Sebaceous Cyst Removal for Dogs

A sebaceous cyst in a dog may occur when the secretions of the sebaceous glands gather in a sac on the surface of the skin. The cysts are not a threat for the dog’s health, but, when these cause discomfort in the pet, these can be removed. Typically, the removal will be made using a syringe or in extreme cases, surgery will be applied.

Sebaceous Cysts in Dogs

Sebaceous cysts, also known as fatty cysts are accumulation of sebum and fatty cells under the skin of the pet. The cysts may occur on any area of the body, but are more common on the face, neck, upper legs and abdominal area. The sebaceous cysts may be caused by the dog’s diet or hormonal changes, but may also be idiopathic.

Most cysts have the appearance of circular growths, being transparent, the color of the dog’s skin or sometimes blue. These cysts may leak occasionally and the substance will be a fluid that is creamy white.

The fatty cysts are benign and are rarely a problem. However, when located on the eye lids, these may cause discomfort and should be removed. If the cysts are not located in areas that interfere with the dog’s normal functions, the vet will not recommend removal.

In some cases, the cysts will disappear without treatment. Sebaceous cysts are not painful and will rarely develop or grow larger than 5 cm in diameter.

Removal of Sebaceous Cysts in Dogs

It’s important to know that the sebaceous cysts shouldn’t be squeezed or removed by pressing on them. You can hurt your pet and you may not be able to efficiently remove the cysts.

There are basically 2 methods to remove the cysts:

  • Fine needle aspiration
  • Surgery

Before performing the removal of the cysts, it’s important to have a clear diagnosis, as in some cases, skin tumors may have the appearance of cysts.

Fine Needle Aspiration

A fine needle aspiration is a test that may be used to determine the nature of the growth. However, the test can also absorb the entire cyst and this can be a suitable treatment.

However, the cysts can grow back, so it is recommended to watch the dog’s diet and do everything possible to prevent the recurrence of the cysts.

Surgical Removal of Sebaceous Cysts

The surgical removal of sebaceous cysts can be performed as an outpatient treatment.

The dog will be under local or general anesthesia and the cysts will be removed by making an incision that will include a small portion around the cyst.

The removed cells may be taken for a cytologic analysis, as this can give more info on the contents of the cyst.

To prevent cysts from growing back, the dog will have to have a diet that is low in fats. You will also have to make sure his skin is clean and remove the skin oils and dirt that may facilitate the occurrence of cysts. There are special cleaning wipes for dogs with oily skin.