Katherine writes, “My dog’s sebaceous cyst burst today and it has left a hole just large enough for a Q-tip to fit. I’m a nurse and have cleaned the area and flushed the hole with NS (normal saline, a salt-balanced solution). Is there anything else I can do as my dog is 11 and my veterinarian has advised against anything that requires anesthesia?”
Excellent question, Katherine. We have written that sebaceous cysts should be kept intact if at all possible, because, once they rupture and the inside structures are exposed to the outside world, they often become irreversibly infected. Once that happens, surgery is the only route to complete resolution.
However, that doesn’t mean “complete resolution” is necessary in every case.
In your pet’s case, factors exist that make anesthesia unadvisable.
In other cases, the level of discharge, inflammation and discomfort may not justify surgery.
In such circumstances, simply keeping the lesion and the surrounding area clean may be sufficient. Be diligent, cleaning at least once daily.
See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.