This article will discuss the rates, causes and prevention, and age, breed and sex predilection of skin tumors in dogs.

Here’s what canine skin cancer looks like:

  • Epidermoid Carcinoma : Possible cauliflower-shaped, or  hard, flat, grayish ulcer
  • Mast Cell Tumors: Common in older dogs. Frequently found on hind legs, lower abdomen, and foreskin of the penis.
  • Melanomas: Usually dark in color. The mole spreads out, bleeds, or becomes elevated above the skin surface.
  • Sebaceous Adenomas: Usually less than an inch long, shaped like a cauliflower, and light in color.

Rate of Dog Skin Cancer Appearance

Skin tumors are the most prevalent tumors overall, affecting 450 per 100,000 dogs per year. Approximately 30% of all tumors in dogs are tumors of the skin.

Dog Skin Cancer Causes & Prevention

  • Skin cancers are linked to both inherited and genetic abnormalities, and to environmental factors.
  • Mast cell activation occurs with allergic reactions when antibodies bind to the mast cells and release reactive agents.
  • Chronic activation of mast cells that have been compromised leads to their transformation into a cancerous state.

Breeds Predisposed For Dog Mast Cell Tumors Include:

  • Beagles
  • Boston Terriers
  • Boxers
  • English Bulldogs
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Mixed Breeds
  • Pugs
  • Schnauzers

Other brachiocephalic breeds (those having short, wide heads) seem to be prone. Further, these tumors appear in males and females with equal frequency.

Even if your dog’s breed is not predisposed to skin cancer, it is still the most common type of cancer in dogs, and really a disease every dog owner needs to be aware of.

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