Slip, slop, slap and wrap!
Light coloured dogs and cats (and horses) are prone to sunburn, especially on their ears and nose, making them more at risk of developing skin cancers.
Reducing the risk of sunburn is very important – especially coming into the warmer summer months.
Here are a couple of tips:
- Make sure your animals have a shaded place to hang out
- Using sunscreen on those pink noses, ears and tummies (If you have a dog like mine that sunbathes on her back!)
- Covering up – doggy t-shirts/rash shirts, sun shades on halters for horses when they are outside. See Keira the Bull Terrier (right) sporting her rash shirt and Polly the pony (below) with her sun shade.
- Keeping dogs and cats inside during the hottest part of the day
- Using soothing/healing creams on sunburnt areas (we find creams containing Emu oil or active Manuka honey the best for sunburn)
Animal sunscreens are easy to use and come in powders or creams. The powders easily disperse through the animal’s coat especially when doing areas like ears and the creams often have antibacterial properties so can also be used on broken skin. Although off label, many people also use children’s sunblock as it does absorb rapidly and has a good duration of activity.
If you see any suspicious lumps/bumps or scabs that just won’t heal we advised getting them checked. Skin cancers can be very serious in animals and scabby or red areas that don’t go away should be cause for concern. To address them sooner rather than later is much better.
*This is Gizmo the cat with skin cancer on his nose and ears due to sun damage. This resulted in partial ear amputation and cryo surgery to remove and treat the cancer (post op picture bottom left).
For more information, give us a call at Pakuranga Clinic on 576 4108 or the Whitford Clinic on 5308280