Our pets are family, and they deserve the best. We’re members of each other’s packs, and we each have a way of knowing when the other isn’t doing well, especially when exposed to harmful materials around the home and outside. We can do our part to protect our animals by learning the warning signs of asbestos exposure in pets.
What Is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a building material that was used in the mid- to late 20th century. Since the 1970s, however, many towns and states have banned using the material in future homes. Although many local governments highly encourage builders to use nontoxic materials when insulating modern homes, older homes built before 1989 may still contain remnants of the material.
Why You Need To Be Aware
Pets don’t know that a material they chew on or eat can be harmful. Since dogs have a natural curiosity and stubbornness, they’re the most vulnerable to asbestos exposure. Nevertheless, other animals—including cats, birds, and livestock—can also develop symptoms that may later evolve into mesothelioma and other related illnesses, such as:
- Pleural mesothelioma: affects the lung lining
- Peritoneal mesothelioma: harms the lining in the abdomen
- Pericardial mesothelioma: damages the external heart lining
- Testicular mesothelioma: affects the testes lining
The Symptoms of Asbestos Exposure
Aside from learning about the different mesothelioma strains, the most critical thing to do is to recognize the warning signs of asbestos exposure in pets. Many pets don’t show signs until later stages of development, but according to an article from American Cancer Society, exposure to asbestos can lead to cancer in animals as well as humans. If you believe your pet has encountered asbestos due to ingesting particles, eating insulation, or chewing on plaster, watch for these symptoms:
- Respiratory issues
- Muffled sounds in the abdomen, heart, or lungs
- Scrotum growth
- Throwing up
To fully determine if your pet has consumed fiber particles from asbestos insulation, set up an appointment with your veterinarian. The symptoms may signify another illness, but taking your pet to the veterinarian can help you determine the best course of action after a final diagnosis.
How To Protect Your Pet
To better protect your animals from asbestos exposure, you must block off areas of your home that contain asbestos. Also, contact a professional asbestos removal company to inspect the home and eliminate any asbestos. By doing this, you’re protecting your family members’ and pets’ health from deteriorating due to asbestos exposure.
It’s essential to avoid doing these things if you discover asbestos:
- DIY projects
- Collecting piles or samples of asbestos
- Removing the material yourself
For more information on these points, check out this article for an expanded explanation of how to protect your pets from asbestos.
After asbestos removal, checking on your pet’s health and well-being is still essential. Keeping a home 100% safe isn’t easy, so do what you can to protect your pets from potential asbestos exposure by removing it entirely and watching out for these signs.