Your Pet Could Get Skin Cancer - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Your Pet Could Get Skin Cancer

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Wichita Falls, TX - It's a good idea to protect yourself with sun screen when you go outside to enjoy your summer sun, but what most people don't think about is protecting their pet from the harsh conditions that summer can offer.

Dr. Bryan Wade, Veterinarian at the Caring Heart Veterinary Hospital said, "Yeah, that's something that a lot of people don't think about with dogs is they can get sun burnt."

Doctor Wade says sun burns happen mainly on their back where the sun is most exposed. Another vet agrees and says pets with lighter fur could even get skin cancer.

"We are concerned about their ears," said Dr. Julie Gibson, a Western Hills Animal Hospital Veterinarian. "The ear tips on cats particularly white cats, they can get sun burn issues and sometimes that can turn into cancer on the ears."

Doctor Gibson says dogs have a higher temperature than people, which is why they're more prone to heat exhaustion. This is something Dr. Wade understands as well.

"The main thing with heat stroke you know is that old dogs are prone to it, dogs with breathing difficulties and short nose breeds," said Dr. Wade.

Gibson says you can tell if your dog is over-heating by looking at their gums and tongues which will be bright red from the heat. Heavy panting and excess salivation are also good indications your pet is too hot. Prolonged exposure to heat can have serious repercussions.

"It can cause some brain issues ya know cause the brain gets too hot and it can also cause organ failure with the liver and kidney," said Dr. Wade.

Both veterinarians suggest giving your pet plenty of shade and drinking water, especially if they're outside pets.

Brody Carter, Newschannel 6