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July 03, 2017

Dogs and skin cancer.

When spending a lot of time in the sun, it’s important to check your dog’s skin.

Skin Cancer And Dogs

Now that the warm weather has made a firm appearance, it is even more important to remember the sunscreen for ourselves when we spend time outside. But being covered in fur isn’t a guarantee that they won’t suffer from sun-related skin ailments—we have to look out for our dogs in the sun as well.

Skin cancer is particularly problematic for dogs and it can only hinder recovery if your pet is suffering from back problems as well. Being vigilant and regularly checking your dog’s skin for possible problems will help greatly. Early detection is just as key with dogs as it is with humans. Here are some things to look for on your dog this summer. 

Common Symptoms

When you check your dog for skin cancer, there are a few things you should look for. Some of the easiest ways to recognize symptoms of skin cancer in dogs are with your own eyes or running your hands over your dog’s body. Any abnormal bumps or growths should definitely be red flags, especially if they start to bleed or become uncomfortable for your dog. Be sure to check under any of the collars or harnesses your dog wears to make sure nothing has escaped your attention.  


Treatment for skin cancer in dogs – tumors can be operated on and removed once your veterinarian has confirmed that it is skin cancer. Sometimes radiation and chemotherapy are necessary as well, in addition to other medication, to cure inoperable tumors or to make sure that the cancer is entirely gone post-surgery. While skin cancer in dogs is usually very curable, it is important to catch it early so that treatment can be quick and effective, minimizing discomfort for your dog. 


It is important to prevent skin cancer when possible. Applying normal sunscreen to the nose and inner ears of your dog, or to the skin if your dog has light or thin fur, is the best first step to preventing sun-related skin problems. Be sure to apply gently and carefully to areas where your pet is already affected with other problems.

Remembering to look after our pets in the sun should go right along with looking after ourselves. If your dog enjoys spending time outdoors or walking extensively, it is important to keep your dog protected as much as possible. While some breeds are more susceptible than others, taking care of your dog’s skin in the summer is important, but be sure to keep checking the weather. Even winter sun can be tough on soft skin. 


Skin Cancer And DogsNow working as a writer, Jackie Edwards started her career as a vet’s nurse, but after becoming a mom refocused and decided to spend more time with her family. When she’s not writing, she volunteers for a number of local animal health charities and also has a menagerie of pets to look after.

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