It's been a busy Summer already and while my new puppy has a sleep I'm finally getting around to a quick blog on a subject a couple of clients asked about last week....Sunscreen!
We all know (or should do by now) SPF is a must especially at this time of year - but what about our pets? Is a skin cancer a real issue for pets and what should we do about it.
I spoke to a couple of vets and on this subject as well as doing a bit of research years ago (having pets in the Canary Islands it was a real issue 12 months of the year)
The message seems to be the same, we need to consider our pets skin with the same consideration as we do our own.
As an example there were about 1500 claims for skin cancer related treatments in dogs throughout Australia in 2016. . Cats also suffer the effects of skin cancer, but according to the stats - not as much as dogs. Of course this is just the pets that were insured - the real figures are expected to be much higher than this.
So what can you do? Here are some tips ....
Keep pets inside during the heat of the day
Ensure your dog has ample shady areas
Consider using specially designed pet sunscreens
Use a pet sun-suit
UV protect windows for indoor cats
Ensure pet runs have shade
There are several manufacturers of sunsuits - and so long as your dog isn't going to eat the suit, it will do the job very well.
In theory kids/infant sunscreen will work - though it has to be applied regularly and most are not designed to be safe when licked off. But sticking with application on the ears particularly in pale dogs is a good place to start. (There have been reports of dogs with zinc poisoning from licking off sunscreen)
Interesting to note according to vets and insurers that dogs and cats who are quickly treated can be readily cured of skin cancer - so if you see any suspect lumps or persistent sores get to your vet as soon as possible.