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Should you be worried about Skin Cancer on your Dog?

24 Sep Posted by in Health & Fitness | 17 comments
Should you be worried about Skin Cancer on your Dog?
 

Just like many dachshunds (or really any dog) I love the feeling of laying in a patch of warm sun. If you own are owned by a dachshund, then you know what I’m talking about.

Skin Cancer and Dogs. What to look for and should you be worried?

I’m sure this scene is all too familiar, your dog parks themselves in front of a big patch of sun laying there until they are visibly panting and hot to the touch. As much as I enjoy getting all toasty in the sun, my mom started to worry about what the sun might be doing to my skin. Is skin cancer something us dogs should be worried about, and if so how can we prevent it?

Skin Cancer and Dogs. What to look for and should you be worried?

Well instead of just wondering, my mom decided to find out. So she did a little research, and even took a trip to my vet to find out more.

Skin Cancer and Dogs. What to look for and should you be worried?

See in the beginning of the summer a new (black) mole popped up on my chest. And seeing as how I have the very common dachshund pattern baldness on my belly, mom worried my exposure to the sun on a daily basis was starting to catch up to me.

Skin Cancer and Dogs. What to look for and should you be worried?

So away we went to the vet to find out if in fact dogs can get skin cancer, what we should be looking for, and how we can prevent it.

First, the good news is I didn’t have any moles or bumps that look pre-cancerous (at least not yet), so phew! But, the risk of skin cancer in dogs is just the same as it would be for humans, especially in areas where your dog may not have as much hair and for dogs that have lighter colored fur.

Skin Cancer and Dogs. What to look for and should you be worried?

My vet informed me that although I do have the occasional mole, discoloration, or skin growth pop up, that this can also be a sign of aging skin and will happen as the years pass. Documenting your dog’s skin abnormalities can be a great way to make sure there isn’t anything out of the ordinary happening that might require a biopsy or further investigation.

Skin Cancer and Dogs. What to look for and should you be worried?

Tips for Preventing Skin Cancer in Dogs:

  • Document all of your dog’s moles and abnormal skin growths with pictures and measurements. Update and check them every few months looking for changes or new growth
  • Use a pet-safe sunscreen* if your pet will be exposed to the sun for long periods of time
  • Familiarize yourself with what abnormal moles might look like on your dog (see below)
  • Consider covering windows with a UV protecting film* if your dog sun bathes a lot
  • Talk to your vet about any suspicious looking skin growths

*contains affiliate links

Skin Cancer and Dogs. What to look for and should you be worried?

We found this helpful chart online (source unknown) that can be useful if any of your dog’s moles might warrant a trip to the vet. The same characteristics in moles can be seen on humans and are also a sign of pre-cancerous areas.

Skin Cancer and Dogs. What to look for and should you be worried?

While preventing me from “sunning” probably isn’t going to happen (sorry, I just enjoy my sun naps way too much), mom has been making me wear pet sunscreen when it looks like I’ll be napping for a while. She also plans to add a UV film to the window at the shop where I like to sun myself a lot during the day.

Has your dog had any skin cancer scares? Do you routinely check your pet for moles and skin abnormalities? Ammo the Dachshund // Blog Signature // Celebrity

Disclaimer: I am not a veterinarian, just an owner who cares an awful lot about my pet’s health. Please be sure to consult your own vet if you think your pet may have some abnormal skin issues. This post is not meant to replace veterinarian care, just simply a reference for the information we have learned in our own studies.

  1. MaryScott Brandenburg09-24-15

    Thank you Ammo! I have wondered this myself as I have had melanoma. I will definitely be checking our little guy to check for it!

  2. Karina N. O'Rourke09-24-15

    Fantastic read, Ammo. Thank you for this vital information. I have shared it so our friends can also be informed.

  3. JB09-24-15

    Hey Ammo – This is great info! Thanks so much!

    P.S.So glad your mole isn’t pre-cancerous.

    • Ammo09-30-15

      Me too! I just finished measuring and documenting all my skin bumps and my new UV window film is on order to my shop! I’m all set!

  4. Rachael09-24-15

    My boy is getting a skin check tomorrow! He has a few moles I am worried about, but this post has made me feel better!

    • Ammo09-30-15

      As my vet said, the older we get the more moles and skin discoloration can pop up. It’s still a good idea to document them so you can be sure nothing has changed too drastically over the years. Hope your appointment went well!

  5. Roco09-24-15

    Thank you, Ammo. I have developped a scaly scab and Mommythinks it is just maybe rubbing from my harness. We will wait a bit becore going to tbe vet. Thank you for sharing.

    • Ammo09-30-15

      Hope you heal up fast friend!

  6. Courtney Grant09-25-15

    My dog has very thin, white fur, so I was so excited to find a new product from EzyDog called the dog Rashie. It provides 50+ uv protection, so she wears it on days we know we’re going to get lots of sun exposure.

  7. Dachshunds06-13-16

    Thanks :

  8. Sara Lutz06-13-16

    Shared it, good info

  9. MaryScott Brandenburg06-13-16

    Thank you Ammo! I saved this post so I can print the chart about skin abnormalities. I never knew dogs could get skin cancer!! And on top of that I didn’t know I could get sun screen for my dogs! Thanks again for that valuable info!!

  10. Donna Lauer Bucelli06-13-16

    Great advise.

  11. Janet Wilson07-17-17

    Good information Ammo. Thank-you!

  12. Elaine Norris07-18-17

    Very common in Australia, thanks Ammo 🙂

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