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What are Eyelid Tumors?

A mass on the eyelid of your dog can be benign or malignant and can occur due to gland issues or a genetic 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.

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
  • Tear staining
  • Chronic eye infections
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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 definitive reason why some of these tumors are benign and some are cancerous. Genetics and 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 is impossible to diagnose an eyelid tumor as being 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

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Labrador Retriever

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One Year

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Unknown severity

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8 found helpful

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

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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8 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

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

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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Eyelid Tumors Average Cost

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

Average Cost

$800

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