Why You Should Not Squeeze Your Dog's Sebaceous Cyst

By Dr. Becker

Today I want to talk about a kind of benign nodule that you could find in your dog, sebaceous cysts. If you are wondering what the difference is between the sebaceous adenoma and the sebaceous cyst, let me explain that a cyst is a sack full of liquid, gas, or semi-solid material. On the other hand, an adenoma is a mass of tissue.

Sebaceous cyst

Sebaceous cysts can develop in any breed of dog. They can also develop in cats, but in much less common.

Like other nodules and lumps I've talked about in this series, sebaceous cysts are benign, so there's nothing to worry about, in terms of cancer. They develop under the skin and usually behave in three ways:

It erupts Encapsulates

If the sebaceous cyst erupts, it means that it reached a critical point, it is exposed because its content already suppurated. Sometimes these rashes can cause infections. This suppuration is usually a curd-like material or sometimes a waxy, thick, black substance.

I do not recommend squeezing these cysts because it can cause them to explode, causing cellulitis (a bacterial infection on the skin) that may require treatment with antibiotics. This is the last thing we want if your dog has one of these cysts.

Estudiantes managers y servidores. Todos felices
Estudiantes managers y servidores. Todos felices

What I recommend is to keep the eruption of the sebaceous cyst clean. Disinfect it several times a day and do not let your pet lick that area. Most types of cysts will heal on their own if they are disinfected on a regular basis and ignored by your dog.

Dogs that are prone to develop sebaceous cysts can develop at any age and can be a persistent problem throughout their dog's life.

Some dogs can develop two cysts at a time, others up to five or six continuously and recurrently.

In the veterinary school I was advised to remove the cysts because that way the veterinarians can get more money thanks to the procedure and usually the owners of the pets are put happy to see that something is done. However, I do not recommend removing benign cysts "just because". Removal of the cyst is only necessary when it is persistent and is prone to infection and / or if the quality of life of your dog is affected by the presence of the cyst.

Preventing Sebaceous Cysts

There are a few things you can do as a pet owner to reduce the chance of your dog developing sebaceous cysts.

  • Keep your dog brushed and trimmed to remove the bait produced by the dog. sebaceous gland and hair follicle, will help prevent oil buildup and entrapment beneath the follicle that causes cysts to form.
  • Optimizing fatty acid consumption is another important step. Essential fatty acids are delicate (easily destroyed by heat and processing) and should be replaced by special dogs made from dry food. If your dog consumes raw food, then essential fatty acids can be optimized.

I recommend adding krill oil or another source of omega-3 fatty acids. You can also add coconut oil. These two oils will help to normalize the production of sebum.

If you discover a sebaceous cyst in your dog, do not be alarmed, there is no need to rush immediately to the vet. I recommend you analyze it calmly to make sure it is benign.

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