Mesothelioma is a very aggressive form of cancer that most often impacts the lungs but can affect the lining of the stomach. The disease has been directly connected to asbestos, and nearly every case that has been diagnosed in humans or animals can be connected to the inhalation of this substance.
Dogs have been found to be just as susceptible to mesothelioma as people, with the very first case of this type of lung cancer diagnosed in a dog in 1931. This disease seems to be more prevalent in middle aged dogs of larger breeds. However, it can appear in any breed and at any age.
• Your pet is not very active.
• Your pet seems feverish and ill.
• Your pet has a decreased appetite, even for treats.
• There is swelling in the chest area or in the stomach. Swelling appears like it is water retention and not fat.
• Your pet has trouble breathing. When they are laying down their breathing seems as labored as if they were out running.
Your veterinarian will have to conduct extensive tests on your pet to confirm this diagnosis. On average, it could take up to a month from your initial visit until your pet is diagnosed. Prognosis is not very good for this type of cancer.
Mesothelioma is very aggressive and by the time your pet actually shows signs there may not be a lot of treatment options. If you reside in the upper eastern US, for professional advice it might be beneficial to contact a Mesothelioma lawyer in New York to determine you and your pet’s legal rights.
How Can A Dog Get Mesothelioma?
Asbestos is a very fine fiber-like material and can easily attach to a pets fur. If your dog is out running in an area that has asbestos contamination, they can easily carry this poison around on their paws until the fibers are inhaled. Continual exposure can lead to the contraction of this type of cancer.
Is There Legal Recourse For The Pet Owner?
This is a very tricky subject and one that would have to be approached on a case to case basis. In some instances, a dog’s owner may have the right to sue a building owner if their pet has become sick due to the lack of asbestos removal in the building which has created a dangerous condition. The owner would have to show that by living in that building and allowing their dog to interact in and around that building that has asbestos contamination, their pet was injured.
However, if the dog was prone to roaming, it would be harder to prove fault. For instance, if the dog enters into a construction area where asbestos is being removed, there may not be reason enough to prove fault. Signs are posted to caution humans in this area, but the dog got in by jumping the fence when it was chasing a squirrel. The owner could not be held liable for the damages because they did not create a hazard, but were rather trying to remove one.
Again, since there is no real case law to base these scenarios on at this time, both examples are just speculation on what could happen in those scenarios.
If you believe that your dog was a victim of the negligent act of someone concerning asbestos, you should seek legal advice from a personal injury attorney that specializes in mesothelioma cases. They will be able to provide you with the most updated and accurate information on this type of case.
Teresa Stewart writes about the unusual disease of mesothelioma for pets and their human owners. A Mesothelioma lawyer in New York can be found at The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C.; they have experience uncovering where the exposure occurred, and which parties should be held accountable to maximize benefits received from claims submissions.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/78428166@N00/3887941247/
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