Reducing the Risks of Skin Cancer for Dogs
According to the Canine Cancer Campaign, one in four dogs will die from the effects of cancer.
Skin cancers are the most common tumour in dogs and, according to the website caninecancer.com, account for around a third of all tumours. According to Wikipedia, 20 to 40% of skin cancers in dogs are malignant.
Unless they have had a dog with cancer, many dog owners are unaware of the prevalence of canine cancer. There is a common conception that because dogs don’t live as long as humans, they will not be susceptible to cancer.
This is untrue. Because they live shorter lives, dog cancers progress at a proportionately higher rate.
Like humans, some dogs are more susceptible to sunburn and developing skin cancer than others.
Light coloured dogs with thin coats that spend time in the sun have a higher risk as do some breeds of dogs such as boxers, basset hounds, weimaraners, bull terriers and mastiffs.
Dogs that sunbake on their backs are particularly susceptible.
Skin cancers are more common in dogs that are middle aged to older (6 to 14 years of age) although there are skin cancers that occur in young dogs.
Dog owner Glen, recently had a haemangiosarcoma# surgically removed from belly of his middle aged female pointer and says:
‘She has always been a great one for sunbacking on her back. I only wish I had taken preventative measures years ago and saved us both this experience’.
Karen’s four year old fox terrier developed a skin cancer on its back. ‘The cancer has been cut out and he now wears a protective jacket and sunscreen when we go out in the sun’.
Preventative measures that dog owners can take to reduce the risks to their pets are using UPF50+ rated dog jackets, and dog sunscreen.
These help protect dogs from harmful UV rays and are specifically designed to reduce the risk of sunburn and skin cancer.
Like other strategies such as exercise and avoiding chemical exposure, preventative measures are effective ways of reducing the risks of cancer for our pets. And they can stop us having to go through the trauma and expense of veterinary procedures for our dogs.
# according to Wikipedia, hemangiosarcoma is quite common in dogs, and more so in certain breeds of dogs including German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers. In the skin, it can be cured in most cases with complete surgical removal.
beachmutt.net designs, produces and sells jackets to reduce the risks of skin cancer in dogs.The lined jackets are made of lightweight polyester fabrics and come in a range of funky designs for dogs big and small. Although based in Australia, beachmutt.net sells and ships worldwide. beachmutt.net also sells sunscreen specially made for dogs and cats.