Monday, July 28, 2014

Dogs and Cats Can Get Sunburned

Who is at risk?
Special care needs to be given to hairless pets or those pets with very short or thin fur, with regards to sun exposure. With added attention bad to the parts of the skin that are regularly exposed to the sun. These include the ears, the bridge of the nose, the skin around the eyes, and the back. 

White pets and  certain breeds are more at risk for sunburn they include:  white Bulldogs, Dalmatians, Boxers, Whippets, Beagles and white or multi-coloured cats with white patches have skin that is very sensitive to light, especially on their heads. Also there are pre-existing conditions and medications that make the skin more sensitive.

What to do to avoid your pet getting sunburned
  • Avoid sun- make sure your pet has a shady spot to rest, especially during peak sun periods
  • Dress your pet- put a shirt, hat and socks/booties(to protect their feet) during out door activities
  • Use Sun Protections of at least SPF 30 for very sensitive animals.
If your pet gets sunburned
Cool compresses and ointments to soothe the skin can help relieve the initial symptoms. If the burn is severe, a veterinarian should be consulted as treatment with a cortisone product may be indicated to prevent inflammation

What can happen?
In animals, sunburn results in an acute inflammation of the skin that can cause itching or even pain, depending on the individual animal. Frequent sunburns can lead to pre-cancerous conditions or even actual skin tumors.