Eyelid Tumors in Dogs

Eyelid Tumors in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Most common symptoms

Eyelid Swelling / Swelling

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Rated as moderate conditon

10 Veterinary Answers

Most common symptoms

Eyelid Swelling / Swelling

Eyelid Tumors in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

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What are Eyelid Tumors?

A mass on the eyelid of your dog can be benign or malignant and can result for reasons such as gland issues or breed predisposition. A growth on the eyelid should be evaluated by a veterinary professional without delay; pain or vision inhibition can occur, causing distress for your companion.

Eyelid tumors in dogs are very common, especially in older dogs. The majority of these eyelid tumors are non-cancerous, but there are some tumors that are cancerous. Eyelid tumors many times occur on the glands that line the eyelid margins. These tumors generally do not cause your dog any problems, they are cosmetic. However, if the tumors become an irritation to your dog, the tumors may be removed.

Symptoms of Eyelid Tumors in Dogs

If you notice a growth on your dog’s eyelid, have it checked out by your veterinarian. These eyelid tumors many times appear on the edge of the eyelid. They can vary in size, but all need to be thoroughly checked out by your veterinarian. You may not be able to clearly see a growth on the eyelid if it is very small so there are other symptoms to watch for.

  • Presence of a mass on the eyelid
  • Abnormal protrusion of the eyeball
  • Eyelid swelling
  • Conjunctiva swelling
  • Eye misalignment or cross-eye
  • Inflamed cornea
  • Rubbing the eye

Causes of Eyelid Tumors in Dogs

There is not a particular reason as to why a dog develops eyelid tumors, nor is there a reason why some of these tumors are benign and some are cancerous. Trauma could play a part in the development of an eyelid tumor. 

Genetics may play a role in the formation of eyelid tumors; there are some breeds that are more prone to eyelid tumors. Those breeds include the Dachshund, Bloodhound, Cocker Spaniel and Bulldog.

The various glands in the eyelid margin can develop tumors. The meibomian gland is one of the more common glands that a tumor will develop. If the meibomian gland ruptures, a cyst can form on the inside of the eyelid. These cysts, while not technically tumors, may need to be surgically removed to avoid causing unnecessary irritation to the eye.

Diagnosis of Eyelid Tumors in Dogs

It can be difficult to properly diagnose an eyelid tumor as benign or cancerous without taking a biopsy or tissue sample of the tumor. Sampling procedures that may be required to get an appropriate tissue sample are:

  • Needle aspiration
  • Punch biopsy
  • Smears
  • Full excision

Once the sample has been collected, it is viewed under a microscope to diagnose the type of tumor. Your veterinarian will not be the one examining the sample. A veterinary pathologist will examine the sample and send a report with their finding to your veterinarian. Once the tumor has been diagnosed, the proper treatment plan can be put in place. 

If the entire mass was removed, it is the veterinary pathologist’s job to determine if the tumor is cancerous and if all the cancer has been removed.

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Treatment of Eyelid Tumors in Dogs

The removal of an eyelid tumor can be done using two different techniques. 

Cryotherapy

This procedure involves using a local anesthetic and removing as much of the tumor as possible. Then, Cryotherapy is used to freeze the site of the tumor to kill any of the tumor cells that were left behind. Cryotherapy may need to be repeated if the tumor continues to grow. 

Surgical Removal

This procedure involves anesthetizing and then removing a wedge of tissue, including the tumor, and then suturing the lid closed. By removing the surrounding tissue along with the tumor, it is hoped that all the tumor’s cells are also removed. This procedure is especially used for large tumors. Any surgical procedure involving the eye is very complex. Your veterinarian may decide to refer you to a specialized canine ophthalmologist.

Recovery of Eyelid Tumors in Dogs

Dogs that are recovering from surgery must follow doctor’s orders. Many times that means wearing a cone or Elizabethan collar to prevent your dog from rubbing their eye and causing harm to the affected eyelid. 

Keep your veterinarian informed of any increase in swelling, loss of stitches, bleeding or drainage from the eyelid. Follow-up care may include antibiotic ointments or drops as well as anti-inflammatory medications. Always follow directions for any medication given and follow-up with your post-surgery appointments.

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Eyelid Tumors Average Cost

From 217 quotes ranging from $500 - $3,000

Average Cost

$800

Eyelid Tumors Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Lola

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Labrador Retriever

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15 Years

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Bleeding

My 15 year lab has had a tumor on her upper eyelid for the past couple years and it has been a watch and wait situation as it was small and not growing. But the past several months it has started to grow quite large and while the vet says it isn’t scratching her cornea, and that due to her advanced age we should leave it, I worry that it is getting too large and it bleeds from time to time. Is there a less invasive remedy to help keep it clean or shrink it other than surgery?

June 30, 2018

Lola's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

Lola’s age here will limit the options available, however some options may still be open from continuing to keep an eye on it to the possibility of cryosurgery to remove the lump (depends on the type lump). However, options are limited as I mentioned and it may be just a case of waiting to see if there is any further change. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 1, 2018

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Odie

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Shih Tzu bichon cross

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11 Years

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Eyelid Swelling

Hi, my 11 year old shih tzu bichon cross got a lump on his left eyelid a while back. But he does have cysts on his body and I figured it would burst like the ones on his back. But it has started bleeding and now it is bothering him and hes scratching his eye now.

May 16, 2018

Odie's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Dogs can get benign tumors of their eyelids, as well as bacterial infections and cancerous tumors. It would be a good idea to have Odie seen by your veterinarian, as they can look at the lump, determine what it might be, and recommend any treatment that the may need. Those tumors sometimes need to be removed, and your veterinarian can let you know if that is something that would help Odie.

May 16, 2018

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Sadie

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Cocker Spaniel

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12 Years

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Lump O

I have a 12 year old cocker spaniel who seemed to develop an lump on right eyelid almost overnight. Took her to vet who aspirated lump, looked at fluid under microscope, said he didn't see any cancerous cells, but couldn't rule out. Put my dog on antibiotics, which has helped some, but few days after the 7-day antibiotic meds ran out, it's full blown again. Reading responses via this website, learned about a product - Thymex from Standard Process - is this safe for canines, and if so, where can one obtain? This is very concerning to me and do have her scheduled for follow-up on Monday. Please advise. Want to do what's best for her, but unsure at this point what that really is...

Jan. 5, 2018

Sadie's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Thank you for your email. Without seeing her, I can't examine her or recommend any product to treat her. Dogs do commonly get benign tumors call meibomian adenomas, annd they sometimes to have to be surgically removed. It would be best to cosult with your veteirnarian, as they have seen her, and know more about what that mass might be, for treatment options. I hope that she does well!

Jan. 5, 2018

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Dexter

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Yorkiebichon

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7 Years

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Moderate severity

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1 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Tumor

I have a 7 yr old YorkieBi chon male dog. Right before Christmas he developed a lump on his lower right center of his eyelid. It came on quickly and we took him to the vet. The dog was prescribed Neomycin and Polymyxin B drops. At first the lump got smaller but then started to grow back to the size of a small blueberry. When we went back to the vet for a follow up, he referred us to an eye specialist for dogs. He could not answer any questions concerning the lump/tumor. What type of lump/tumor would come on suddenly, respond to medicine briefly and then grow back? The dog is acting normal and is not trying to itch it.

Jan. 3, 2018

Dexter's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Thank you for your email. Common eye tumors include meibomian gland adenomas, and mast cell tumors. If there is any sort of secondary infection present, it may have improved initially, and then recurred. Without seeing Dexter, I am not sure what type of mass it might be, but if your veterinarian has recommended you see a specialist, it would be best to do so, as your veterinarian has been able to see the lump, and knows the history of Dexter. I hope that everything goes well!

Jan. 3, 2018

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Milly

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Maltese shitzue

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5 Years

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Mild severity

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1 found helpful

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

My Maltese cross has a lump on her upper eyelid which was treated at first with antibiotic ointment. Has gone down, the vet took a swab and said it was a melanoma. It's not bothering her, and was booked in for surgery which had to be cancelled at the last minute as staff shortage. What I want to know should I get a 2nd opinion has I have been reading that it is a big op and if it is not necessary I don't want to put her through that

Nov. 29, 2017

Milly's Owner


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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

Eyelid melanomas should be removed with a wide margin in my opinion, but there are some varying opinions on that; I would book her in for another surgery but it is down to you. However, if you want to get a second opinion it would help you make a decision. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Nov. 29, 2017

Thanks Dr Turner, I will book Milly in for the surgery. Cheers Jane Macdonald

Nov. 29, 2017

Milly's Owner

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NICO

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German Shepherd

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5 Years

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Moderate severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Bleeds When Messed With, No Obvious

I have a 60+ LBS Shepard Collie mix. He started out with a tiny bump on his lower eyelid, that has now become the size of a marble. (Lumpy, and round.) It's hanging from a small mass of tissue, and the weight pulls his eyelid open even while sleeping. It bleeds occasionally from the mass, not the base. He constantly rubs it, and tries to "get it off". I'm 90% certain I could just excise it with a scalpel, and apply a Styptic Pencil to the remaining wound. I've done it to cows, goats, and horses, but never a dog. I'm a PHD, not an MD, thoughts?

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Penny

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Jack Russell Terrier

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11 Years

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

White Tubular Lump
Lump Inside Eyelid
Mild, Almost Clear Eye Disc

My experience, so far, has been that my 11 y/o female JRT developed a white lump at the outside corner, on the inside of her upper eyelid. The white lump looks more like a tiny tube, than a round lump. It’s difficult to tell in other experiences if the lumps are on the inside or the outside of the eyelids. Are lumps on the inside different than the ones on the outside? Would the suggestions for diagnosing and treatment be different?

Eyelid Tumors Average Cost

From 217 quotes ranging from $500 - $3,000

Average Cost

$800

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