Skin Tags On Dogs: How To Prevent & Remove Them
Some breeds are more susceptible to skin tags, and certain environmental factors can also play a role. Even if these growths are harmless,
All pet owners must know about skin tags on dogs and what to do (or not do) about them
Skin Tags Reviews
Skin tags are benign lumps of skin that often appear on older dogs of any breed. They can appear anywhere on a dog’s body but are often found on areas like the knees, the sides of the loin, the armpits, and the sides of the forelegs.
The skin tags themselves are harmless, but they can be unsightly and may get caught on something that could injure the dog and cause infection. Keep in mind that there is a slight risk of complications, and while you can attempt removal at home, the better option is to leave the skin tag alone or speak to your vet.
Identifying skin tags
Skin tags on dogs look like skin; they are quite easily distinguishable from warts and big ticks. They are attached to the skin by a stalk, may comprise of one or multiple growths or have hair follicles.
Dogs may have a solitary skin tag or a number of them on their face, torso, legs, back, armpits and other areas. Also known as hamartomas, skin tags are mainly of two
– Hairless lumps of flesh on lower limbs (fibroadnexal hamartomas)
– Multiple growths that appear flattened and have hair growing out of them (follicular hamartomas)
Causes of skin tags in dogs
Certain factors may produce a conducive environment for skin problems in dogs, which can co-exist with skin tags as a secondary growth or infection:
- Exposure to chemical pollution in the environment
- An ill-fitting collar
- Parasites inhabiting your pet
- Poor skin care
- Insufficient nutrition
Veterinary Removal of Skin Tags on a Dog
There are two major selling points for seeking out veterinary assistance instead of removing a skin tag by yourself at home: (a) the expertise of your veterinarian and (b) the fact that your dog will be given an anesthetic to numb any pain.
When you take your dog to the veterinarian to discuss removing a skin tag, it’s quite common for a vet to recommend leaving the tag.
Vets see these growths every day and don’t push owners to remove them unless it is medically necessary.
Your dog’s age, health, and medical history will also have to be taken into account.
Once you and your vet have decided on a plan of action, the removal itself is similar to the surgical scissor option we went through above.
However, your dog will be anesthetized, and a more precise tool will be used instead of scissors to remove the skin growth.
Your veterinarian or vet nurse may then apply antiseptic or antibiotic cream to deter any infections.
They will then bandage your pooch up, pop on a recovery cone collar, and send you and your dog on your way.
- Ensuring that you don’t use expired products
- Avoiding harsh bathing and/or grooming products
- Minimizing chemical exposure in your surroundings – pesticides, insecticides, lawn chemicals and sprays.
- If bites from fleas, ticks and other parasites are frequent and getting problematic, address them quickly or prevent unnecessary skin problems.
- Feeding your pet with nutritious food, ideally something that keeps his/her immune system in good shape and promotes healthy digestion.
Once you spot skin tags on your pet, get a quick diagnosis to take informed action. It will alleviate stress and help you return your pet to good health.
Skin tags on dogs are rarely a reason for any concern.
But that doesn’t mean that it’s necessary to remove them since they are not cancerous and are completely harmless.
If you have decided that there is a valid reason for removing a dog skin tag, it is best to seek advice from your veterinarian.
If you decide to undertake the removal yourself, be completely certain that what you’re about to remove is, in fact, a harmless skin tag, and then be sure that you have the right equipment, a steady hand, and someone to help you out.