If we stand with the dog under the bright sunlight, we are the first to get sunburn, because most dogs have a layer of hair to protect them. However, even with hair protection, the dog’s skin will still be injured and even develop skin cancer. Dog skin cancer is not only diverse, but also difficult to prevent, but fortunately, skin cancer can be treated or even cured.
What is dog Skin Cancer?
When some abnormal cells are uncontrolled and rapidly multiply and grow into cancer cells, dogs may suffer from skin cancer and sometimes tumors. If these tumors are malignant, then it will spread to other parts of the dog’s body, and by then, the difficulty of treatment will increase greatly.
Symptoms of Skin Cancer:
The most obvious symption of a dog suffering from skin cancer is a lump on the skin.
Itchy skin, dogs may lick licks frequently;
Skin lumps are large and small, and some small lumps may be hidden under the hair, which is difficult for dog owners to find. Although these lumps may be benign, it is best for the owner to take them to a pet hospital to confirm the nature of the lumps. In general, malignant tumors will cause skin lesions, bleeding, and cannot be healed.
Types of Dog Skin Cancer:
1. Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Squamous cell carcinoma is a relatively common skin cancer, and dogs usually get cancer because they are exposed to the sunlight, but it may also be related to papillomavirus. Scientists have not studied it so far. Squamous cell carcinoma usually appears first on the dog’s head, calf, back, and abdomen. The obvious sign is a lump on the skin. Without timely treatment, squamous cell carcinoma can spread to surrounding tissues. Not only that, older dogs and some breeds of dogs are more prone to squamous cell carcinoma, such as the Basset Hound, Standard Poodle and so on.
2. Melanoma: Melanoma is related to the melanocytes in the dog’s skin. These cells are responsible for producing pigments. When they change, they usually develop into melanoma. However, melanoma is usually benign and does not spread. But if it is malignant melanoma, the cancer cells will quickly spread to the internal organs of the body. Melanoma usually appears on lips, paws, etc. Malignant melanoma looks more like a lump over an ulcer, and it will also swell the dog’s toes. At the same time, the Miniature Schnauzer, Standard Schnauzer, Scottish Terrier and other black dogs have a higher risk of cancer.
3. Mast Cell Tumor: Mast cell tumor is a relatively common type of skin cancer in dogs. The mutated mast cells will also release histamine, causing allergies in dogs. It can appear on the limbs, abdomen and chest of dogs. Mast cell tumors not only have multiple appearances, but also have different grades. The higher the grade, the greater the harm to dogs.
Grade 1 mast cell tumor: This is the simplest mast cell tumor, and the entire tumor can be removed by surgery.
Grade 2 mast cell tumor: If the grade 2 mast cell tumor has not spread, it can be surgically removed, but if it has spread to other parts of the dog’s body, the doctor will recommend chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
Grade 3 mast cell tumor: Grade 3 mast cell tumor will quickly spread to other parts of the body, including internal organs. In this case, the dog can only control the development of the tumor through chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
4. Fibrosarcoma: Fibrosarcoma of dogs usually appears in the skin or connective tissue under the skin. Their appearance has many changes and the growth rate is relatively slow, but even if the dog has surgery, it may relapse. Fortunately, fibrosarcoma does not usually spread to other parts of the dog’s body. However, no matter whether it is an elderly dog or a puppies, fibrosarcoma may occur. The pet hospital will first judge the grade of the tumor to choose the best treatment plan. If your dog’s fibrosarcoma is damaged, it may bleed and cause ulcers or infections.
How to treat dog skin cancer?
The best situation is to perform a surgical operation. The treatment method is often determined according to the type, location, and stage of the dog’s skin cancer. If the dog’s skin cancer is at an early stage and has not spread to other parts, then the pet doctor will recommend to operate a surgery to remove the tumor, which has a chance for dogs to generally be healed. However, if skin cancer has spread, it is best for the dog to control the condition through chemotherapy and radiation therapy. These methods can only make the dog live better and longer, and cannot completely cure the skin cancer. Among them, melanoma has a certain resistance to radiation therapy, and mast cell tumor is very suitable for radiation therapy. The doctor will choose the best treatment plan according to the situation.
Finally, as mentioned at the beginning of the essay, it is difficult to prevent dog skin cancer. Although there is no excessive connection between sun exposure and skin cancer, it is best for the owner to control the time the dog is in the sun. At the same time, the owner can provide adequate nutrition and proper exercise to improve the dog’s immunity. The most important thing is that taking your dog for a regular medical check-up can allow doctors to find problems in advance and formulate guidelines, which is also a more effective preventive measure.
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