Veterinarians at the University of Florida are seeking dogs with skin cancer (melanoma) to take part in a study of a new vaccine designed to fight the spread of skin cancer.
The project is one of three canine melanoma studies under way across the country. All three are designed to use a dog’s immune system to fight the spread of the skin cancer.
Melanomas are formed when the pigment-producing cells of the skin multiply out of control. In the case of malignant melanoma, the cancerous cells spread to the lymph nodes and lungs.
In dogs, skin tumors can appear anywhere on the body, but are most frequently seen in the nail beds, eyes and mouth.
Oral melanomas are most common in highly pigmented breeds such as the Chow Chow, German Shepherd Dog, Poodle or Schnauzer. Symptoms include growths in the mouth, bad breath and drooling.
The university study is accepting up to 60 cases and the dogs will be followed for two to three years. Anyone who would like more information about the melanoma study may call (352) 392-4700, ext. 4700.