Did you know that dogs and cats are susceptible to skin cancer from sun exposure?
Skin cancer is fairly common in white cats with pink ears who like to sit in windows and sun-worship or just watch the world go by.
Dogs and cats with unpigmented, pink noses may also become victims of skin cancer.
This one was a new one even for me, though. Jack came to me about a year ago with a non-specific inflammation on the skin of his abdomen. I first thought it was infection, but it didn’t respond to antibiotic therapy. We performed additional tests and treatments but he still didn’t get better.
It wasn’t until he had a biopsy of the skin that we discovered Jack had squamous cell carcinoma. Canine skin cancer from sun exposure.
It turns out that Jack likes to lie in the sun on his back. Years of sun exposure on a part of the body with almost no hair and no pigment took its toll.
Fortunately, Jack’s cancer isn’t aggressive and is responding to treatment and exposure-avoidance (he’s kept indoors a lot more now).
So, if you have a light-colored pet, avoid excessive sun exposure. You might save his life!
See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.