Although any breed of a dog can be affected by dog skin cancer, some breeds are more susceptible than others. Dogs with white hair and short coats are somewhat more likely to develop these skin cancers. This is especially so for beagles, bloodhounds, basset hounds, Kerry Blue terriers, bulldogs, and Dalmatians.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma is one of the most common types of skin cancer in dogs. There are two types of this particular cancer. One is called cutaneous and the other is known as subungual. Most normally, the cutaneous type is found in elderly dogs. The cancers usually show up on the face, stomach, head, and perineum areas. In the beginning stages the cancers may look very similar to warts. They are raised areas on the skin that are firm to the touch.
Subungual squamous cancers are found most often on the legs of longer haired breeds with dark coats. Females have a higher tendency to develop a subungual skin cancer. Standard poodles have a slightly higher rate of being diagnosed with this type of cancer. Limiting the exposure a dog has to bright sun may help prevent this. Once diagnosed, the dog can be treated with removal of the cancerous growth and then possibly receiving chemotherapy and radiation treatments if the vet deems it necessary. Melanoma
Melanoma skin cancer is often found in the darker coated canines such as Scottish Terriers and some of the spaniels. A melanoma can be seen quite easily with the naked eye because it usually presents itself as a raised area on the skin that is round and dark. They are usually first noticed on the head and back. Some melanomas can be benign tumors, but a qualified vet should always be the one to make that decision. Melanoma is a serious dog skin cancer that should be taken care of as soon as possible. The most aggressive types of melanoma are normally found in the mouth, paws, and areas of the scrotum. This type of cancer can quickly spread to the internal organs, especially the lungs. Melanoma that is caught early can be treated and cured. Visible Signs that may Be Skin Cancer
Although none of the following signs or symptoms are a sure reason to believe that your dog may have skin cancer, they are symptoms that many dogs exhibit before being diagnosed with cancer. If you notice any of the following, having the dog examined by a vet to pinpoint the exact problem is best.
Any area of skin that looks like a tumor or growth, especially if the edges are uneven or have any discharge, should be checked out as soon as possible. Furthermore, any areas of skin that tends to bleed easily over a few weeks time need evaluation. Swelling in the breast tissue or any new swelling or disfigurement should also be checked, as should any sores that do not heal in a proper amount of time. Sources: