Jump to section

What is Lung Cancer (Adenocarcinoma)?

Primary lung cancer in dogs is relatively rare in dogs (under 1% of all cancer in dogs), but pulmonary adenocarcinoma is the most common type of canine lung cancer. As a matter of fact, almost 80% of primary lung cancer is caused by adenocarcinoma. This is an extremely aggressive cancer that grows quickly and can spread fast, so it is essential to the survival of your dog to treat this disease early. Similar to other cancers in dogs, it is seen more often in dogs over seven years of age. All breeds are at risk for this lung cancer, but it affects dogs with short or medium noses (i.e. Beagle, Boxers, Terriers) more often than other breeds. Many times, primary pulmonary adenocarcinoma is found on an x-ray during a veterinary visit for another issue.

Pulmonary adenocarcinoma is cancer of the lungs, which can be primary (originates in the lungs) or secondary (originates somewhere else in the body), is a serious disease that can be fatal if not found and treated early. Pulmonary adenocarcinoma spreads rapidly to other parts of the body, such as lymph nodes, bones, heart, liver, spleen, and brain. If the disease is not found and treated before it has spread to the lymph nodes, the prognosis is not good. Unfortunately, approximately a quarter of all dogs with primary pulmonary adenocarcinoma do not show any symptoms besides tiredness and decreased appetite.

Lung Cancer (Adenocarcinoma) Average Cost

From 73 quotes ranging from $3,000 - $15,000

Average Cost

$7,500

Symptoms of Lung Cancer (Adenocarcinoma) in Dogs

There are many symptoms that are general in nature, such as weakness and loss of appetite, so it is sometimes difficult to know when your dog is really ill enough for a trip to the veterinarian’s office. A good rule to go by is that if your dog has had a chronic cough without any phlegm for more than a few days, you should take him to see the veterinarian just to be on the safe side.

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Rapid breathing
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting
  • A cough with bloody sputum
  • Fever
  • Muscle pain and weakness

Types

  • Primary pulmonary adenocarcinoma is cancer that originates in the lung
  • Secondary pulmonary adenocarcinoma is cancer that has metastasized from somewhere else in the body
arrow-up-icon

Top

Causes of Lung Cancer (Adenocarcinoma) in Dogs

The cause of primary pulmonary adenocarcinoma is unknown, but there are several risk factors:

  • Secondhand smoke
  • Toxic chemical exposure
  • Middle to old age (over seven years old)
  • Short or medium sized nose (i.e. beagles, boxers, terriers)
  • Idiopathic (unknown origin)

Secondary pulmonary adenocarcinoma is caused by a cancer somewhere else in the body.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Diagnosis of Lung Cancer (Adenocarcinoma) in Dogs

The veterinarian will do a comprehensive physical exam and ask for your dog’s complete medical history including any recent injury, illness, or abnormal behavior. Provide the best description you can of your dog’s symptoms and when they started. Be certain to include any changes in appetite or weight loss. The next step is to get your dog’s vital signs, which include respiration and heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, and weight. The veterinarian will pay special attention to your dog’s breath sounds.

The most important test in diagnosing pulmonary adenocarcinoma is images of the lungs with radiography or CT scan. The veterinarian will also want to get an MRI of the surrounding areas to see if the cancer has spread from somewhere else. Some blood tests will be done, such as complete blood count (CBC), blood gases, and chemistry profile, including glucose levels. Other tests your veterinarian will do are a urinalysis, bronchoscopy, and a fine needle aspiration of tumor or fluid from lymph nodes for histopathology. The veterinarian will most likely refer you to a veterinary oncologist for treatment.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Treatment of Lung Cancer (Adenocarcinoma) in Dogs

The best choice of treatment for this primary pulmonary adenocarcinoma is a lobectomy, which is the removal of the tumor and adjacent lung lobes. The surrounding lymph nodes and tissue may be removed as well if the oncologist suspects it may have metastasized. If the oncologist does not think the lung can be saved, the removal of the lung is the only choice for survival. Chemotherapy and radiation treatments may also be done in some cases. Secondary pulmonary adenocarcinoma is almost never treated with surgery because if the cancer has spread from another part of the body to the lungs, there is nothing more to do than make your dog comfortable.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Recovery of Lung Cancer (Adenocarcinoma) in Dogs

The chances for your dog’s survival will depend on whether it is primary or secondary pulmonary adenocarcinoma, and how far it has spread. It will also depend on the age and health of your dog. If your dog has primary pulmonary adenocarcinoma and the veterinarian is able to remove the whole tumor, your dog has about a 50% chance of living more than one year. This is the kind of cancer that will often recur even if all of the cancer is removed the first time. If your dog has secondary pulmonary adenocarcinoma, the veterinarian will probably suggest that you just make your dog as comfortable as possible. When cancer has spread from another part of the body to the lung, it is usually too late for treatment. It is recommended that your dog not spend his last few months undergoing painful treatments that will make him sick.

arrow-up-icon

Top

*Wag! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Items are sold by the retailer, not Wag!.

Lung Cancer (Adenocarcinoma) Average Cost

From 73 quotes ranging from $3,000 - $15,000

Average Cost

$7,500

arrow-up-icon

Top

Lung Cancer (Adenocarcinoma) Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

question-icon-cta

Ask a Vet

dog-name-icon

Ollie

dog-breed-icon

terrier

dog-age-icon

16 Months

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Critical severity

thumbs-up-icon

3 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Critical severity

Has Symptoms

Breathing Difficulty

On my way to the Vet on Friday my dog threw up and while he was getting his well check and shot he threw up again and it had a little speck of blood. The vet looked him over and said he was ok. While traveling to my parents for Labor Day weekend Ollie became sick I thought maybe he was a little sick from his yearly vaccinations or maybe a little carsick as he had threw up twice . When we arrived to my parents home he didn’t seem like himself and was wheezing, coughing and seemed to have trouble breathing . I took him to the vet and they diagnosed him with asphyxiation pneumonia. They said he had swallowed some of his throw up and it went into his lungs and caused an infection. They gave him a steroid shot and some anabiotic’s. Later on that evening he still was not getting any better and then I noticed that there was blood around his mouth and he was still having difficulty breathing and was whimpering and whining. I didn’t took him to the hospital where they said He had a little to no lung function . Diagnosed him with acute respiratory distress syndrome and said also it could be cancer as they saw nodules on his lungs , but they couldn’t really pinpoint it . They placed an oxygen tank gave him more medicine but said his diagnosis was very dim. Ollie was suffering and I had to put him to sleep so that he can have peace . I just want answer and just can’t understand how my dog was healthy and happy on Thursday and dead on Sunday. Ollie was 8 pound Snorkie.

Sept. 5, 2018

Ollie's Owner

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Gia

dog-breed-icon

Lhasa Apso

dog-age-icon

10 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

thumbs-up-icon

1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Deep Sleep, Dry Cough

My 10-year-old Lhasa Apso mix was diagnosed with lung cancer. We are guessing on her age and her breed as she is a rescue dog. She was nearly completely blind with cataracts at a very young age and dry eye. About a year ago was diagnosed with a heart murmer. She receives medication for all of the above. In about April she had a terrible fall down steep hardwood floors and was diagnosed with cancer after x-rays in July. Any chance the spot in her lungs was a result of the fall? She has a good appetite. She was given 6 mos to 1 year to live. Surgery not an option (I think because of heart murmer & location of spot on lungs). Suspected mestastasize.

Aug. 4, 2018

Gia's Owner

answer-icon

recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

The spot on the lungs is unlikely related to the fall, sometimes a fungal infection may be diagnosed as cancer or vice versa but a single lesion is not likely to be caused by a fall; obviously follow up x-rays should be done at regular intervals and any diagnosis should be made based on gross lesions and presenting symptoms. Surgery most likely is not indicated due to age, heart murmur and invasiveness of the surgery. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Aug. 5, 2018

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Peluche

dog-breed-icon

Mix bishon/poodle

dog-age-icon

8 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

thumbs-up-icon

4 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Lethargy, Lack Of Appetite, Liquids

Greetings, I have a bishon/poodle 8.5 yrs old. The vets (2) That I went to, 1 on 07/13 and the 2nd on the 14, 2018, stated that they are not sure if my dog has lung cancer. The dog had a cough for a few days mainly after eating grass outside, but it stopped. About a week ago he stop running and was lethargic. He was eating and drinking until about 4 days ago when he refused to eat and drink. On the 14 of Jul, I took him to the vet where Xrays showed what I consider a large black spot in the lungs. The vet stated that it was probably lung cancer or a virus. However, the vet was not sure. The second vet also took X rays and stated the same thing. His blood work is fine, except fpr PLT at 99, RETIC at 217, and NEU at 11.81. He still urinates slightly and has small bowel movements. Nothing was found in his feces, his heart rate is still normal at about 125, but his breathing continues to be fast(panting). No cough, no blood sputum or in feces and urine. Temp 102.5, but on 2nd visit 103.5. No wheezing or murmur in lungs or heart except for the panting, lethargy, lack of appetite. I'm forcing fluids with a small syringe to keep them hydrated and feed him biotic drinks. Meds given initially Doxycycline qd, 100mg, po w/meals and water which I forced for 4 doses stopped, went back to 1st vet who Rx Fluconazole 50mg, po, bid; Mirtazapine 15mg, po, 1/2 tab, qd. 2nd vet Rx Enrofloxacin 68mg, po, 1/2 tab bid; plus S.Q 150-1000 MLS. CBC/Chem unremarcable. Fungus serology pending. How would I know if it is cancer vs fungus? Thank you for your time.

July 14, 2018

Peluche's Owner


answer-icon

recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

Lung cancer and fungal infections can be misdiagnosed for one another and are difficult to distinguish; the best least invasive way to determine whether there is a fungal infection would be to do a tracheal wash and have it tested for signs of a fungal infection, other methods like needle aspirate or biopsy are more invasive. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 15, 2018

Thank you for your answer. My pet past away today. It was very sad to see him go. I blame myself for his demise as I did not pay attention to simple signs such as him constantly eating grass; although, test results from vet visits were not showing anything unusual including a general check up back in May 2018. But I think his suffering due to his seven days of heavy panting could have been avoided had the vet done the tracheal wash to rule out the virus.

July 15, 2018

Peluche's Owner

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Tina

dog-breed-icon

German Shepherd

dog-age-icon

11 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

thumbs-up-icon

1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Non Productive Cough, Picky Eat

Hello My German shepard is 11 and half year old. She was diagnosed with lung cancer in december 2015. 1 y ago the mass was 10 cm. I refused to get her operated because of her age and other problems. Now we had blood test done and she has high wbc (24,00) which hasn t got down after a round of antibiotic and the vet states that this is probably from that mass and that we have nothing to do. Also creatinin is high (184) which dont go up. What can I espected?

Feb. 24, 2018

Tina's Owner

answer-icon

recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

The high white blood cell count isn’t surprising as it may occur in cases of cancer as the body reacts to the tumour; apart from surgery together with chemotherapy or radiotherapy (if indicated), there is little else to do apart from offering palliative, supportive and symptomatic care to Tina. If there are no other indicators of a concurrent illness: fever etc…; then it is just a case of making Tina comfortable. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Feb. 24, 2018

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Henny

dog-breed-icon

Labrador Retriever

dog-age-icon

10 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

thumbs-up-icon

1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Lameness
Lethargic
Runny Nose
Not Eating
Discomfort
Appears In Pain

Just found out our almost 10 yr old Lab, Henny, has a golf ball sized tumor in his left lung. During the last 3 months his hearing has disappeared, his left eye has been oozing mucus. His diet has been normal. Saturday he came back from a walk and plopped down on floor and pretty much hasn’t moved for 48 hrs. He finally peed today for first time in 48 hrs. He can’t walk without appearing to be in severe pain. He won’t lift his head. He basically just stays in one position. Our question is should it be time for the last trip to vet? Or surgery?

Feb. 5, 2018

Henny's Owner

answer-icon

recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

Without examining Henny I cannot make any recommendation regarding a final trip to his Veterinarian but a trip should be made to determine his current health status and whether any medical management options are available to him. I cannot say whether Henny would be a suitable candidate for surgery; whilst there are surgical options, your Veterinarian needs to be comfortable with the desired outcome. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Feb. 5, 2018

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Storm

dog-breed-icon

Weimaraner

dog-age-icon

12 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Critical severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Critical severity

Has Symptoms

Coughing
Vomiting Blood
Bloody Stool
Lung Cancer

My 12 year weimaraner, Storm was diagnosed with primary lung cancer in February 2018. She was not a candidate for surgery due to where it was and her history and age. She had two tumors removed five years prior. One was cancer the other was not. She has been mostly okay for the past year but with occasional coughing. She has been on prednisone and tramodol as needed. I try not to give her the prednisone too often because I know it makes the tumors grow. She has kept her weight on, mostly because we've been feeding her anything she wants. She's always had a good appetite but on Monday she wouldn't eat or drink anything. I took her to the vet on Tuesday. They took some x-rays to see if the tumor had spread. The Dr thought she may have an ulcer and gave her medication for that and nausea medication. They also gave her IV fluids and she seemed to feel better. She ate well the rest of the week until today. This morning she wouldn't touch her food. She vomited mucus with blood and her stool had blood in it. I took her to the vet and he said it would be hard to determine why she's throwing up blood. He said due to her cancer it could be coming from one thing or multiple. He gave her some more nausea medication and tramadol. He also said she looks really good for her to be at this stage. She hasn't lost any weight and she likes to play. I think that's why it's so hard for me. She looks perfectly normal and other than the occasional cough. She's had very few symptoms until now. When do you if it's time? What do you do? It's breaking my heart.

dog-name-icon

Aspen

dog-breed-icon

Golden Retriever

dog-age-icon

10 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Coughing

Our Golden Retriever turned 10 in July. Last week he had a cough and we took him to the vet. They said not kennel cough, upper respiratory infection and gave him med's. His cough didn't get better so we returned Monday and they did X-rays. He has lost a few pounds but still eating and drinking. Less energy and the cough is still there. We can't get him to an oncologist until next week. What should we do. The radiology report says cancer but the oncologist says he is not symptomatic. He has been healthy until this

dog-name-icon

Brewski

dog-breed-icon

English Bulldog

dog-age-icon

10 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Critical severity

thumbs-up-icon

1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Critical severity

Has Symptoms

Cough

My English bulldog just turned 10 in October and we just found out he has terminal lung cancer... I feel that we have taken brewski to the best Vets we can find numerous times for different things throughout his life and a lot of vets contradict each other and there has never been a for sure answer for anything and I now fear that this is such a serious diagnosis it’s hard to trust one vets opinion on what’s best. I know he is getting old and this may not be reversible. We knew something was wrong based off the coughing fits he would have and he even passed out once we had to take him to emergency vet in the middle of the night 2 months ago and they told us he is in perfect health and had a “strong heart“. How did they not see the multiple golf ball size tumors in his lungs in their x-rays? What can we do? Is he in pain? How can we make him comfortable? Anything helps, I am lost & heart broken.

dog-name-icon

Iggy Pup

dog-breed-icon

Jack-a-bee

dog-age-icon

13 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Coughing
Sleepiness

Our 10.5 year old Jack Russel/Beagle/Poodle was diagnosed with lung cancer yesterday. He had been coughing for about 7 months now before we go this diagnosis. When we initially took him to the vet to find out about the cough they thought it may be allergies or kennel cough. They gave us medicine for that and it didn't go away. I took him back and they did X-rays and said that his heart looks a little enlarged and thought that may be the issue so they gave us some medicine for that and then sent us to get a more thorough X-ray and his heart came back a little abnormal, but fine. Then they recommended a CT scan of his lungs. The vet then said that 95% of his right lung was covered in tumors and they do not recommend surgery since they think it's already in the "branches" that connect to his trachea. This was all in the time span of 7 months of trial an error and numerous tests. They have quoted us a time frame of 2-4 months before our Iggy will leave us for good. My question is, since our baby is not going to go through chemo or surgery (as recommended by our vet), how can we make life more tolerable for him? Everytime he sees us he gets excited and that causes him to go into a coughing fit. It's excruciating to experience. In everyones experience on here, how much longer do we have him if we do put him on cough suppressants and pain medicine with one lung completely covered in tumors already? This is the most horrible of pains I've ever had. My heart is breaking as I watch him sleep, knowing our moments are now limited. I tell him I love him and I do not want to prematurely have to go the euthanization route. Please advise.

dog-name-icon

Bonzo

dog-breed-icon

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

dog-age-icon

8 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Lethargy
Breathing Difficulty

13 days ago our 8yr old pitbull went in to ER for labored breathing. Doc did xrays and said he has metastatic neoplasia. They prescribed him tramadol for pain and told us we needed to make a decision that night. We took him home and went and got a 2nd opinion the next day. Dr tested for lymphoma and pulled serum for a fungal serology and both were negative. We decided to keep him on comfort care with prednisone 20mg x2 daily, tramadol 1.5tabs 50mg x3 daily, famotidine 1.5tabs x2 daily and Baytril 136mg x2 daily for a small uti. Over the last 10days he was doing great. Eating normal, pee normal, tail wags, happy, ox saturation normal, his respiratory rate was between 45-60 everyday and he had some bad nights where it seemed worse but days were always good. One morning he woke up around 1:45am and was having even more trouble breathing. I had missed his dose of tramadol by 1hr so I gave it to him and he relaxed and went to sleep. Next day he was worse, extending his neck out to get air. Took him to the vet and they confirmed abdominal ascites that happened over night because he didn't have the bloating the day prior. Vet talked us into euthanasiabecause nothing else could be done according to her. Now I am torn up because in the moment it made sense because of her persistency but looking back we definitely could have drained the fluid and maybe started lasix because everything else was fine with him. Was there really anything else that could have been done? Does lasix extend the life of lung cancer patients in some cases? Would fluid return normally? Thank you!

Lung Cancer (Adenocarcinoma) Average Cost

From 73 quotes ranging from $3,000 - $15,000

Average Cost

$7,500

How can we help your pet?