Cyst on dogs is normal especially in middle-aged and old dogs. A dog cyst may be painful or not painful depending on what caused it. They may get complications when they pop and get infected by bacteria due to poor hygiene.
Dog breeds such as Cocker Spaniels, Kerry Blue Terries, Schnauzers, Poodles, and Yorkshire are more prone to cyst infections. In this article, you will learn more about a cyst on dogs, how to identify them and how to treat them.
How Does Dog Cyst Look Like?
Cyst on dogs is fluid-filled sacs inside the skin of dogs. The walls of these sacs are lined with cells that secrete the fluid that occupies the sac. Once the sac is filled it gets exposed to the surface of the skin. They form spherical lumps on the surface of a dog’s skin.
These cysts are not itchy and develop at a slow rate. When the fluid inside this cyst dries up, they become firm lumps with a creamy white substance inside them.
Causes of Cyst in dogs
Cyst in dogs have different types of causes but the most common one is sebaceous cyst. It has been discussed in more detail in this article. The following is a list of the causes of cyst on the skin of your beloved pet;
- Genetic predisposition. Some breed of dogs is prone to the cyst and they are likely to get cyst in their lifetime as compared to other dogs. They include; Cocker Spaniels, Kerry Blue Terries, Schnauzers, Poodles, and Yorkshire
- Injury or trauma on the skin of the dog can lead to the formation of a cyst.
- With your vet the type of shampoos, you use to wash your dog. If you notice that your dog is reacting to a new product, then you need to stop using it with immediate effect and observe if there is a significant improvement.
- Follicular inactivity can lead to the formation of a dog cyst. Dormant follicles are likely to get clogged.
- Reduction in the secretion of sebum causes a type of sebaceous cyst in dogs and cats which is known as sebaceous adenitis.
- Clogged hair follicles on the root of the hair. Dogs have several hairs emanating from one follicle hence it is easy for it to get clogged.
- This is why you are advised to brush your dog’s hair on a daily basis. You should also wash them with medicated shampoos in order to prevent dirt and dead cells from accumulating around the hair follicle.
- Insect bites can end up turning into an itchy swollen and painful dog cyst
- Some dogs may have an allergic reaction to certain skin products that you use on them. Discuss
- Inflamed hair follicles result in the cyst.
- Dogs can experience hormonal imbalance which ends up affecting their skin. A cyst is some of the symptoms of hormonal imbalance in dogs.
Types of Cyst on dogs
There are different types of cyst on dogs. Each of this cyst has a unique cause. It is important to know what kind of cyst on dogs you are dealing with before you take any action on them. A vet can be able to distinguish these types of cyst.
True Dog Cyst
A true cyst is a cyst that forms when the ducts of glands get bloke. When sweat glands get blocked the fluid gets trapped inside the sac and it forms a cyst. It is treated by removing the membrane lining the inner section that secrets fluids.
False Dog Cyst
Just like their name suggests, the false cyst is not caused by fluids that are secreted from the membrane lining the inner surface of the sac.
These types of cyst are formed by dead cells and tissues that transform into liquid. These liquid form dead tissues are what fill the cyst.
Follicular Dog Cyst
A follicular cyst is a result of secondary infection on damaged hair follicles. When hair follicles get dilated they are exposed to pathogens that cause infections. The cyst that develops on them is filled with dark yellow or dark grey fluid.
These cyst bumps are firm and can occur on the surface of the skin or below the skin surface. Follicular cyst feature on the head, neck or trunk of a dog.
However, they can also form on the legs. Cyst form on the paws of the dog’s legs because of friction between the paws and the ground.
The follicles get blocked then keratin builds up and dilates the follicles. These cysts that form on the paws due to friction are also known as an inter-digital follicular cyst.
Sebaceous Dog Cyst
These types of cyst develop form sebaceous glands. Dirt, dead skin cells and dampness can block the hair follicles and cause accumulation sebum into a sac that results in an inflammation that forms a sebaceous cyst. Overproduction of sebum is the main cause of the sebaceous cyst.
These cysts can have a radius of half an inch. They are likely to occur on the head, neck, torso, and thighs. The sac of cyst is filled with yellow-white cheese like fluid that drains when the cyst ruptures.
1. Sebaceous gland overgrowth a. k .a hyperplasia
Older dogs are more prone to these types of a sebaceous cyst. They have a shiny texture and mostly appear on the head and abdomen of a dog.
Specific breeds of dogs are bound to get infected by this type of cyst. They include; Manchester, Wheaton and the welsh Terries.
2. Sebaceous gland adenoma a. k .a Epithelioma
These types of cyst also form on older dogs. They occur on the head and may spread to the dog’s eyelids.
They are likely to rapture on their own and ooze out yellow-white pus then crust over after drying. The breed of dogs that are prone to this type of cyst include; Alaskan malamute, Husky, Cocker spaniel, Coonhound, and Samoyed.
3. Sebaceous gland hamartoma
These cysts are likely to develop on younger dogs. It actually manifests after the birth of a puppy. They are visible to the eye since they have a radius of one inch.
4. Sebaceous gland adenocarcinoma
Sebaceous gland adenocarcinoma is likely to be found in middle-aged dogs. The male dogs are more prone to them as compared to female dogs. They can spread to other parts of the dog’s body like the lymph nodes and lungs.
Breeds of dogs that are prone to sebaceous gland adenocarcinoma include; Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Scottish, Cairn, West Highland White Terriers and Cocker spaniels.
Even though these cysts can heal on their own you need to contact a professional veterinarian if there is an infection.
Ruptured Cyst on a Dog
Cyst on dogs can rapture when traumatized. Cyst on the body or head of a dog will rapture and ooze out bloody fluid or fluid with different color and consistency. A follicular cyst is usually dark yellow or dark grey in color when they rupture.
When these cyst form on the paws they can rapture due to friction when the dog moves about. The affected area will scab after drying up.
You should learn how to clean and disinfect ruptured cyst on dogs at home. Disinfecting them will prevent secondary infections. Ensure you visit a vet in case of any complication.
Dog Cyst Home Remedy
Cyst on dogs should not be popped at home. You are likely to expose them to pathogens that cause infections when you open them up.
The best you can do is keep taking photos of the cyst and observe over time if it is growing or not. If you want to treat the cyst kindly take your pet to a veterinarian.
However, in the vent that this cyst rupture on their own, there are remedies that you can perform on the dog at home in order to reduce the chances of the dog getting a secondary infection.
What you need
- Plenty of warm Salty water
- A clean piece of cloth
- Warm compress
- Hair clipper or trimmer
What to do at home
- Trim off the hair that is covering the ruptured cyst
- Apply a warm compress on the affected area. Keep the warm compress on the cyst until all the fluid content drains out and the crust
- Clean the open wound using warm salty water and a clean piece of cloth
- Finally apply a disinfectant like a hydrogen peroxide, iodine or betadine on the affected area in order to prevent secondary infection.
- Take your pet a dog clinic just to ensure that there will be no complication in the future.
Ensure you check the skin of your dog on a regular basis for any cyst in the future. If the existing cyst starts exhibiting strange symptoms, then consult your vet. We shall discuss in details the red flags to look out for.
When to See a Veterinarian for Dog Cyst Removal
Most cysts on dogs are not harmful to the dog’s health. They’re just caused by blockage of ducts of the build-up of natural protein like keratin and dead cells. General dog hygiene should be able to keep the cyst in check.
These cysts are usually not painful or itchy so your pet can easily accommodate them. They only become a threat when they rupture and get a secondary infection. You should check out for any abnormality on the cyst on your dog and seek medical advice. Below is a slit of symptoms to watch out for;
- A cyst that increases in size over a short span of time
- Raptured cyst
- A cyst that oozes without being traumatized
- A cyst that is not spherical in shape
- A cyst that changes color over time
- A hard cyst that is not easily movable
- Change in the general appearance of the cyst from the time it formed.
- Lumps that grow and spread rapidly are likely to be cancerous
Advice from healthmds.org is that, do not ignore the above signs until it is too late. You may also assume that a lump on your dog’s skin is a cyst while indeed it is a tumor.
Once you decide to keep a pet then you should be ready to take good care of it. It’s only fair and a noble thing to do as well. You can prevent the formation of a sebaceous cyst on dogs by brushing them daily and washing those using hypoallergenic shampoos.
Treatment of Ruptured Cyst on dogs
As stated earlier dog cysts are usually harmful until they develop a secondary infection. Most of these cysts are likely to disappear on their own, rapture and drain off or remain stagnant below the skin surface and never interfere with the dog’s life.
Dog cyst treatment of requires professionalism. The following are insight on how the veterinarian will treat your dog.
Cyst in Dogs treatment
- The dog is sedated or given anesthesia in order to calm it down and numb the pain. Note that older dogs are at risk of developing cardiovascular failure when given anesthetics.
- The hair covering the cyst is trimmed off using a pair of clippers
- The tissue that is adjacent to the cyst is dilated in order to aces the cyst
- The cyst is then cut and drained off or the liquid is sucked out of it.
- An infected cyst is removed permanently from their root. A cyst can also be removed if it is hindering the dog’s movement.
- Antibiotics are administered in case of bacterial infection
- The dog might be given painkillers to numb the pain in case of surgical removal of the cyst
After a successful operation on the cyst, your dog will recover quickly within a month.
“The biggest risk from cyst is that the lump is mistakenly diagnosed as a cyst when in fact it is a tumor. To avoid this, most vets will pop a fine needle into the lump and suck back on the syringe. A cyst should yield a small sample of the inner core, which is an easy way to confirm the diagnosis.”https://www.petful.com/