Skin Tags On Dogs

Skin Tags On Dogs

Skin tags are growths that appear on the dog’s skin. As dogs age, their skin will begin to show signs of ageing, just like humans, and this can result in skin tags and other similar growths.

Most skin tags begin as small, fleshy growths that look like warts. They can appear anywhere on the dog’s body but are most common on the face, legs, and belly. Unlike warts skin tags usually don’t calcify but will stay soft and the same colour as the rest of the dog’s skin.

Skin tags and other surface growths are usually made up of excess skin or fatty deposits. They are usually self-contained, localised, and completely harmless. This doesn’t mean they should be ignored, as any new growth has a chance of becoming cancerous.

Skin tags on dogs are common with age

As dogs reach their middle and senior years, you should start paying closer attention to their skin and other external signs of ageing. You can do this while grooming or bathing your dog. If the skin tags are not located in the underarms or near the eyes, where they might impact on normal function, removing skin tags from dogs is not normally needed. The best thing to do if you find a skin tag is to keep an eye on it.

If you notice any changes in the skin tag or irritation or abscesses around the area, you should take your dog to the vet to rule out malignant possibilities.

Lipomas and mast cell tumours can resemble skin tags on dogs, but they will vary in the long-term consequences. A quick fine-needle aspiration done by the vet will tell if there are any cancerous cells present. A biopsy can confirm this diagnosis.

Lipomas and other fatty tumours on dogs

Lipomas are fatty deposits that form just beneath your dog’s skin and fur. Like skin tags, lipomas usually stay soft to the touch and are usually harmless and painless. This can change depending on where they are on the body, or if your dog scratches or bites at them.

There are several different causes of lipomas, but they usually contain elements of food preservatives, medications, and other chemicals. As your dog gets older, the body is less able to filter these elements. This problem is worse in dogs who are obese or have existing conditions wit their kidneys or pancreas.

Mast cell tumours on dogs

Mast cells are part of the immune system. They defend against allergies and aid in the healing process. Mast cell tumours are one explanation for strange or suddenly appearing skin growths and are why they should be checked.

These tumours can easily be mistaken for lipomas or skin tags. Like these two other conditions, mast cell tumours are more common in older dogs.

Mast cell tumours can occur at any time in a dog’s life and can change size very quickly. They can appear anywhere on the body of the dog, but most are found on the lower body and legs. If a lump changes or looks strange, always see your vet.

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