Dog Skin Tag Treatment

Skin tag treatment may be necessary if your dog shows signs of discomfort or pain. Skin tags on dogs are usually not serious, and very rarely indicate a harmful problem. Even so, they can be irritating and uncomfortable for some dogs. Any dog can get skin tags, regardless of age or breed. Below is more information on skin tags on dogs and ways to treat them.

How to Identify Skin Tags on Dogs

The cause of skin tags may be due to hereditary or environmental factors. Dogs can develop skin tags virtually anywhere on the body, and many dogs have several skin tags. Many pet owners are unaware of the fact that dogs can get skin tags. It is this reason that skin tags are frequently confused with skin cancer in dogs, such as keratoacanthomas and melanoma. Skin tags in dogs are almost always harmless and benign, but can cause discomfort at times.

Most skin tags appear with a pendulous base, and shouldn't cause pain when touched or handled. They vary in size and color, and protrude from the skin slightly. There is a small chance that a skin growth may be malignant if located in the mouth or on the lips of a dog. If you notice a growth on your dog's mouth, it is advised to contact a veterinarian.

Skin Tags vs. Cancer

While skin tags may look very similar to skin cancer growths in dogs, skin cancer lesions are often accompanied by a liquid discharge and may cause pain and discomfort when touched. Skin lesions that change in size, color, or texture should always be brought to the attention of a veterinarian. Only a certified professional can rule out any possibility of cancer in your dog, so if you notice any lesions, they should always be investigated.

Removal and Treatment for Skin Tags in Dogs

Because skin tags are usually non-cancerous and harmless, they hardly ever require medical treatment unless they are causing your pet discomfort. Owners should watch for any changes in their pet's behavior or signs of irritation. Discomfort may be caused by larger than normal skin tags that cause uncomfortable friction or crushing when touched by other objects.

A qualified veterinarian should be contacted when handling the treatment of skin tags, and he will determine the proper and most effective way to treat the skin tags. If the skin tags are large or causing extreme discomfort, a veterinarian may suggest non-invasive surgery as a treatment. Skin tags should never be removed at home, only by a professional. Attempting to remove the skin tags yourself may result in infections and bleeding.

If skin tags are not causing irritation and do not need to be removed, pet owners should still check them often and watch for changes in size and color. Skin tags that change in appearance may indicate a more serious problem, and should be addressed by a veterinarian.