Every pet parent wishes good health for their canine friends. However, there are certain times when the health of our pets isn’t in our control. Diseases such as cancer don’t come announced. Therefore, it’s the duty of pet parent to be aware of such fatal disease and take preventive measures to keep their furry companions safe and in good health. In this blog, we are talking about Melanoma in dogs and how it affects their health.
What Is Melanoma In Dogs?
Melanoma is a kind of tumor with pigmented cells that could be malignant. This condition can get severe if not detected in an early phase. Some tumors remain of the same size, while others grow and sometimes also metastasize and even spread to other places such as lungs and lymph nodes. These tumors are generally found in the areas of the body where the dog has hair. Malignant Melanoma is basically a skin cancer that has an effect on the pigmented cells known as melanocytes.
Identifying Melanoma in Dogs
It’s not that difficult to spot melanoma on your dog. The symptoms and sickness is often observed in later stages. Initially, you can check for any sign of melanoma by running your hand across your dog’s body. Any kind of lump or discolored area must be checked by a veterinarian. In fact, pay a visit to your vet immediately if there’s any noticeable change in the size or shape of the bump or rashes.
In cases where the tumor has spread to other parts of the body, following symptoms may be observed –
- Loss of appetite
- Feeling lethargic
- Swelled abdomen
- Weakness in the body
Which Dog Breeds Are At More Risk?
Any breed of dog can get melanoma. However, there are certain breed of dogs that are at a higher risk of getting melanoma. Those breeds are chow chows, poodles, golden retrievers, irish setters, cocker spaniels and schnauzels. Therefore, if you have any of the mentioned breed, take extra care of your pup.
Treatment of Melanoma
- Whether it’s benign melanoma or malignant melanoma, surgery is the first and foremost option. The benign melanomas are removed surgically so they don’t transform into malignant ones. On other hand, the malignant melanomas need to be removed from their roots; its surgery removes the affected bone, its surrounding mass as well as the tissues.
- Chemotherapy is chosen when the cancerous cells have spread. In such a scenario, the vet uses radiation therapy to eliminate the cells from the dog’s body. In some cases, a vet uses both chemotherapy and surgery to remove the cancerous cell completely. The treatment varies depending on the severity of the dog.
Even after treating melanoma, it’s crucial to go for regular checkups with your vet to ensure there’s no unusual growth on your dog’s body. Dogs have sensitive skin thus they get affected very easily. In order to prevent skin-related issues, one must take proper care of their pet’s skin health.