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silent killer
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type of cancer
Dog Skin Cancer; A Silent Killer
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Dog Skin Cancer; A Silent Killer

Sure, we know all about the risks of skin cancer when it comes to ourselves but you may not realize that dog skin cancer is also very common. Because dogs have fur covering their bodies you may have mistakenly thought there isn't much concern over dog skin cancer. Surprisingly, the tumors that are found most often in dogs are skin tumors. Of course dogs with light colored or thin fur seem to be at a higher risk for this type of cancer and the sun it is defiantly thought to be a contributing factor. Now that we know dog skin cancer is common let's talk about the types.

Mast Cell Tumors

Mast cell tumors in dogs are the most common skin tumors and occur in what is called the mast cells of the immune system. The mast cell tumor may be slow growing and rubber like or the aggressive ones may grow faster and turn into an open sore. This tumor is usually found on the trunk but 25 percent of the time is found on the legs. This type of tumor is found in Boxers, Boston Terriers, Labs, Beagles and Schnauzers.

Malignant Melanoma

Malignant melanomas in dogs are found on the mouth, mucous membrane,lips, toe nail beds or pads of feet. Remember, 10 percent of the time you may find this type of dog skin cancer on the body, covered with fur. This type of cancer will grow and spread fast to other organs like the lungs and liver. The melanoma found in the toe nail bed is most common in black dogs. It is also important to know this tumor may be what is making your pet limp. It is possible to find these tumors on the feet pads where they become infected and are often misdiagnosed as an infection.

Benign Melanoma

This type of benign melanoma is common in Vislas, Miniature Schnauzers, Bay Retrievers, Airedale Terriers, and Dobermans. You may notice this melanoma in your pet between the ages of five and eleven years. You can find these benign melanomas appearing anywhere from very small to 2.5 inches in diameter. They appear on the skin, are covered in fur and may be red, brown, grey or black in color.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma occurs in the epidermis and is a direct result of exposure to the sun. You will find this type of cancer in dogs between six and ten years of age. It is found in Keeshonds, Standard Schnauzers, Beagles, Bull Terriers, Collies, Basset Hounds and Dalmatians. This type of dog skin cancer may look like a wart. It is firm and raised, usually occurring on the abdomen or around the genitals.

If you are like me you may be wondering how can sun exposure cause these cancers in our pets. Although sun exposure is suspect in all three of these types of cancers there are other causes thought to be related to skin cancer in dogs. Trauma is another possible cause. The growth of mast cell tumors in dogs may be related to certain hormones. It is also believed that there is a connection between the papilloma virus and development of some of these tumors. Unfortunately, we do not know everything there is to know about these diseases but what we do know if left untreated they are fatal.

Something as simple as knowing your dog could save their life. Looking your pet over once a week will go a long way in helping you find any physical changes. It is important to remember that dog skin cancer including mast cell tumors in dogs when caught early can be treated successfully.


Street Talk

I have two Labradors and would hate to lose them to this killer. I will heed your advice and check over them regularly. Thanks for sharing.

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Thanks for reading Mark. Labs are great dogs, so loyal. I had two growing up. I have such fond memories of them. Thanks for reminding me of these wonderful animals.

Reply
  about 5 years ago

great info to know, thanks!

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Thanks for reading Shawn.

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Great job, very helpful.

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Thanks for reading Alfred

Reply
  about 5 years ago

So sad when injury and illness strikes our little friends

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Yes very sad Gayle, thanks for reading and commenting.

Reply
  about 5 years ago
n-mills  

I have a Boston terrier who is 2 years old. She is on heavy doses of Predezone for severe allergies. I've been warned this medication can cause tumours, cancer, and makes her more sensitive to the sun, but for quality of life she is still on them. My question is regarding what looks like a big black mole that's developed on the pad of her paw. It's been there for about 6 months and I'm not sure if she should be checked at the vet or if it's a normal thing as Boston's do develop dark patches on other places like their skin. Just wanderring if you know anything about this? ....By the way your article was interesting:)

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Thanks for reading and I am glad you found the article interesting. I have three dachshunds who I love dearly and I enjoy researching and writing articles about dogs. I am not qualified to advise you about your pet however, I would take my dog to the vet and have them take a look if I found something like that on the foot. Anything that develops on the pad of the feet may be a potential problem simply because they are in constant contact with the ground. It is possible for your pet to developed a sore or infection from this. In my opinion it is always better to be safe than sorry. Maybe it is near time for a check up or update vacations and your vet could have a look at the same time. I wouldn't wait for long because if by chance this is related to dog skin cancer (and I am not saying it is) this disease may spread rapidly. Remember, there is a higher chance of cure when these things are diagnosed and treated early. Hope this helps and good luck with your pet!

Reply
  about 5 years ago
melissa3  

Great Article. I will be sure to look over my dog daily (that is, when I get one!!). Soon, I hope :)))

Reply
  about 5 years ago

It is a good idea to give them a look but I am petting mine so often, I just make it part of their daily love me. Do you know what type of dog you may get? Thanks for reading.

Reply
  about 5 years ago
melissa3  

Originally, we were going to get a pug. My husband is allergic to cats and dogs, but for some reason he thinks not a pug because years ago he slept over a friend of a friend's house and they had one and he didn't sneeze once. I do hear they shed a lot, though. Recently, we were looking at a Maltipoo which was so adorable. Yesterday, I was reading about a Havanese, so basically, we have no idea!! But, I'm doing my research and really looking towards the hypoallergenic dogs. I enjoy your articles.

  
  about 5 years ago

Thanks Jackelyn, great article, as one who has lost four dogs in the past four years. Some were totally unexplained. Your article has helped, thanks Regards Keith

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Thanks for reading Kieth. It is always so sad when we loose our pets .Mine are such a big part of the family like many other people. It would be hard to imagine being without them. Where ever I go they follow, twelve little feet close behind me. I will give them a little extra love today.

Reply
  about 5 years ago
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