We are a Referral centre that offer Orthopaedic, Neurology and soft tissue surgery with in-house MRI & CT.

Cat and Dog Lung Lobectomy

A lung lobectomy is an operation often used to remove masses from within the lung lobes. Both dogs and cats’ lungs are comprised of a number of lobes. These lobes can be damaged by diseases such as cancer, trauma, or inhaling foreign objects. Whatever the cause of the lung damage, in some cases, lung lobectomy surgery is the best form of treatment for your cat or dog. Here at NorthWest Referrals, we carry out lobectomy surgery in our state-of-the-art surgery, with experienced and specialist veterinary surgeons. Many vets don’t have the facilities or the expertise to carry out this type of procedure and choose to refer their patients to us. This ensures that the lobectomy surgery is carried out with the best available resources to give the best outcome for their patients.

Lung Lobectomy Causes

Dogs and cats can need lobectomy surgery for several reasons. Cancer can cause masses to form within the lung lobes, often secondary cancer can be present in the lung lobes, and surgery to remove the mass, followed by chemotherapy is a good treatment route to follow. Dogs can inhale foreign objects, which can cause damage to the lungs. If your pet has been involved in a traumatic accident, this can cause issues within the lung lobes. Lung surgery will be carried out after a thorough investigation and diagnosis. We often use our high-quality imaging equipment, such as a CT scan, to provide a clear diagnosis and to ensure that surgery is the best option for the pet.

Lung Lobectomy Symptoms

Not all dogs and cats with lung tumours will present with symptoms, which can make diagnosis complicated. However, common signs of lung tumours include a cough, lethargy, or weight loss. As lung tumours can develop as a secondary cancer site, it is something that can be checked using medical imaging techniques to help with diagnosis. If your pet is showing signs of discomfort when breathing, is coughing up blood, or wheezing following an accident, then seek veterinary advice immediately. Lungs can be damaged due to trauma to the thoracic region, and speedy treatment can help to prevent long-term damage. We are available for both scheduled and urgent cases, and will always work with referring vets to ensure a quick operation if needed.

Lung Lobectomy Prevention

Some dog breeds are more prone to cancer than others. Choosing a reputable breeder with healthy bloodlines is sensible to help to ensure that your puppy will have a healthy life. Dogs and cats are more at risk of developing cancer when living in households with smokers, or with a high level of pollutants. Brachycephalic breeds are at a higher risk of developing primary lung tumours than their long-nosed counterparts, so be aware of this when choosing your dog breed. Sadly, cancer can strike even a healthy dog, but keeping your dog fit and well, with good quality food, regular exercise, and vet checks will help to optimise the likelihood of having a healthy dog. Try to prevent your dog from eating foreign objects as these can cause health problems. If you are concerned that your dog has inhaled something that it should not have, seek immediate veterinary advice. Dogs that are involved in car accidents have a risk of lung lobe torsions, so if your pet has been involved in an accident, please have them thoroughly examined by your vet.

Preoperative Considerations

Surgery will be carried out after extensive diagnostic tests, to ensure that the surgery is the best option for your pet. Diagnosis is carried out using a combination of presenting symptoms, and medical imaging to give the most accurate information to the veterinary surgeons in preparation for the surgery. We will work with referring vets to help achieve an informed diagnosis going into surgery. If your pet is due to have surgery, keep them as healthy as possible, given their health, in the run-up to their surgery. Pets that are overweight do have a higher risk factor from the general anaesthetic, and all operations do carry a risk. We will work with you, to help with any preoperative advice for your pets or referring patient.

Lung Lobectomy Procedure in Dogs and Cats

The best method of surgery for a lobectomy is a video-assisted thoracoscopic procedure. This is when a camera is placed into the lung cavity, with further small incisions for the instruments. This is a less invasive soft-tissue surgery, and the recovery time post-op is quicker and less painful. In certain instances, this may not be possible, in which case a thoracotomy will be performed. This involves opening the pet’s rib cage and performing open surgery. This has a longer and more painful recovery due to the trauma to the ribs. We will always choose the best surgery for our patients based on their diagnosis. Older dogs are more at risk from surgical complications, and problems can occur in the airways during surgery, which may lead to pneumonia. A thoracotomy has a higher risk if the bronchus or blood vessels do not seal properly, causing internal bleeding. The potential risks and complications will be thoroughly explained before surgery.

Lung Lobectomy Recovery in Dogs and Cats

Providing good aftercare post-surgery is extremely important. The recovery time will vary depending on the type of surgery performed. Exercise should be restricted for two weeks following surgery. Animals may be required to wear a bandage, and it is advised that dogs’ nails are cut short to help to prevent them from scratching. If a thoracotomy was carried out, then the pet may have problems walking or climbing stairs during the recovery period. Ensure that your pet is kept as calm as possible during its recovery period, and if you have any concerns, seek immediate advice.

Prognosis and Follow-up

The prognosis for cancer treatment will depend upon whether the tumour was primary or secondary, and is often followed by chemotherapy. We will advise on the best follow-up for each procedure, and this will be carefully explained to the pet owner so that they know how often their pet will need to be seen post-op. If there were any complications during surgery, then the pet may require additional follow-up appointments.

Cost of Lung Lobectomy Surgery

At NorthWest Referrals, we hold the health of all the animals that we treat at the heart of everything that we do. We aim to provide a first-class service at affordable prices, if your animal is not insured, and you are concerned about the cost of the operation then please speak to us. If your pet is insured, then the majority of the cost should be covered by your insurance. We will review each case on an independent basis, and will always work with you to ensure that your pet can have the treatment that they need.

Next Steps

We accept referrals from both veterinary practices and pet owners. If you are a referring vet, you can refer via our online form. If you require more information or a discussion about your patient or are an owner, then please contact our friendly and helpful team here at NorthWest Referrals on 01942 242001 or by email to info@northwestreferrals.co.uk

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