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Friday, May 25, 2012

Skin Cancer And Your Pets: Important Facts From Vetstreet

Photo courtesy of AOL Healthy Living

Until we read this article on AOL Healthy Living, written by Dr. Ann Hohenhaus, a veterinarian for Vetstreet.com, we had no idea that pets could get skin cancer. In fact, it's not uncommon for dogs or cats to develop melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinomas-the same skin cancers found in humans. We also just learned that the merry, merry month of May, although drawing to a close, is Skin Cancer Awareness Month for both humans and pets.

 This article discusses the most common forms of skin cancer in dogs and cats (mast cell melanomas and melanoma of the mouth, for example), and ways to be vigilant about detecting and treating these tumors. And who would have thought that long stretches of sunbathing is bad for your pet, just like it is for humans? We thought that fur acted as a natural sunscreen-and it does-but not if your pooch is prone to sunbathing on his or her back and exposing the hairless underbelly to those warm rays, like the dog in the above photo is doing. And "white-coated dogs and cats are exceptions to this rule," says Dr. Hohenhaus. Even the thinly-furred skin on their ears and nose of our white-furred kin are prone to melanomas, particularly in perpetually sunny areas of the country, where people and their pets spend lots of time in the great outdoors.

The bottom line is: Take these tips to heart and "If you find a lump or sore anywhere on your pet's skin, see your veterinarian as soon as possible."

You know, I've found a convenient way to avoid those dangerous rays: I relax on my back indoors on Parental Unit's bed...

             And so does Bella...how many of you do the same?


Duke said...

We're outside a lot but mom always make sure that we have lots of shade. Neither one of us likes to be overheated by the sun!

Love ya lots,
Mitch and Molly

Rumpydog said...

I didn't know about skin cancer in dogs either. Thanks for the tip!

Anonymous said...

I seem to develop a new lump every week... yikes. You're scaring me Bocci.

Please ask PU to woof at Eldad for me at Blog Paws. I'm a big fan!

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