Sebaceous Cysts In Dogs And Cats

Sebaceous cysts are interesting structures.

All pores and hair follicles in the skin are surrounded by microscopic oil glands. These glands produce the oil that makes our pets’ hair (and our own hair) shiny, as well as producing a protective and moisturizing layer for the hair and skin. This oil is called sebum.

Sebaceous cysts occur when a normal pore or hair follicle becomes occluded. Occlusion can occur from dirt, infection, scar tissue or even normal sebum that becomes too thick to move out of the pore’s opening.

As long as the cysts are small, closed and intact they cause no problems.

Sebaceous cysts become problematic when they burst and become open to the outside world again. Frequently then they become infected and must be removed surgically. Surgical removal becomes necessary when the cyst will not heal with topical and systemic antibiotics.

Sebaceous cysts may also rupture under the skin and spill their oily contents into the surrounding tissues. The result is an intense inflammation causing a red, itchy area the pet is likely to lick, scratch and rub. These lesions may even be confused with a lick granuloma because both are highly inflamed and very itchy.

Early sebaceous cysts are usually white, raised and quiet-looking. As long as they stay in this phase they require no medical treatment.

It is when complications occur and they become inflamed that medical and/or surgical attention is needed for sebaceous cysts.

See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.
MMSEBCYST

sebatious, sebacious

115 thoughts on “Sebaceous Cysts In Dogs And Cats

  1. missshyhinata

    My Shih Tzu has a very large lump on the base of his tail. This morning I realized it was bleeding a little and it looked like it had a small hole, and a while ago I noticed it was bleeding more. He keeps licking it, and he won’t let me get near it because of the pain. I’m not sure if I have the money for a vet visit right now can you help?

    Reply
    1. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

      “I’m not sure if I have the money for a vet visit right now.” Missy, I’m sorry that I’m not going to be able to help you. I can’t see the lesion and, even if I could, I couldn’t necessarily say by sight alone what it is. Your first step needs to be to call your veterinarian and find out how much an office visit/examination will cost. Then, save for it so that you can have your local doctor evaluate the spot, tell you what it is and what specific treatment it needs. If it’s cancer, or a bad infection, that needs to happen sooner rather than later. Please keep us posted on what the doctor says and how your pet responds to therapy.

      Reply
  2. johng

    My dog has these clearish fluid filled sacs on her neck. There are many of them but the size of maybe a tick. I actually thought they were at first. What could this be? And what to.do if they get irritated and red?

    Reply
  3. Tkemp2772

    My female has recently mated, now I noticed red pimple like bumps on her vagina, and she’s been licking it often, could this be the cysts or just pimples or ingrown hairs? If so what can I give her to make the ithcing and bumps go away?

    Reply
    1. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

      If your dog is pregnant she deserves the best care you can provide, which means that you should call her regular veterinarian and make an appointment to have the problem examined lest it endanger her health and the health of the puppies. I have never seen sebaceous cysts on the vulva.

      Reply
  4. Savanna

    I have a blue heeler mix that has a bump the size of a quarter on his neck. It’s not too hard but it’s smooth and round. It doesn’t seem to bug him when you touch it or squeez it. I took a clean syringe and poked it to see if it was filled with puss but this brown oily looking stuff came out. I didn’t keep draining it because I thought it was blood but it wasn’t. I don’t have money to take him to the vet but I was wondering if you knew what it was?

    Reply
    1. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

      Well, Savanna, no, I don’t know what it was, but it may no longer be what it was. If you noticed, one of the most important things I said about sebaceous cysts is that they remain intact; that is, un-squeezed and un-opened. IF it is a sebaceous cyst, it’s now been exposed, which could lead to infection or leakage of sebum into the skin. Both of these complications require surgical repair. Also, if it’s a cancerous mass, you may have seeded the surrounding tissues with cancer. I’m not a fan of lay people sticking needles into pets, any more than I am a fan of mothers sticking needles into their children. My recommendation is: save your money until you can go see a doctor of veterinary medicine to have your pet treated properly.

      Reply
  5. TaylonM34

    I need help! I have a 7 week old pit bull puppy and he has a swollen toe on his rear right paw. He’s in a lot of pain and can’t walk with out limping. The swollen part has a dark purple spot with a clearish-yellow liquid coming out. It only comes out when it’s squeezed. I have no clue what it is or what’s wrong or what to do! Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Thanks, Taylon.

    Reply
    1. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

      Taylon, your puppy needs more help than an email can provide. If there is an emergency hospital available to you, go there. Otherwise, call for an appointment first thing Monday morning so that he can be seen and diagnosed and treated appropriately. Please write back and tell me what the doctor finds. Best wishes, Dr. Randolph.

      Reply
  6. Summer

    I need help. I have a female six month old bull terrier and pitt bull mix. About two months ago I noticed a bump, almost like a pimple on her vagina, so I waited a few days and after seeing that it wouldn’t go away on its own, I popped it. It went away for a couple weeks and then it came back. Is there anything I can do? I have no idea what it is at all. Help!

    Reply
    1. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

      Summer, I’m afraid I won’t be able to tell you what’s going on with your little dog because I can’t examine her. She needs to go in and see her regular, local doctor and get a diagnosis. If you continue to let this slide the result could be infection into the urinary tract, and you certainly don’t want to have to deal with that.

      Reply
  7. Kimmiekat

    Hi I’m Kimmie and I have a cat who is an indoor outdoor cat. She has a bump under her skin with a hole in the middle. We don’t have enough money for a veterinarian and I am really worried.

    Reply
  8. Raine Lor

    Hi, I’m 13 years old and there’s a stray cat that has a clipped ear which means it’s been spayed or neutered. She (I think it’s a girl) likes to be petted but not carried. When I was petting her she had like a bump in the middle of her neck and by the ear she went off then a while later she came back and I think she scratched, cut, or it popped and my sister said some white stuff was by where it popped so I’m ready worried please help. P.S my parents don’t like animals.

    Reply
    1. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

      Hello, Raine. Several possibilities exist to explain what happened with the stray kitty. First, let me explain for those who don’t know that the clipped ear is not something that all patients have performed when they are spayed or neutered, just TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) cats. TNR cats are feral and thus are allowed to live a normal lifespan (which is pretty short for feral cats) and usually the only medical attention they receive is spay/neuter surgery. Some facilities perform a rabies vaccination at the time of the surgery. Your stray kitty could have suffered an abscess from a fight. Click here to read about abscesses. It’s not the right time of year in most places, but if you live in an especially warm climate, a Cuterebra larva could have infected her. Click here to read about Cuterebra. Or, she may have experienced a rupture of a sebaceous cyst. Look above to read about sebaceous cysts. You can also use the SEARCH PANE in the upper right hand corner of this page to search for “sebaceous cyst” . Be sure to use the quotation marks. Feel free to write to us if you have any more questions about your little TNR kitty.

      Reply
  9. wobfarmer65

    Hi, I have a West Highland Terrier who suffers from sebaceous cysts. He has had three surgically removed in the passed, he has two or three which have recently burst or are in the process of bursting. He was on steroids to try to help, and to a degree this did help but not 100%. We are now trying a dietary method, with additional steroid cream when I notice a limp appearing. I was just wondering whether you had any thoughts as to what we can try to help stop these forming?
    Many thanks
    Rob Farmer

    Reply
    1. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

      Rob, I have often wondered the same thing. Once I got the idea that a benzoyl peroxide medicated shampoo, (click here to read about how to use medicated shampoos) with its follicular flushing action, might help reduce sebaceous cyst formation, so I called a colleague who is a board-certified veterinary dermatologist. He agreed. It might. I’m sorry I don’t have more insight than that to offer. Thanks for reading, Dr. Randolph.

      Reply
  10. Holly

    Dr. Randolph – My cat just had a sebaceous cyst removed from the middle of her tail. The pathology came back and we were told that the cells in the middle of the cyst were abnormal and would be classified as melanoma. I’m told that this is very rare and I can’t seem to find any information on it. We will be going back in to see the veterinarian in a few days for suture removal and she will then reccomend some oncologists but I wanted to see if you had any off-shelf information? I had thought that only tumors could be malignant so I’m kind of confused. Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

      Remember when Winston Churchill called Russia an enigma wrapped in a riddle surrounded by a mystery? That’s exactly what your cat has done. She has grown a probably-cancerous mass in/under a cutaneous (skin) abnormality. As you’ve already said, melanoma is rare in cats. I’ve seen only one case, and the kitty belonged to a good friend of mine who moved to Atlanta and had surgical debulking and radiation on a lesion on his nose. Unfortunately, it was eventually fatal, but the oncologist at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine was able to buy some really good quality time for Sam. For the definition of tumor,
      click on this link and scroll down to “tumor.” It’s different from what many people think.

      Reply
  11. jenifer_rene06

    I’m wondering how long it takes for a sebaceous cyst to form in comparison to what I’m now concerned is growing on my dog’s nose. Shih-poo, 3 yrs old, 6 lbs. It’s been about a week and a half since I noticed this pink/skin-colored bump on the bridge of her nose. At first it looked like a possible wart since it was so small and flesh-colored, but it’s grown to the size of a pea in the past 2 weeks. I looked at it this morning and the top of it started to look a little red and possibly crusty looking, so I called my veterinarian and she said this might be a sebaceous cyst. It doesn’t seem to cause her pain, of course when I touch it she moves her head all over which could hurt, but I cant be sure as she’s not squealing.
    I’m wondering if there’s anything I can do at home before taking her in to avoid spending the close to $100 for the veterinarian’s appointment/ lancing procedure fee? Most definitely will if I have to, but am praying there’s away to make this heal naturally?

    Reply
    1. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

      Sorry, Jenifer Rene, but there are no shortcuts here. The best scenario is you make the examination appointment and the lesion is a sebaceous cyst which requires no treatment. But, just as I can’t tell from an email what the problem is, your veterinarian can’t tell over the phone. What if the other extreme turns out to be the case, and it’s a malignant growth? Or infected? You simply can’t afford to take chances with such conditions. Please write back and let us know what is found. Best wishes, Dr. Randolph.

      Reply
  12. denise23uk

    My dog has a small cyst on her vaginal lip. She’s eating and drinking fine and going to the toilet fine. She’s a 4 year old Staffordshire Terrier. She has been spayed. I think it’s because of ingrown hair. I’m taking her to the veterinarian in next few days but till then how do I stop ingrown hairs and would warm water and salt help it? She’s not in any pain.

    Reply
  13. Suzanne Post author

    Hi. My Pekingese gets a bump the size of a small grape at the end of his rectum. When I pop it, clear, unscented liquid comes out and it goes away and then later comes back. What is it?

    Reply
    1. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

      Of course, Suzanne, there is no way for us to know what the lesion is, having never seen it. However, my concern is the SIZE of the lesion. Grape-sized in a Pekingese-sized dog is a concern, and he certainly needs to see his veterinarian for this problem. Best wishes, Dr. Randolph.

      Reply
  14. Maria

    Thanks very much for your quick response and we will discuss with our veterinarian which ones to remove as he did say they may not necessarily be the same. We will also get him to remove one from under his tongue so we can hopefully get a clearer picture. Other than that he is in full health and a typical fun-loving type of his breed.

    Reply
  15. Maria

    I wonder if you can give me any advice. I have a 6 year old Weimeraner and over the past 2-3 years he has been developing more of these hardish slight pinky white growths. You can sort of grab hold of them as though they are just loose under the skin and do not affect him. He has a big one on one of his ears around a centimeter and a half diameter then a slightly smaller one on his neck and several other smaller ones. The odd new one keeps appearing and he has a bump on his head that is not too bad on some days but then others it looks quite prominent. None of them have ever burst of had anything out of them. When he had an operation last year to remove a tooth,our veterinarian said he has some little white spots under his tongue. Our veterinarian does not think any of these are to worry about and to get any idea would be to surgically remove the worst ones and do tests on them which we will do in the new year. Thinking they may be sebaceous cysts. Can you give any thoughts or if it could maybe some kind of immune system problem? We have always had dogs but not seen these before although we are told they are common. Thank you.

    Reply
  16. tmykland

    Thanks for your comments. I did just want to ask one more question: is there any chance of doing cyst removal surgery using just a local anesthetic, rather than having do a general? Maybe this would be safer for my old kitty. The first vet I saw told me she would not operate on her in her present condition. Terri

    Reply
    1. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

      You are welcome, Terri. I have written about parameters veterinarians use in determining the appropriateness of using local anesthesia. You may access the post by clicking here. In fact, use the SEARCH pane in the upper right hand corner of each page to find lots of good information on pet care by searching for what you’re interested in. Keep me, and our readers, updated about what the outcome of your kitty’s situation is.
      Best wishes, Dr. Randolph.

      Reply
  17. tmykland

    Doctor, my 16 year old cat has a large (1″ diameter) sebaceous cyst, which has broken open after several years and abscessed on top. We have her on antibiotics for the abscess. We’re hoping to avoid surgery as she is old and rather frail. Is there anything we can do to try to make the cyst heal up again and not cause more problems?

    Reply
    1. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

      Terri, I wish I could offer you a “magic bullet,” but, alas, none exists for solving complications with sebaceous cysts. Controlling the infection is difficult, and that is but one single component of the problem. Tissue reaction to the sebaceous material the glands produce is an extreme inflammatory response, and it is difficult or impossible to stop, which is another reason these patients often have surgery. Under your veterinarian’s guidance you can keep her on antibiotics for as long as is safe, but don’t be surprised if you still need surgery. The better approach MIGHT be to proceed with preanesthesia laboratory testing, being sure to include a thyroid level for hyperthyroidism, and read this post about modern safety in anesthesia for older pets.

      Reply
  18. SusanH

    I have a 10 yr old Maine Coon. He has dozens of little sebaceous cysts all over him. I recently had him shaved (a lion cut) and have just become aware of the number of cysts he has. His coat has always been dull and oily/waxy. He eats Science Diet Nature’s Best supplemented with Solid Gold canned tuna. I squirt Welactin in his mouth as often as he’ll let me (goal is once a day). Have you had a case with this many cysts and do you have any solutions that I can explore with our veterinarian? Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

      Susan, I’ll bet he’s a beauty! I know of no preventive measures for sebaceous cysts. I have always theorized that a benzoyl peroxide shampoo might be able to keep pores and hair follicles open, making it less likely that sebaceous cysts would be created. However, I don’t know of any research that has been done, or whether it has been tried/recommended by board-certified veterinary dermatologists. Besides, you have a kitty, and how many kitties are going to be good for a medicated bath with a 15-minute soak? Certainly, some are. If you wanted to give it a try, there are a number of benzoyl peroxide shampoos. Your veterinarian can dispense a small bottle of the brand he likes, and you could give it a go! Let us know what happens. Best wishes, Dr. Randolph.

      Reply
  19. CyndiO

    Doctor, I have a question:

    My adult male cat is 2 years 8 months old, two months ago I found a lump between his tail and his thigh. I rushed him to the veterinarian the next morning to have it evaluated. They took two samples from it and came back to tell me they are absolutely 100% sure it is a sebaceous cyst. While they did say it is rare in cats, they told me there was no reason to worry unless it burst, he chews at it, or becomes infected. None of these things have happened. It does not seem to bother him, and he leaves it alone. My concern is this, is there a possibility of the cyst developing into something else? The reason I ask is that I had my animals enrolled for pet insurance this last month and they won’t cover anything pre-exsisting, or related to the preexisting condition. God forbid anything ever happened but I worry if he ended up with cancer they would try to blame the cyst and deny a claim. I spoke with his new veterinarian about this and looked over the charts. They said if I wanted to remove the lump then I should have it biopsied ( for 200.00 more… ) I am wondering if this is necessary in your opinion? ( to a. have it removed, and b. sending it to a lab )

    Reply
    1. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

      Cyndi, the only way for me or your veterinarian at home to answer your question is to take a biopsy. I know of no studies showing sebaceous cysts predisposing a patient to cancer, although the principle that an inflamed area could be more likely to develop into a cancerous lesion is a possibility, that is strictly in the area of theory. Every insurance company has differing policies on preexisting conditions. It can’t hurt to ask your new company about it. They might exclude your kitty for sebaceous cysts, or just for that one, or complications from that one. There is no way for me to know. Certainly, IF you decide to have the lump removed, by all means go ahead with histopathology, if for no other reason than the peace of mind.

      Reply
  20. Lynda

    Dear Dr Randolph, Several years ago I found a lump in my cat’s tail. I took him to the veterinarian and they supposedly removed it. However, it grew back and last year around Christmas he bit the lump and some blood came out. My sister said it was a sebaceous cyst and not to worry. Well, my cat seems fine, has a good appetite and if anything is overweight. But he licks at his tail and sometimes it leaks a relatively clear fluid. If removal is curative I wonder why his came back? What do you suggest?

    Reply
    1. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

      Lynda, upon reading your note, several questions come to mind: 1, When the lump was removed, was histopathology performed to determine exactly what the mass was? 2, Your sister says it is a sebaceous cyst, but what does your veterinarian say it is? 3, If he licks at the lesion, it means it’s bothering him, which means he needs to have his doctor look at it. 4, Removal of sebaceous cysts is curative, for that cyst. At this point, we haven’t established that this is a sebaceous cyst and there is nothing to prevent a new sebaceous cyst from developing right next to the old incision. Even more worrisome is the possibility that a growth could be developing there. Bottom line: He needs to see his doctor!

      Reply
  21. Ttruss

    My puppy has a boil-like thing growing on the bottom of her top floppy lip. It’s half the size of 1 green pea. It looks like a boil to me. Should this worry me? Should I take her to a veterinarian?

    Reply
  22. Jo

    I have a Bichon, age 11 and he is getting of these tiny cysts on his head, one on his ear, one on tail and one on his back. Should I be getting nervous that they are cancerous?

    Reply
    1. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

      Sorry, Jo, but having never seen your dog, there is no way for me to answer this question. However, consider that if the lesions ARE cancerous, how much time is passing by not having seen your veterinarian yet. Please take him right away so that these problems may be attended to. Best wishes, Dr. Randolph.

      Reply
  23. StephyJo

    My 1 yr old Dachshund has something growing off her lip. It is grey and looks like a “blossom” of some sort. Meaning when I use my fingers to touch and look at it opens up like one of those fried onion blossoms. Any ideas on what it could be?

    Reply
    1. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

      Thanks for writing, StephyJo. Unfortunately, such a growth could be any one of thousands of things, cancer among them. Your Dachshund will need to see her regular veterinarian for a diagnosis. Best wishes, Dr. Randolph.

      Reply
    1. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

      Dear Jasamluvn,
      While’s it’s certainly possible, maybe even probable, that the lump that ruptured is a sebaceous cyst, my concern is, what are the other “lumps?” As stated in this article, we can’t usually tell by looking at them from the outside. At the very least your brother needs to take his dog to his veterinarian to get the facts. Drop us another line after he visits the doctor so we, too, will know what the lumps are. Best wishes, Dr. Randolph.

      Reply
  24. [email protected]

    I noticed a round lump near my 11 year old lab mix’s rectum. It is soft to the touch and feels fluid-filled. What should I do? I am in healthcare. Could I lance it myself?

    Reply
  25. jvictoria

    I have a German shepherd/lab mix who is 12 years old. He has what I believe to be a sebaceous cyst on his back. It was big and white on top and when we took him to the veterinarian her exact words were, “Hm? I have no clue what that is…” she then proceeded to pop it without knowing what it was. My dog seemed to be in a good amount of pain when she did that and since popping it there has been a consistent flow of blood/fluid/white that comes out of it. It’s not a lot and just seems to have a light dripping but it worries me. I recently took him to another veterinarian and they said the only way to find out what it is is to biopsy it and send it to a lab which would be an estimated $800-$1000 dollars. I am in no financial situation to pay for this, especially because my dog has another small cyst on his eye and nose. Those, however, are tiny and seem to be more superficial.
    I am just wondering if you has any tips for how to handle his sebaceous cyst?
    I have been keeping it clean and I used antiseptic and read that antibiotics are a must, so I was jumping on that bandwagon- hopefully that’ll help. Thanks, J.

    Reply
    1. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

      J, read here to understand why no doctor can tell you what the structure is for sure without a pathologist’s help. That’s why your second veterinarian is recommending surgical removal and histopathology. Keep the lesion clean, save your money, and have the surgery when you are able. Be sure to take your pet back to the veterinarian if the spot changes significantly. As you’ve read in the post, many sebaceous cysts require surgical removal once they become open, as your dog’s has. IF that’s what the mass is, surgery is curative, and neither topical nor systemic antibiotic therapy make the inflammation go away, in most cases. Best wishes, Dr. Randolph.

      Reply
  26. faithdog

    I have a mixed Jack Russell dog. She had a cyst like lump on her back. We took her to the local veterinarian and she said she could remove it cost $400.00. If we wanted it tested for cancer it would be another $200.00. We didn’t have the money to do both so we had it removed. In a couple of weeks another lump came up and then another and so on and so on. Now she has a lot of lumps and the veterinarian is not saying any thing. Do you know what it might be? Concerned owner.

    Reply
  27. Sheri

    Sheri writes: My cat has a cyst just under his left ear. It started out as a lump, and has grown to be a dangling sac. I want this thing gone. The veterinarian says it’s fine to stay, and the issue is that he can’t be put under because of his heart murmur. Is the procedure different in animals than in humans? I am a technician, working for a physician who delegates small mass removals to us. Every cyst removal I have ever done on a human was performed under local anesthesia. Can that not be done with a cat? Holding him is not an issue, he is a very calm cat and I’m sure I can hold him while she injects him with the local. Thanks for any advice you can offer.

    Reply
  28. Sandra

    But what if my dog has small ones that kind of pop up like black dots? I gently squeeze them, the contents come out and his skin heals just fine. Is that ok? It’s pretty much like popping a human zit.

    Reply
  29. Pingback: the dreaded "bump" - YorkieTalk.com Forums - Yorkshire Terrier Community

  30. LISA

    MY HUSKY HAS A CYST ON HIS UPPER BACK THAT IS SLIGHTLY OVER AN INCH AROUND AND TALL. SURPRISINGLY, IT HAS NOT BURST OR DRAINED AT ALL. BUT IT LOOKS GROSS. MY VETERINARIAN SAID TO LEAVE IT ALONE OR I COULD HAVE SURGERY TO HAVE IT REMOVED BUT THAT IT WOULD PROBABLY COME BACK. WILL IT COME BACK? I DONT RECALL READING ANYTHING ABOUT THAT. I WOULD LIKE IT REMOVED BECAUSE I’M WORRIED OUR LOCAL PET STORE BATHING EMPLOYEES WOULD NOT BE CAREFUL ENOUGH OF HIM AND HE’S WAY TOO BIG FOR ME TO BATHE. IT DOESNT SEEM TO BE AN ISSUE WITH OUR DOG AND HE CAN’T REACH IT TO MAKE IT WORSE BUT I’M ALSO CONCERNED ABOUT WHETHER IT MAKES HIM UNCOMFORTABLE IN ANY WAY. EXAMPLE: ITCHING OR PAIN. PLEASE ADVISE ME ON MY ISSUES SINCE I’M TRYING TO MAKE AN EDUCATED DECISION WHETHER TO LEAVE IT ALONE OR NOT. HE WILL BE TWELVE YEARS OLD THIS SUMMER. THANK YOU

    Reply
  31. Linda Varady Post author

    My cat has sebaceous cysts and has had medical treatment involving removing the “cheesy” substance twice in the last two months. Today, while she is still healing, I found another lumpy spot. It seems she is prone to this type of cyst and I do not want to put her through the trauma of another invasive procedure. Is there anything I can apply, or administer, to her to help her combat another flare up?

    Reply
    1. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

      Linda, I’ve never actually thought about a way to prevent sebaceous cysts, but two possibilities (totally untried, as far as I know) come to mind. One might be regular bathing with a shampoo with follicular flushing action. After reading that post you can read this one to learn the techniques. I’m guessing you’d need to bathe your kitty 1-3 times weekly to have any hope of prevention. Some cats actually like baths. Others will take your head off for thinking of the idea. The other possibility might be nutritional supplementation with essential fatty acids. I hope these ideas help, but I’m certainly not making any promises, and be sure to check with your pet’s doctor first, before trying either technique.

      Reply
  32. Amber Post author

    Hi. I have an American bulldog she has had a bump on her back right leg for about 6 months now. About 1 week ago the bump grew over night to the size of a golf ball. The next day there was something white sticking out, so we squeezed it and very thick white stuff came out. It’s been about 7 days now and the bump has gotten a little smaller but turned bright red and white goo is still coming out. It doesn’t bother her, she just licks it all the time. What should we do?

    Reply
  33. Melissa

    My 3 year old Siberian Husky has a sebaceous cyst (diagnosed by 2 different veterinarians) it started off a pea size, about 6 months ago and grew to an inch wide, by an inch and a half tall. it burst a week ago (what a mess!). Now it is an open hole and I can see the large cyst inside of it. He goes in for surgery on Monday, and I’m wondering if he will need an Elizabethan collar (cone) (it’s on his head in the middle, just behind his ears). It is itchy as heck, and we’ve trained him not to scratch it. Does he need an E-collar? If so, how long until it can come off so he can sleep, eat, and drink? How long does it normally take until 6 stitches can come out?

    Reply
  34. Audrey

    Hello Dr. Randolph, Thank you for your response on 10/9. I took a VERY, VERY good look at Lucy’s spot, this past weekend. Her skin is normal in color & I don’t think the hair follicles were damaged because the “spot” is actually reddish brown hair! The hair looks like what she had when she was a puppy, just a little thinner in texture. Lucy was born with “brindle” coloring, but as she’s gotten older, has lightened up quite a bit. I find it strange that her hair would grow in with that coloring, don’t you?

    Reply
    1. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

      Actually, Audrey, it’s not unusual for damaged skin to produce hair that is different in color than it used to be. Sometimes the color change is permanent, sometimes temporary. Only time will tell, there are no good prognosticating factors for determining that. I’m delighted that Lucy is growing hair, it’s a very good sign. Best wishes, Dr. Randolph.

      Reply
  35. Audrey

    Hello, I have a 4 yr. old Shih-Tzu, Lucy. She had an oozing lump on her back, the veterinarian said that it was a sebeceous cyst. The day after I took her to the veterinarian, the cyst erupted, my daughter squeezed all the goop out and I purchased antibiotics for Lucy. That was about 3 months ago, so far no cysts have come back and the hole is healed, but there’s a REALLY darkened spot where the cyst was. My questions are: Is the black or darkened spot, a bruise from being pinched? Will it go away & will she grow hair back in that spot? Thank you for your time!

    Reply
  36. Stephen Ouellette

    We have a 14 year old poodle who keeps developing sebaceous cysts. The first noticeable was one on her head that bled until removed. She seems to have them pretty much all over, but it is worse on her tail, and whenever we remove her cone collar, she chews it and causes it to bleed. Our veterinarian says that the next step is removal of her tail, which may have severe complications. Is there any way to deal with the underlying problem of why she is getting all of these cysts and possibly avoid the risks and expense of the tail removal?

    Reply
    1. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

      Stephen, yours is an interesting question. I’ve never seen a report of an effort to prevent sebaceous cysts. As you read in the article, it is a matter of pores and hair follicles stopping up. I suppose it might be worthwhile to begin a regimen of benzoyl peroxide shampooing for its follicular flushing action ( shampoo technique: http://www.mypetsdoctor.com/pet-bathing-technique-and-frequency ) (information about shampoo: (FFA explained: http://www.mypetsdoctor.com/treat-skin-infections-with-medicated-shampoo ). However, that isn’t going to help a sebaceous cyst that has already formed. I’m assuming the cyst is very close to the body end of the tail, and that’s why your pet’s doctor has implied there coulc be complications. Just to be clear, are you sure the doctor said sebaceous cyst and not warts? It is much more common for warts to cause problems with bleeding. Read about warts in dogs here: http://www.mypetsdoctor.com/dog-wart . Best wishes, Dr. Randolph.

      Reply
  37. Stephen Ouellette

    Our 14 year old poodle has developed a number of sebaceous cysts. One on her head began bleeding and was removed. The most problematic one is on her tail. It has been infected a number of times and ends up a bloody mess any time we leave her cone collar off. This has now been going on for about 6 months. Our veterinarian has said that the only way to solve the problem is to remove her tail, and that he is concerned that this might create more complications. (Not to mention the cost).
    The poor dog is developing cysts pretty much everywhere. Is there any holistic approach to deal with the underlying problem causing the buildup of these cysts, like changing diet?

    Reply
    1. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

      Stephen, yours is an interesting question. I’ve never seen a report of an effort to prevent sebaceous cysts. As you read in the article, it is a matter of pores and hair follicles stopping up. I suppose it might be worthwhile to begin a regimen of benzoyl peroxide shampooing for its follicular flushing action ( shampoo technique: http://www.mypetsdoctor.com/pet-bathing-technique-and-frequency ) (information about shampoo: (FFA explained: http://www.mypetsdoctor.com/treat-skin-infections-with-medicated-shampoo ). However, that isn’t going to help a sebaceous cyst that has already formed. I’m assuming the cyst is very close to the body end of the tail, and that’s why your pet’s doctor has implied there coulc be complications. Just to be clear, are you sure the doctor said sebaceous cyst and not warts? It is much more common for warts to cause problems with bleeding. Read about warts in dogs here: http://www.mypetsdoctor.com/dog-wart . Best wishes, Dr. Randolph.

      Reply
  38. Kim

    Thanks for the info Dr Randolph, she is coming along. Kiana is a big girl but she is not overweight at all. Her parents and grandparents were large. She just kept on growing and finally stopped at 150#. She is a true beauty hailing back to the M’loots of old. The Alaskan Natives know exactly what she is when they see her.

    Reply
  39. Kim

    I have 150lb female Malamute that has been limping for about a year. After numerous trips to the Veterinarian they finally removed a large ruptured hair follicle (that’s how it was described) from between her toes on her front left leg. She has been given antibiotics and medicine for a yeast infection. I have brought up the fact that she has virtually licked off the fur from that toe and the toe still appears to be swollen on the toe pad. Is this typical of ruptured hair follicles?

    Reply
    1. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

      Kim, I can’t say I’ve had experience with ruptured hair follicles, but any source of inflammation can be slow to heal and respond only to surgical removal. You don’t mention how long ago the surgery was, but with painful, invasive surgery it can take weeks to return to full, normal function. Swelling is common after surgery, but it shouldn’t last too long. If you are concerned that too much time has passed and that your dog should be further along in healing, call to schedule a followup examination so that the doctor can address any question you have and issues your dog may or may not have. You should never hesitate to call on your veterinarian in times like this: http://www.mypetsdoctor.com/ask-questions-of-your-pets-doctor . Best wishes, Dr. Randolph.
      BTW: 150# sounds like a LOT for a female Malamute to weigh. Has your pet’s doctor recommended weight loss for her?

      Reply
  40. Tabitha

    My poor little Walt is yet another sebaceous cyst sufferer. The one on his shoulder burst yesterday. It’s about the size of a dime. I cleaned it out with a little peroxide and the only other thing I had available to me was some triple antibiotic ointment so I put a bit on. Tonight when I got home from work around 7:30 pm he seemed a bit lethargic so I called the veterinarian and they had some scrub that they advised I wash it with twice a day until we can get it removed (he has a slight heart murmur that must be tested before they can place him under anesthesia). However, prior to even using the wash, I got home to find him a little lethargic. I’m worried that this may be some side effect of the ointment – an allergic reaction or maybe it was too open of a wound and the ointment shouldn’t have been used? Or worse, could he have ingested some? Or do you think it is more likely that an infection is brewing causing the lethargy? If he remains this way they said that I can bring him in tomorrow which I will most likely do, but I just want to set my mind at ease with regards to what may be causing it. Yesterday he’d barely let me get near it after it ruptured – especially if I was trying to clean it, which seems a normal reaction to me. However, as of a few hours ago (once the lethargy set in) he just seems very non-reactionary when I try to clean it. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

      If Walt had a reaction to the ointment it would have been a local reaction most likely, redness and swelling around the cyst site. Ingestion of triple antibiotic ointment wouldn’t likely be a problem. If there is anything serious it should show up in the preanesthesia laboratory testing [http://www.mypetsdoctor.com/preanesthesia-laboratory-testing ]. Still, be sure to mention it to your pet’s doctor when you go in. Please keep us posted on Walt’s progress and let us know how the surgery went. Best wishes, Dr. Randolph.

      Reply
  41. Rob

    I took my shep in to the veterinarian today, and the veterinarian actually squeezed the sebum out of another cyst that had developed next to the original one. I told him what happened and he said not to worry and gave us a prescription for some antibiotics. He said that there would not be a terrible wound from the cyst bursting internally, but that the dog would possibly have slight pain and be lethargic for a couple days until the antibiotic works. There is a small possibility that the antibiotic will not work, but we won’t know unless the bump has not gone away within two weeks. I am very relieved to have had him seen.

    Reply
    1. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

      There’s just nothing like the peace of mind of knowing that everything’s going to be ok. You just can’t put a dollar amount on that. I’m so glad your baby is all right, Dr. Randolph.

      Reply
  42. Rob

    I have a German Shepherd that is prone to cysts. Normally I can get them to go away by squeezing the cheese out of them, but today I tried to squeeze one and it seemingly ruptured internally. He isn’t showing any signs of being uncomfortable, but is there a risk of developing sepsis from this? How will I know when to take him to the veterinarian? Thanks Doctor.

    Reply
    1. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

      “How will I know when to take him to the veterinarian?” Rob, you just got your chance. Notice that one of the main points I make in the article is that as long as the sebaceous cyst stays CLOSED it usually doesn’t cause any problems. By squeezing them, you open them and bacteria can invade the inside and cause an infection. However, you’ve created a different situation with the one that “seemingly ruptured internally.” Now, that area has sebum “loose” in the subcutaneous tissues, which the body will perceive as “foreign” (despite the fact that the body MADE it.) There will be an intense inflammatory response and a horrible wound. The sooner you take your Shepherd into the doctor the fewer complications there will be. Best wishes and please write back so we can all know what transpired. Dr. Randolph.

      Reply
  43. rachael

    Hi. I have a two year old white cat. I have noticed just today that she had a small lump on her chest. It felt smooth until I looked at it. It was a bit crispy and was sticking out of her skin so I pulled it out and then noticed somthing else was there then squeezed it and a thick creamy substance came out it was quite alot coming out. Then it looked liked she had a hole or sore there.

    Reply
    1. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

      Rachael, there is no way I can tell you what’s wrong with your kitty, but she certainly needs to go see your veterinarian based on “a hole or sore in there” with “a thick creamy substance came out it was quite alot coming out.” Please write back and let us know what your pet’s doctor says. Best wishes, Dr. Randolph.

      Reply
  44. Brandy

    I have a 6 year old Basset Hound with one of these sebaceous cysts on her back. It broke open and we got about an inch of thick gross stuff out. We took her to the veterinarian and he did some additional cleaning and it stopped oozing. It continued to be there though and grew this gross red “cyst bag” all around it. But, it didn’t seem to be oozing or anything for a long time. It also has never seemed to bother her or cause her any pain.
    Well, two weeks ago, it broke again. I cleaned it and it dried up again. Yesterday, it broke open again, and now I know we are going to have to have this thing surgically removed. She has a veterinarian appointment for Tuesday, then we will discuss surgery.
    My question is this though – my Basset does not do well under anesthesia. She has undergone anesthesia twice in her life and had a difficult time coming out of it both times. That is why I have been reluctant to do surgery on this. Can these cysts be removed by sedating her and doing a local anesthetic? If I am sitting with my Basset and holding her face, she is VERY good and lets the veterinarians do anything they want to her. So, I am just wondering if doing a local is even an option with these cysts?
    Also, my mom has a prescription of Cephalexin antibiotics that she never used on her Shar Pei (of equal weight as my Basset). Since I couldn’t get an appointment for my Basset until Tuesday late afternoon, should I start her on antibiotics using the Cephalexin that my mom has? Normally, I would never do this, but I just want to make sure we don’t get an infection before the veterinarian appointment. I am cleaning it each day and putting Neosporin on it, but was just wondering about the oral antibiotics. Thank you so much!!

    Reply
    1. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

      Brandy, as I’m sure you read on the post, these things almost never get better for me with anything less than surgery. The Neosporin is not going to hurt, but I can’t recommend beginning oral antibiotics. That would be a call for your local veterinarian. In several posts, including this one ( http://www.mypetsdoctor.com/leftover-medication-burns-a-dogs-eye ), I have discussed the importance of giving medication until ALL is gone, as well as the dangers of using other pets’ medications. Local anesthetics can be used for VERY small lesions that can be removed with a punch biopsy, but this one doesn’t sound like it’s anywhere near small enough for that. However, discuss it with your pet’s doctor and see what he says. Another consideration is to reduce the amount of preanesthetic medications. These are more likely to cause postoperative “coming out” difficulties than the general. I’m confident you and your Basset will both be happier once this thing is removed. To see a sebaceous cyst from the inside go to http://www.mypetsdoctor.com/photos-of-the-insides-of-sebaceous-cysts. Let us know how she does during and after surgery. Best wishes, Dr. Randolph.

      Reply
  45. Michelle Smith

    I have a 13 yr old cat, previously healthy, no significant past or present medical history. I discovered a 5cm closed cyst on her one hindquarter. It does not affect her mobility, she is able to lie on that side, and no other changes are noted. I think it is a sebaceous cyst but wondering if I should treat it or just leave it and monitor it? It has not grown in size over the last few weeks. Thanks

    Reply
  46. Jennifer

    Hi! I have a two year old Austrailian Shepherd/Husky mix. A couple of months ago I noticed a growth on his muzzle and we brought it to the attention of our veterinarian. They tested it and determined that it is a sebaceous cyst. Our veterinarian, of course, was pushing that we have it removed…at about $800. After talking to friends that are veterinarian techs and doing some research, I am comfortable with not having the surgery done…as long as it doesn’t become infected or burst. My questions are these: is there a size that is too big and will it be obvious if it becomes infected (I think I would be able to tell if it bursts)? I am just concerned…we adopted him in August and he has quickly become a very important part of our family and I worry about him.

    Reply
    1. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

      Jennifer, here are my thoughts. There is a reason what we do is called “the art of practice,” because there is more than one way to approach various cases. Keep in mind that I haven’t seen your pet OR the cyst, so I can’t make specific recommendations. First, your pet’s doctor has made his suggestion to remove the growth based on his examination, test results and experience. That carries a LOT of weight for me. He wanted that thing off fora reason! Second, I don’t remove sebaceous cysts if they are small and intact. ANY opening to the outside, however (indicated by a hole or drainage) will predispose the lesion to infectious bacteria from the outside world, and I’ve had almost NO success getting those to heal without surgically removing them. So, infection or bursting, either one will exhibit an opening and will clearly indicate it’s time to remove it. Third, size is a HUGE factor in parts of the body where there is limited skin to close a surgical defect. The face and nose are such places, so waiting MIGHT allow the cyst to become big enough that a surgical specialist is needed to remove it anc be able to close the resulting defect. Best wishes, Dr. Randolph.

      Reply
  47. Stacey

    My dog has a ruptured sebaceous gland (now twice) and will probably need to have it out. My veterinarian said for now to put Neosporin on it to see if that will clear it up. It doesn’t seem to bother her, but looks really awful to me. My question is: how long do I keep putting Neosporin on it? Since it is open, wouldn’t it just continue to be (for lack of a better word) “gooey”? Aren’t I supposed to let it dry up at some point? I have been cleaning out the “goo” daily-is this good or bad? Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

      Your pet’s doctor would be the best person to answer this specifically, as he has examined your pet and knows the history of the cyst. As I mentioned in the post, most of the ones that open eventually need to be surgically removed. As an educated opinion I’d say if it hasn’t responded to Neosporin in two weeks, go ahead and make arrangements for preanesthetic testing and surgery.

      Reply
  48. Michele

    My 9 year old Shih Tzu is prone to sebaceous cysts. He had one on his shoulder for a few months. It burst and I cleaned it up with Geri stat soap. I squeezed out some whitish fluid but it was not as easily cleaned out as others that he has had were. The following week it was a bit puffy and when cleaned more whitish fluid came out. It stayed small for a few weeks then got a little bigger then disappeared. My veterinarian said that it was just a cyst but I am worried about a mast cell tumor.

    Reply
    1. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

      Dear Michelle,

      You must have had a previous experience with mast cell tumor to be concerned with it. As I stated in this post ( http://www.mypetsdoctor.com/veterinary-pathology-professor-frightens-enlightens-students ), it’s impossible for anyone to look at a mass and know for certain what it is. That said, your pet’s doctor must be pretty darn certain that the lesion you’re concerned about is not anything dangerous, or he would have suggested being more aggressive with diagnostics.

      Mast cell tumors, in my experience, can be one of the real tricksters of practice. I once had a patient I sent to a specialty practice to have a board-certified surgeon remove a mass, simply because it was located in an area of a leg that was going to be difficult to remove without affecting vital structures. When the pet arrived they assigned him to the Oncology service and the oncologist told me, in her followup phone call, “I knew it was a mast cell tumor as soon as I saw it.” To me, even with 28 years of practice (then) I thought it looked like a nothing mass simply located in a bad place.

      You know, of course, that you have the option for your veterinarian to perform Cytology ( http://www.mypetsdoctor.com/dictionary ), Fine Needle Aspirate ( http://www.mypetsdoctor.com/how-veterinary-oncolology-cases-worked-up ), or even surgical removal of the mass if it concerns you. Of course, if general anesthesia is to be involved you will have pre-anesthesia laboratory tests performed first, followed by the procedure.

      Please write back and let us know how you proceed and what the findings are.

      Best wishes,

      Dr. Randolph

      Reply
  49. Jenn

    My 7 year old boxer mix has a sebaceous cyst on his back. A year ago a fine needle aspiration was done to remove some fluid and to find out if was actually was a sebaceous cyst. It it about the size of a golf ball now, and I wonder if it’s putting pressure on his spine. Anything I can do at home before my next veterinarian visit to perhaps alleviate the size? I’ve heard that hot compresses work. I know it won’t completely disappear, I’d just like to have it shrink a little. Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

      Thank you for your question, Jenn. The spinal cord is protected by bone that surrounds it, so neither the cord nor the bones are affected by the size of the cyst. For a sebaceous cyst to become this size there is usually leakage of sebum into the surrounding tissues, generating an inflammatory response which causes the swelling. The only problem with hot compresses is that the lesion may open, become infected and then you have a real mess on your hands, because the doctor is then faced with removing an infected lesion. Of course, I haven’t seen your pet, but I would be inclined to want to remove the mass before it gets bigger AND your pet gets older.

      Reply
  50. June

    My miniature schnauzer had a ruptured cyst surgically removed 6 weeks ago after antibiotics didn’t work. A biopsy was done, the cyst was benign. However, just recently, a small section of where the suture was, opened up and bled a little bit. I took him to the veterinarian and he prescribed an antibiotic ointment (Tri-Otic) for 10 days and see if it heals by then. I am a bit worried as to why the suture would open up again after 6 weeks….could it be that they didn’t remove all of the infected cyst during surgery? Thanks for your insight.

    Reply
    1. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

      June, the MOST likely cause (among MANY possible causes) is that the surgery site just hasn’t finished healing when some kind of pressure or tension occurred there, maybe from playing too hard, jumping onto furniture, etc. As to removing all of the abnormal tissue the pathologist usually addresses “clear or unclear margins” in the report, so if the pathology report was good, there probably was no abnormal tissue left behind. Worst case scenario is probably a resuture or pop a surgical staple or two into the site if it fails to heal.

      Reply
  51. JoAnne

    Hi! My 5 year old chihuahua recently developed a pea-sized bump on her leg. I took her to the veterinarian and they assumed that it was a sebaceous cyst based on the needle aspiration. Since they didn’t seem 100% positive about this, I asked them to go ahead and remove it for biopsy. The results came in today and it was in fact a sebaceous cyst. My veterinarian says that dogs that get these are prone to them and she may get one or more again in the future. My question is, if you don’t have it removed like I did this time, will it ever go away by itself? If so, how long would it usually take? Thank you for your time and the informative article.

    Reply
    1. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

      Joanne, sebaceous cyst formation is pretty random. As I said in the post, the ones that aren’t infected or bleeding I leave alone. The ones that become inflamed from infection or other causes I remove. You were wise to request a pathologist’s evaluation of the mass, as we certainly can’t tell with the naked eye what masses are.

      Reply
  52. Nicole

    Hi. My 5 year old German Shepherd has been diagnosed with cysts, she has 5 at the moment. When I first discovered them she had 3, two of which have now burst (one was a hair follicle and the other was full of a cheese-like substance). Then, a month later, I found a fourth. It’s an ordeal for my dog and me to go to the veterinarian’s as she is terrified of the veterinarian, and taking a large dog weighting 46Kg (that’s 101 pounds for us Yanks) to the veterinarian’s is no fun. I’m just wondering if there is anything I can do without a visit to the veterinarian’s(unless its serious). Is this something that she will have to live with for the rest of her life?

    Reply
    1. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

      Nicole, as stated in our post on sebaceous cysts ( http://www.mypetsdoctor.com/sebaceous-cysts-dogs-cats ), they typically do not require treatment unless they become infected. Infection usually doesn’t occur unless they rupture. Please keep in mind, however, that sebaceous cysts are not the only kind of cysts that dogs and cats get. Therefore, if she develops lesions that are large, that drain or that are itchy, you have no choice but to see your pet’s doctor. Small sebaceous cysts are not something she has to see the veterinarian for if they are uncomplicated. Also as stated in the article, complicated sebaceous cysts are best treated with surgical removal.

      Reply
  53. Alice Rutter

    Our 13 year old Shih Tzu is prone to sebaceous cysts. We have had some removed but the veterinarian says they will only return. They start out as small bumps and fill with fluid. They can get huge and last for months. My question is are these dangerous or painful for her? I do not want to keep putting her under anesthesia at her age to have them removed if it is not necessary. She doesn’t seem to be affected by them. She leaves them alone and doesn’t chew or pick at them.

    Reply
    1. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

      Sebaceous cysts that have been surgically removed cannot “return,” after they have been excised, but new ones can certainly appear. Sebaceous cysts are not painful. Typically they don’t get to be very large. Have any of the removed ones been sent for histopathology to be sure exactly what they are? IF, in fact, they are sebaceous cysts AND she is not bothered by them there is no need to remove them. HOWEVER, if they are some other type of growth the answer might change.

      Reply
  54. Cathleen

    I have a year and a half year old dog that has what we’re thinking is a cyst on her back leg. It’s about a marble size and it’s red. It doesn’t seem to hurt her when I press on it but she licks it occasionally. We can’t get her to a veterinarian in any time soon (probably in 2 weeks) so I was just wondering if this is an emergency and needs immediate medical attention.
    Thanks for your time and insight,
    Cathleen

    Reply
    1. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

      Cathleen, there is no way for a doctor to know the answer to your question without actually seeing your pet. There are two main scenarios: 1) if it is simply a cyst or benign growth, it’s not going to hurt to wait two weeks. 2) if it is a cancerous (malignant) growth, it could spread in two weeks and be life-threatening. I would do whatever I had to do to get my pet in to see the doctor right away.

      Reply
  55. Crystal

    My 6 month old pup has a dime size lump behind her ear. She just got it about a week ago I think, but its one size and I would have thought I would have noticed it before. It’s real red and bleeds alot when my other dog licks it to clean it?
    Just wanted to get some expert advice before we take her to the veterinarian.
    Thank you for your time
    Crystal

    Reply
    1. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

      Crystal, this could be any one of a jillion conditions, but in a 6-month-old it’s unlikely to be life-threatening. Go ahead and call your pet’s doctor for an appointment and get it checked out. It’s not something we can diagnose over the Internet. Write back when you get a diagnosis so we can know, too.
      Thanks for reading,
      Dr. Randolph

      Reply
  56. Hannah Myrberg

    My name is Hannah, and I have a 5 year old pitbull/ boxer. She had a large bump a while back that she had surgery on; the doctor said it was a cyst. Well four more bumps came upon her body near where the scar from her last surgery was. What should we do? They are sending her in for sugery tody, but what if it keeps occuring? No we do not know if its another cyst, but we’re pretty sure it is. Thankyou, Hannah

    Reply
    1. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

      In order to answer these questions I would need a copy of the Histopathology report. If the doctor is sending the tissue he removed to a pathologist we know exactly what tissue makes up the “bumps.” If he didn’t send the tissue out either time we will have a hard preventing future “bumps” because we won’t know exactly what they are. If you can transcribe the report into an email for me, or scan it and send it as an attachment I’ll be happy to look it over.
      Best wishes,
      Dr. Randolph

      Reply
  57. Susan Gibbs

    I have a red longhaired standard dachshund, 9 months old. He is first a pet, but he is also a show dog working toward confirmation. He is six points away. He has developed two pea sized knots that are covered with fur just above his nose on his muzzle. My question is if these bumps could affect his becoming confirmed. They started small and looked like two tiny white spots. As they became large (just over a couple of days) they weere no longer white. In fact you cannot see what they look like because they are covered with fur. They do not appear to be hurting him. I have been reading about canine acne, warts and sebaceous cysts. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you, Susan Gibbs

    Reply
    1. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

      You’ve asked two questions, one medical, one not. Conformation, show-dog rules, etc., have nothing to do with medical conditions and would have to be posed to a show-dog-rule expert.
      The bumps, on the other hand, are a matter for a medical expert. Unfortunately I can’t identify them from a description, and any bump needs a good evaluation by your pet’s doctor. After all, it could be cancer or infection and we wouldn’t want to take a chance with his health, much less his future fame. Please write back and let me know what the doctor says.
      Thank you for your question,
      Dr. Randolph.

      Reply
  58. Dr. James W. Randolph Post author

    There is no prevention for sebaceous cysts, though sebaceous cysts are not the only kinds of cysts that occur in dogs, we will assume that sebaceous cysts are what your dog has. Bathing frequency is not determined by breed, but by degree of cleanliness, dermatologic health and owners’ personal preference. In general, dogs should be bathed when they are dirty, unless they have a dermatologic problem that necessitates more frequent bathing for medical reasons. Some people are more sensitive to “doggy odor,” which is actually the odor given off when oils on the skin become rancid. These owners can bathe their dogs more frequently IF they use a moisturizing shampoo such as Sebolux, followed by a humectant (moisture trap) such as Humilac. As to the cause, it is not excessive oil on the pet’s skin, but, (quoting from the Article on Sebaceous Cysts) “Sebaceous cysts occur when a normal pore or hair follicle becomes occluded. Occlusion can occur from dirt, infection, scar tissue or even normal sebum that becomes too thick to move out of the pore’s opening.”

    Reply

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