice and instructions from a veterinary oncologist before giving chemotherapy medications, as these drugs are highly toxic to human health. Chemotherapy medications have the possibility of toxic side effects, so your veterinarian will need to closely monitor your dog's stability, changing dosage amounts as necessary.


After surgery, you should expect your dog to feel sore. Your veterinarian will give you pain medication for your dog to help minimize discomfort, and you will need to set up a place in the house where your dog can rest comfortably and quietly, away from other pets, active children, and busy entryways. Trips outdoors for bladder and bowel relief should be kept short and easy for your dog to handle during the recovery period. Use pain medications with caution and follow all directions carefully; one of the most preventable accidents with pets is overdose of medication.



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