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Sunburns and Cancer: Protect Your Pet

Sunburns and Cancer: Protect Your Pet

Did you know your pet’s fur may not be enough to protect them from sun damage?

“Dogs and cats are susceptible to skin damage from the sunís UV rays just like people,” Dr. Jimmy Desmond explains. “However, pets too can get sunburned resulting in ulcerated skin, permanent skin damage and even cancer. Although, all pets are susceptible to skin damage, certain animals are more at risk; those who are mainly white, shorter haired and those with lighter colored noses. Areas where animals are most at risk are the nose, where the hair is thin, such as the belly or groin, the ears, around the mouth and anywhere there might be exposed skin such as hotspots, or other areas of with hair loss.”

Rescued cat Sadie recently underwent surgery to remove a portion of her ear, impacted by skin cancer

An ounce of prevention goes a long way when it comes to sun damage and shade†can be†the number one protection for your pet. It’s important to be†particularly mindful of sun exposure during mid-day between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

“Sunscreen can also be used. However, itís better to use sunscreen that is designed especially for pets as some ingredients in human sunscreens can be toxic to animals,” Dr. Desmond continues. “Be sure that any pet sunscreen is labeled specifically for either cats or dogs to ensure your pet is safe if they he or she accidentally ingests the sunscreen. Even more important, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian if you notice any suspicious growths or lesions on your petís skin.”

Animals with white fur are particularly susceptible to sun damage.

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152 comments

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4:07PM PDT on Aug 31, 2014

interesting!! didn't know there was doggy sunscreen should look out for it

4:59PM PDT on Aug 22, 2014

I always make sure my boy has shade to go to, and he always does after a few minutes of basking in the sunshine. More sense than some people!

This seems a good time to make people aware of another condition common to short nosed ( brachycephalic ) dogs, and a few others as well. They seem to be prone to mast cell tumors, so it's very important to keep an eye out for lumps and bumps and get them checked by a vet asap and have them removed before they become a major problem!

4:38PM PDT on Aug 18, 2014

Very important information, thank you.

1:23AM PDT on Aug 18, 2014

Thank you to all who love the animals and the planet, and who already signed the petition to protect horses from Pétropolis, if no, please help give an happy end to the sad story of those enslaved animals, and share these petitions :
Care 2
PeticaoPublica.com

Thank you for sharing

1:23AM PDT on Aug 18, 2014

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ADOPT A SHELTER PET
DON'T SHOP ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

11:44PM PDT on Aug 17, 2014

ty

6:05PM PDT on Aug 17, 2014

Good to know. Thanks

11:12AM PDT on Aug 17, 2014

For those of you that are interested in holistic truly natural options - you can take some very simple steps at home to make your own Homemade Sunscreen for Dogs http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2014/08/natural-sun-protection-for-dogs.html
You can also look for off-the-shelf made for pet sunscreen that contains similar truly safe ingredients.

11:08AM PDT on Aug 17, 2014

As for you Matt P. I am a Dog Behaviourist and Holistic Diet Nutrition Wellness Adviser - with clients all over the world including Australia. Some of those clients are refereed to me by veterinarians and vet techs - while other of my clients are vets and vet techs. If you read my comment with attention and the link - it is OBVIOUS that I am saying DO NOT use human-made-for sunscreen on pets and be VERY CAREFUL which pet-made-for sunscreens you purchase. As explained further in the link provided. Until you inform yourself you will continue to be at high-risk for melanoma, not just from unprotected exposure to sun but also from some of the ingredients that are triggers for skin cancer. Read the link, inform yourself - if not for you, for your dog or cat.

10:50AM PDT on Aug 17, 2014

Absolutely true Maria A. No amount of topical protection can prevent heat stroke. In addition many people do not realize that their dog's paws can get badly burned by pavement / concrete which has heated in the sun.

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