Sebaceous Cysts in Dogs: Diagnosis and Treatment

What is It?

Sebaceous cysts are small circular bumps that occur at the site of a clogged pore or a hair follicle.

What Causes It?

Dirt, infection, scar tissue, trauma, and thickened sebum, the normally occurring skin oils can all cause sebaceous cysts. Some breeds are more prone than others.

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What Are The Symptoms?

  • White bump on the skin
  • Swelling or redness surrounding bump
  • Pain
  • Hair loss around bump
  • Yellow or white discharge

Is it Life Threatening?

No, sebaceous cysts are not fatal. However sometimes what may look like just a cyst can be a tumor. Whenever new bumps appear on your dog, you should seek a veterinarian’s expertise.

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How is It Diagnosed?

A vet will perform a physical exam and a medical history questionnaire. To rule out other conditions your vet may use a needle to extract a sample from the cyst. If this is not an option a biopsy may be necessary to ensure the bump is not a tumor.

What Are The Treatments?

Usually sebaceous cysts are benign, painless, and slow growing. In more severe conditions where pain or secondary infection is present, your vet may proscribe anti-inflammatories and antibiotics.

In many cases a vet will recommend removal of the cyst. If multiple cysts are present, you vet will need to further investigate and address underlying issues.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pup’s condition, please make an appointment with your veterinarian. Or, consult a virtual vet here.