CBD & Dog Skin Cancer – Everything You Need To Know
Dogs have luxurious fur coats that protect them from harmful UV rays. Obviously, dogs cannot have skin cancer, right? Wrong, skin tumors are the leading type of cancerous growths in dogs. Early detection can stop the cells in the tumors from propagating and spreading to other organs.
Sunlight is just one of the factors that contribute to skin cancer. Other causes include genetics and trauma to the skin caused by cuts and abrasion. Compulsive licking of certain areas on the dog’s body as well as the hormonal imbalance of female hormones such as estrogen and progesterone can lead to increased growth of cancer cells. A dog skin cancer could be fatal if left untreated.
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Types of Dog Skin Cancers
Dogs have many non-cancerous lumps such as sebaceous cysts caused by the accumulation of sebum from a clogged pore. However, there are tumors that need immediate attention.
Malignant melanoma affects melanocytes, which are responsible for giving the skin color. Non-threatening or benign tumors typically develop in dogs. The cells in these tumors do not metastasize or spread aggressively.
Malignant tumors are the nasty, aggressive kind, that develop on the lips, nail bed, and mucous membranes such as the mouth. Only 10 percent of the time, will malignant tumors develop in parts covered with hair.
The tumors spread quickly to other parts such as the lungs and liver. They require treatment using conventional cancer therapies such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.
Mast Cell Tumors
They are the most common type of skin cancer in pooches. Mast cell tumors are caused by the mutation of the mast cells of the immune system. They feel rubber-like or hot when touched.
They can shrink and grow at an astonishing pace. This can lead to the development of sore, inflamed areas. Surgical removal is necessary to remove deep-rooted tumors. What causes these tumors? Evidence points to genetics as the chief cause. Mast cell tumors develop on the legs a quarter (25%) of the time.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma dog skin cancer occurs as an open wound or white mass on the skin that refuses to heal. Most of these wounds result from exposure to UV rays and high-altitude living.
Researchers believe that the papillomavirus causes the development of squamous cell tumors in pooches. You can identify this cancer by searching for its wart-like lesions, which are firm, raised, and appear on the abdomen, anus, ears, legs, nose and any white-skinned area. Your pooch can start limping when the lesions occur on the feet.
Dogs with a Disposition to Cancer
Skin cancer can affect all dogs. However, some dogs through studies indicate a certain disposition to cancers. The different types of cancer that can occur in specific breeds include:
- Benign melanocytomas or benign tumors befall the Airedale Terriers, Bay Retrievers, Doberman Pinschers, and Vizslas. The dogs affected are between 5 to 11 years old.
- Squamous cell carcinomas appear in dogs from the age of 6 to 10 years old. Dogs likely to suffer from this condition include the Basset Hounds, Beagles, Bull Terriers, Collies, Dalmatians, Keeshonds, and Standard Schnauzers.
- Malignant melanomas will appear more in black breeds such as the Scottish Terriers and Schnauzers.
- Mast cell tumors occur commonly in Boxers and pugs. They also emerge in Beagles, Boston Terriers, Labrador Retrievers, and Schnauzers.
Early Warning Signs of Dog Skin Cancer
Dogs exhibit early signs of cancer you can recognize. Symptoms include pale gums that signal blood loss, bumps on or under the pooch’s fur coat, unexplained weight loss, loss of interest in food, lethargy or tiredness, shortness of breath, open sores, vomiting, diarrhea, and sudden behavior changes.
Common Treatments of Dog Skin Cancer
Treatment of Malignant Tumors: Finding and cutting cancer out is the first approach in removing malignant tumors. The veterinarian administers radiation to kill the leftover cancer cells after surgery. These procedures lead to remission in nearly 70% of the cases. Chemotherapy is also paired with radiation therapy or surgery.
Treatment of Squamous Cell Carcinomas: With squamous cell carcinomas, you can use surgery solely to remove these tumors. The pooch will not need radiation or chemotherapy that kills both fast-replicating cancer cells and normal cells indiscriminately.
Treatment of Mast Cell Tumors: Mast cell tumors are best-defeated using surgical removal without the need for radiation therapy. It all depends on the size and location of the cell mass. Chemo drugs can target and kill cancer cells if they have spread throughout the body.
CBD & Dog Skin Cancer
Although the FDA prevents us from making any medical claims on our website about the medical benefits of our CBD pet products, we encourage you to do your own research about using CBD to treat any health condition.
There are a ton of studies and tests done on people as well as animals involving the use of CBD for many treatments. These studies are readily available with just a click of a mouse. The results of these studies are very impressive to say the least.
Many people are now using CBD and other Cannabinoids to treat many different ailments & conditions. We encourage you as a proud parent to learn all about CBD and all that the Cannabis plant has to offer your pet.
We offer a wide variety of CBD products for pets including: CBD Dog Treats, CBD Pet Capsules and CBD Pet Tinctures. All of them are 3rd party lab tested and vet approved! Please refer to our CBD Buyers guide if you are interested in buying CBD products or just visit our CBD Pet Products page.
How to Prevent Dog Skin Cancer
Genetics among other factors can result in skin cancer. Thus, stopping dog skin cancer can prove impossible. Exposure to direct sunlight is a factor in your control. The dog’s hairless areas such as the abdomen, ear, nose, and paw pads are the most susceptible to sun damage.
You can minimize sun damage by ensuring your pooch spends time in shady areas when it goes outside. Watch out for surfaces like concrete, sand, and asphalt that radiate heat. If you are going to use sunscreen, opt for dog-safe sunscreen. You will apply the dog sunscreen on hairless areas such as the abdomen, ears, muzzle, and nose.
Protect your dog with protective gear made of a breathable fabric. These doggy clothes act as tank tops and rash guards. If you need to go that extra mile, you can consider getting your pooch a pair of dog sunglasses or googles.
Talk to the veterinary doctor if your dog has a predisposition to dog skin cancer. Studies have shown alternating the pooch through neutering or spaying could lead to an increased incidence of cancers. Before taking any drastic action to shun these processes, consider their advantages such as reduced aggression and stopping the birth of unwanted litters.
Warts or papilloma can act as precursors for dog skin cancer. Infected pets are the transmitters for this disease. Steer your pooch clear of infected dogs. Obsessive licking also has a role in stimulating uncontrollable cell replication. Dogs exhibiting this behavior may be suffering from hotspots or seasonal skin allergies that cause itching. Home remedies such as oatmeal baths, a favorite among dog owners, can reduce the itchiness. You can use coconut oil, Aloe Vera, Neem oil, and olive oil to treat dry, itchy skin.
Detecting Dog Skin Cancer
Detecting masses and lumps on your dog’s skin can stop cancer cells before they propagate. The best time to examine your dog physically is during bath time. You will be looking for lumps, growths, scabs or sores that have taken a long time to heal.
Run your hands all over the pooch’s body beginning from the head to the face, armpits, and paws. Focus on each paw pad and nail bed. Remember to check the back, belly, flanks, legs, buns, and tail. If you find a suspicious lump, you can mark the area using a sharpie or trim the spot with a pair of scissors. That makes it easy to show it to the veterinary doctor.
Sudden weight loss accompanied by the loss of appetite are indicators that something is wrong. Dogs with tumors can become lethargy, and hesitate to run or exercise. Overall, increase your cancer search activities, as the dog grows old. Let us stop cancer a nuisance for both humans and dogs because it accounts for a quarter of all deaths.
Read Next: Your Full Guide To Pet Cancers & Tumors