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What are Open Drainage of Cysts?

A cyst is a large, abnormal sac within the body that is typically filled with fluid or pus. Cysts are typically caused by a bacterial infection or blockage of any of the body's many glands and ducts. Although commonly mistaken for tumors, cysts are benign and non-life-threatening (although some may be unsightly or uncomfortable). Vets will typically opt to use a needle to drain the fluid from these vessels, although sometimes, it will be necessary to perform a procedure known as 'open drainage' on the cyst.

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Open Drainage of Cysts Procedure in Dogs

Due to the invasive nature of the operation, the vet will usually place the dog under a general anesthetic and shave the site where they plan to make the incision. Next, using a scalpel, they will cut through the intervening tissues to reach the cyst, which they will carefully slice open. The cyst can then either be allowed to drain by itself into a pan, or suction can be applied to remove the contents. After the cyst is drained, most vets will opt to remove it entirely (especially if it has become infected). The incision is then sutured closed and the dog allowed to awaken.

Efficacy of Open Drainage of Cysts in Dogs

Open drainage will alleviate the symptoms associated with a cyst almost immediately. If the cyst has become infected (and the infection has spread) then antibiotics will be required, but the noticeable swelling and inflammation should start to ebb away right after surgery. 

Open Drainage of Cysts Recovery in Dogs

Immediately after surgery, the dog will require painkillers to alleviate any obvious discomfort. Depending on the location of the cyst that was drained, the dog may also need to be fitted with an E-collar to prevent it from tearing out its own sutures. It may also be required that the owner tries to keep exercise to a minimum until the wound is healed. Fortunately, as most cysts tend to occur in the sebaceous glands of the skin, the surgical wound will often not be especially deep and will heal in just over a month. If a serious infection was involved, however, the dog will also need to complete a full course of antibiotics, which will usually take about two to four weeks. The vet may also wish to schedule some follow-up visits to ensure that the surgical incision is healing correctly and the underlying condition is clearing up.

Cost of Open Drainage of Cysts in Dogs

The normal price for open drainage of most cysts can be expected to fall roughly around $250. Depending on location, however, the price may increase further. Draining cysts located on the kidneys, for instance, may cost $400 or more due to the added complexity of the operation.

Dog Open Drainage of Cysts Considerations

Although a very potent means for dealing with problem cysts, open drainage is not without risks. Elderly dogs (who coincidentally are some of the main sufferers of cysts) are especially at risk of cardiovascular failure when placed under general anesthetic, which may cause some owners to think twice before opting for the surgery. Another potential pitfall is the potential for infection of the incision site, though this can be counteracted by making sure the dog's living environment is thoroughly cleaned when they return from the clinic.

Open Drainage of Cysts Prevention in Dogs

While cysts that occur deep within the body are normally the result of genetic predisposition, sebaceous cysts are somewhat avoidable. They are typically caused by blockages of the sebaceous duct and damage to the hair follicle itself. By making sure a dog's living area meets a good standard of hygiene and by properly grooming and maintaining its coat, an owner can mitigate the risk of cysts developing. 

Open Drainage of Cysts Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

karlie
Border Collie
14 Years
Fair condition
-1 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

N/A

my dog has a balloon like thing hanging on her.what is it.it has fluid in it.its about the size of fist.only just noticed it.she is eating fine.she seems to be herself.she going to toliet alright.no other problems

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1604 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Unfortunately, without seeing Karlie, I can't comment on what the lump that you have seen on her might be. It would be best to have her examined by your veterinarian, as they can look at the lump, let you know what it might be and if any treatments might be necessary. It is always good to have unusual growths looked at to make sure that aren't anything to worry about, and determine any possible treatment. I hope that everything goes well for Karlie.

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Hershey
Lab mix
12 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

none

I am dog sitting for some friends. I noticed "Hershey" a small lab mix approximately 12 years old has a growth (cyst like) on her back side just below her tail and beside her anal. I noticed she had been licking it and it appears to have a red hole that is draining a bit. The owners said it had been there a while. They, unlike myself are not "vet" goers and said they had been putting ointment on it occassionally. Should I put triple antibiotic ointment on it? I would love to take her to my vet but not my call and I'm sure they would be mad even though I would pay for it! Is there anything I can do????

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
You should bathe the area regularly and apply an antibiotic ointment to be on the safe side; if it is near the anus it may be a perianal fistula which may occur in Labradors. If Hershey isn’t in pain or distress I would monitor it and discuss it with the owners when they return. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.acvs.org/small-animal/perianal-fistulas

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Harley
Shepherd mix
12 Years
Mild condition
-1 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

walks slowly and doesn't run
Balance Loss

My vet is going to surgically remove a fatty tumor from the inside abdominal area in front of her hip in my 12 year old Shepherd and have an open drain. I'm worried . She recently developed a heart murmur. Am I making the right decision to remove tumor?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations

Heart murmurs vary in severity on a scale of one to six; your Veterinarian is responsible to make an informed decision which is in the best interest of their patient. It is normal to have dogs on a daily basis for surgery which have heart murmurs so I wouldn’t be too concerned. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Honey
Basset Hound
14yrs
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

cysts
Cyst (benign)

My 14yr old dog has a benign cyst on her tail. She can't go under anesthesia, so how do I treat it at home? It opens up and bleeds and closes back up. It's been ongoing for about a year now. Thx in advance for any advice you can help me with..

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
Without having the option of surgery, I can only suggest to keep it clean and free of debris when it opens up as well as applying an antibiotic ointment to the area regularly. It may be possible to freeze the cyst (with local), but this would need to be discussed with your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Smokey
Labrador Retriever
8 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Sleeps more
lump on head

Medication Used

Simplicef 200 mg once a day, carpro

my 8 year old female black lab had a golf ball sized lump on her head the first vet drained it and said it was a bruise from a trauma. within a couple weeks it came back bigger I took her to another vet who has aspirated it 3 times, 1st taking 20 cm fluid out, then 30cm had that tested and it was a sterile fluid, no bacteria, and the last time gave her antisthesea and cleaned it out sucking more fluid than ever out, flushed it out and shot antibiotics. After her eyes where swollen almost shut. After a few days she looked good and after two weeks the lump came back. She has been on antibiotics and anti-inflamatory meds for 2 months. She eats, drinks, potties and goes for her walks. I don't know what to do next and suggestions would be appreciated.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
It is difficult to say what the exact best course of action would be without examining her first; the location makes it difficult to do anything else with it as I am assuming that there isn’t much loose skin to deal with in that area. Repeated draining isn’t a long term solution, but surgical excision is likely not practical either; you should return to your Veterinarian to explore your options. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Ella
Border Collie
13 Years
Fair condition
1 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

cysts

Took my almost 14 year old dog to the vet yesterday as she's got a lump on her neck that's grown quite slowly. I thought it's just a fatty lump as its squishy. Vet says she thinks it's a fluid filled cyst but best to remove it. Said she can stick a needle in the drain some fluid then analyse it but this can be inconclusive. I said I was worried about her having an op at her age and she said they operate on old dogs all the time. I'm worried about doing this to my girl and wonder if she just wants the £400 out of me! She's newly qualified and not been at the practise for long and has never seen my dog before, I think she's being a bit over keen.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1604 Recommendations
Depending on the type of cyst, it may or may not need to be surgically removed. If you are not sure of the diagnosis or plan, it is okay to have a second opinion. Without seeing Ella, unfortunately, I am unable to give you any advice on the mass.

Thank you Michele, I think I will seek a second opinion

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Sherlock
Bichon Frise
15 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Seepage

My bichon has had a sebaceous cyst near the base of his tail for years. It finally burst but because he is almost 15 years old my vet does not want to do surgery. They have had him on two rounds of clavomox, then a round of clovomax and batril, and now cefpodoxime. The site continues to weep. Is there any thing else I can do? Other than a slow gate, he is fine.

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