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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.

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Eyelid Tumors Average Cost

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

Average Cost

$800

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
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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.

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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.

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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

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Eyelid Tumors Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Labrador Retriever

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One Year

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Unknown severity

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2 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Swelling Around Eye

Buddy’s eye is red around and the top has a bump. He was seen and given antibiotic drops but nothing is helping.

Dec. 20, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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2 Recommendations

Hello so sorry to hear that your dog is having issues. This may be a sty. You can try warm compresses to see if it helps. If this does not get better, it would be best for your vet to recheck him he may need a different eye medication to help.

Dec. 21, 2020

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French Bulldog

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One Year

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Bump on inner eyelid

Dec. 14, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

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0 Recommendations

The skin appear red and inflamed, so it may be that there is some degree of allergies/atopic dermatitis going on. I have to say I can't see any obvious lump in that picture. There is some pigment on the 3rd eyelid which is normal. If your dog has been rubbing their face due to itchiness, this may cause some swelling. The vet can check the eyes and skin and will be able to prescribe any required medicine such as anti inflammatories.

Dec. 14, 2020

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Siberian Husky

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Ten Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Bumps Above Each Eye

He has bumps above each eye that have broken open and have bled but are not currently bleeding. The bumps are hard. He is blind as a result of PRA

Sept. 26, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get treatment for them.

Oct. 16, 2020

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Long haired labrador

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Six Years

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Unknown severity

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4 found helpful

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

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Tumor/Bump On Eye

Hello. my dog had a small growth appear on his eye a few months ago. it is a grayish black color. I originally thought it was a rock and tries to pull it off with tweezers, and managed to pull some of the outside off. it bled, but only a little bit. I called my local vet, but after describing it to them they said to wait and see if it gets any bigger. it's now been about three months, and it is the same size. due to COVID 19, my vet is only taking emergency appointments. Is this an emergency, or can it really wait? And is there anything I can do from home?

July 30, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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4 Recommendations

Hello, So sorry to hear about your dog. This mass does need to be removed. These masses can rub on your dog's eye and cause an ulcer or more damage to the eye. Most vets now can do elective surgeries. If your vet cannot, see if another vet in your area can see your dog and remove this mass. Good Luck.

July 30, 2020

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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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0 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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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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