HEALTH CHECK: Veterinary surgeon Dr Tony Snell, with Missy Malone,encourages pet owners to examine their pets for lumps.
HEALTH CHECK: Veterinary surgeon Dr Tony Snell, with Missy Malone,encourages pet owners to examine their pets for lumps. Rob Williams

‘Slip, slop, slap’ applies to pets as well

JUST as humans are reminded to slip, slop, slap in the summer months, the same message applies to our four-legged friends.

Nearly a third of lumps and bumps found on Australian pets are cancerous, according to Ipswich veterinarians.

Improvements in veterinary care have resulted in pets living longer, but with older age comes an increased chance of them developing malignant growths.

Vets are urging pet owners to be vigilant in checking for irregular skin conditions.

Silkstone Greencross Vets director Tony Snell said these checks could be the difference between life and death.

Like humans, with early detection and diagnosis comes more positive outcomes, Dr Snell says.

"Pet owners need to perform regular checks by running their hands thoroughly over their pet's body to feel for any lumps and bumps, especially since many of these can be hidden by an animal's coat," he said.

"It is impossible for pet owners to determine what kind of lump their pet may have simply by looking at it.

"The majority of bumps found are benign, however, preventative approaches to caring for your pet are always recommended for their health in the long-term."

Dogs and cats with smooth or thin hair and white-coloured ears or noses are more susceptible to skin cancers, according to the RSPCA.

The animal welfare organisation advice is to keep white cats or cats with fair facial markings as predominantly indoor cats to prevent skin cancer.

Dog breeds, including bull mastiffs, schnauzers, golden retrievers and dalmatians, have been found to have a higher incidence of skin cancer. Greencross Vets is supporting the McGrath Foundation by selling pink pet bandanas for $2.

SUN SAFETY

Symptoms to look out for :

Development of a new bump

A change in size and shape, or increase in growth rate

Causes pain for the pet when touched

Any change in colour

Any fluid discharge


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