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Skin Cancer in Dogs

By: Dr. Kimberly Cronin

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Examine your dog's skin on a regular basis. If you note a new lump, a sore that does heal or other changes in the skin, seek veterinary attention.

If surgery was part of the treatment of his skin cancer, your dog may need some additional care. Animals that have had surgery should be kept quiet for the first two weeks to prevent tension on the incision. The incision should be monitored for redness, swelling or discharge. It is important to keep your dog from licking or chewing at the incision because this can cause the incision to come apart or cause an incisional infection. If there are sutures or staples, these will need to be removed approximately two weeks after surgery.

The surgery site should be evaluated on a frequent basis to detect any cancer recurrence. If recurrence is suspected, it should be brought to your veterinarian's attention immediately. Retreatment is more likely to be successful if the tumor is still small.

There is no known cause for the majority of skin cancers so prevention is difficult. Exposure to sunlight should be limited especially for white or light colored dogs.


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