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What is Sebaceous Cyst Removal?

A sebaceous cysts removal treatment in dogs is a surgical procedure used to remove a cysts on the skin’s surface. Sebaceous cysts are often removed with a scalpel blade in veterinary medicine, but can be resolved using surgical laser or fine needle aspiration. Surgical blade removal is the most common form of sebaceous cyst removal treatment. Sebaceous cysts should only be removed by a licensed veterinarian or veterinary dermatologist. 

Sebaceous Cyst Removal Procedure in Dogs

Preoperative blood work will be obtained from the canine patient to ensure a clean bill of health. The canine may be fasting, but local anesthetic patients will not be required to do so. 

  1. The cyst and surrounding area will be palpated to confirm location. 
  2. Using a skin marker, the vet will draw an ellipse over the cyst as a guide for his/her incision. 
  3. Local anesthetic will be injected around the cyst to provide an anesthetic block, which blocks the nerve receptions in one located area. The vet may mark out the area to be anaesthetized with marker. The general choice of local anesthetic combination is 2% lignocaine with adrenaline. (variable) 
  4. The surgical area will be cleaned with an antiseptic solution containing chlorhexidine and Betadine parts (variable) 
  5. The area of the dog that is not a part of the surgical procedure will be covered with a sterile drape(s). 
  6. Using a scalpel blade, the first incision will be made through the subcutaneous tissues. 
  7. A blunt dissection is then made to identify the plane between cyst and regular subcutaneous tissue. 
  8. The vet will then remove 25% of the cyst circumference using blunt dissection technique. 
  9. Using his/her thumbs, the vet will apply gentle pressure to the surrounding tissues to encourage the cyst to elevate from the dissection. 
  10. The cyst will be grasped with forceps and surgical scissors will separate the cyst’s deep pole.  
  11. Bleeding will be managed and non-absorbable sutures will be placed, closing the incision opening. 
  12. Saline solution will be used to clean the surgical area after closure.
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Efficacy of Sebaceous Cyst Removal in Dogs

The efficacy of sebaceous cyst removal in dogs is variable, as the location and number of cysts compromises the overall resulting prognosis. Canines that only present one sebaceous cyst in a location on the body that is not rich with nerves or blood has a great prognosis. However, problems arise when a dog presents multiple cysts or a sebaceous cyst on the face, eyes, neck or the inner thighs. 

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Sebaceous Cyst Removal Recovery in Dogs

A dog that has undergone a sebaceous cyst removal will be sent home with an antibiotic to control infection and an Elizabethan collar to prevent manipulation of the surgical site. The surgical site will need to remain clean and exercise restrictions for the dog may be placed. As non-absorbable sutures were placed to close the surgical opening, a secondary appointment will need to be scheduled to have the sutures removed. 

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Cost of Sebaceous Cyst Removal in Dogs

The average cost of removing a sebaceous cyst from a dog can vary and may range from $75 to $250. If your dog has multiple cysts or if the cyst is located in a challenging area, such as the face, the price may increase.

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Dog Sebaceous Cyst Removal Considerations

Patients may experience a minor degree of sensation in the scarred area, which may be permanent. If the sebaceous cyst is not removed by a veterinary professional, significant nerve damage could be a result due to poor dissecting technique. As with all surgical procedures, haemorrhaging is a possible risk, but can be limited by removing blood thinners and pain medications prior to surgery. Sebaceous cysts lie deep into the layers of the skin, which poses a risk for bacterial infection. Lastly, an incomplete removal of the cyst can cause the affected area to develop into a lesion or reoccur shortly after removal.

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Sebaceous Cyst Removal Prevention in Dogs

Sebaceous cysts can affect a canine for unknown reasons that cannot be controlled, however, there are a few factors that veterinarians advise as methods of prevention. 

  • Diet:

    A balanced diet is the best way to keep your dog’s health in check and that includes his skin. 

  • Hygiene:

    Grooming your dog will help spread the sebaceous oils throughout the hair coat, while bathing will keep the amount of oil to a minimum. 

  • Routine veterinary

    check-ups: visiting the veterinarian at least once a year will help catch skin problems early and will aid in preventing future problems from occurring.

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Sebaceous Cyst Removal Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Jackie

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Boarder Collie Husky

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13 Years

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Serious severity

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1 found helpful

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Puss
Cysts
Bloody

My dog has a serious cyst on the top of her head. in the past she had scratched it open and it had become infected, the vet gave us antibiotics and the infection cleared, however the cyst did not fully close or get smaller. It is now a few weeks later and she has once again scratched at the cyst, causing it to become infected again. there is blood and yellow puss oozing from the cyst and dampening her fur around it constantly. Jackie has had no changes in her behavior since the infection. I will take her to the vet to be put on antibiotics again. However I fear that this is no permanent solution. I am willing to opt for surgery but she is an older dog. I am afraid her age may become a complication. https://photos.app.goo.gl/H6VBGDybFtqMCnVTA

Sept. 4, 2018

Jackie's Owner

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TJ

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Boston Terrier

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14 Years

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Moderate severity

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1 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Cyst

My Boston Terrier is 14 years.He has a cyst on his penis . The vet tested not cancer. It is growing. I do not have a lot of money for surgery. Should I put him through surgery at his age?

July 20, 2018

TJ's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Without seeing the location of the cyst or how large it is, or knowing how fast it is growing, It is hard for me to comment on whether you should have the surgery. If it is growing very fast, and is in a location where it affects function for TJ, then you probably should. If it is growing slowly, and is in a spot where it doesn't make a huge impact, then maybe it is okay to monitor the lump. Since your veterinarian has seen him, it may be a good idea to have a recheck, discuss whether surgery is something that needs to happen or not, and decide which direction to take.

July 20, 2018

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Reina

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Labrador Retriever

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12 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Cysts
Bloody

My dog has several sebaceous cysts on her skin that look like moles. Two of them ruptured, and they now will not stop oozing. They are now basically just bleeding open wounds that won't heal. I'm keeping them clean, but not seeing any decrease in the discharge or any sign of them closing. In fact, one cyst is now very red and open around the entire cyst surface. Will this need to be removed? My dog is 12 1/2 years old with some health issues, and I'm very afraid to have her go under anesthesia. Any help is appreciated!

Feb. 6, 2018

Reina's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Thank you for your email. Sometimes sebaceous cysts can become infected and benefit from antibiotic therapy, and sometimes they do need to be surgically removed. Without seeing Reina, I'm not sure what therapy that she might need, but your veterinarian will be able to discuss the best course of treatment for her with you, and you can come to an agreement on the best way to resolve this problem for her. I hope that she does well!

Feb. 6, 2018

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Bella

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Portuguese Water Dog

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9 Years

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Moderate severity

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Pain, Nausea,Lethargy,

9 yr Portuguese Water dog with cyst on tail about 1.5-2.0 inches from body (1st felt ~1.5 yrs ago).Has been increasing in size but now has rapidly enlarged about small golf ball size with surrounding cellulitis. On Cindamyacin,carprofen. Draining foul sero/sang fluid. Vet wants to amputate tail & do cytology test during this procedure. Vet says unable to excise mass due to not enough skin to cover wound.Can an incision be made & cyst scraped out? Also, wouldn't it be reasonable to aspirate or get core sample for cytology before amputation.My Vet seems to think an amputation is no big deal (I disagree). My dog is in good health & is active.

Jan. 21, 2018

Bella's Owner


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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Thank you for your email. Depending on the surgeon, there may be different techniques to remove the mass and preserve the skin. It makes sense to get a biopsy of the mass before making that drastic decision to see what type of mass it is, and what margins might be necessary, as that may allow for less skin to be taken. I can't see the mass or examine Bella, but a biopsy pre-surgery seems like a good alternative to possible amputation.

Jan. 21, 2018

My Maggie just had several cysts removed from between her two front legs (on her back) and one on her thigh. She is a 13 y/o beagle in good health. She is post-op day 1 and wants to jump on the chair she likes to sit in. I have restricted her to the kitchen with a doggy bed on the floor. How long before I can safely allow her to get on her fav. chair? She has many staples in her back and on her left hip. I have taken the "cone" off while she is being supervised. She is much happier with that off. So far, so good. Thanks for the info.!

July 17, 2018

Trish A.

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Ruby

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Welsh Terrier

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10 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Cysts

My dog Ruby is a Welsh Terrier and she has a growth the size of a tennis ball. When I went to the vet on Monday they said its not deadly but, it still looks bad. Down side is the quote they gave me was for $1,500. One I don't have that kind of cash and 2 I wonder if my dog is going to be a bionic-dog? I need help finding something no more than $500 or less. Hopefully less. Ive been doing a great job of keeping the Cyst clean and, not scabbing over.

Jan. 10, 2018

Ruby's Owner


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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Thank you for your email. Without knowing where the cyst is, how fast it has grown, and how it is affecting her life, I cannot comment on your options, unfortunately. Since your veterinarian has seen Ruby, knows where the cyst is and what it looks like, it would be best if you ask them this question. Let them know your budget, and they may be able to offer alternatives. Care Credit is also a service that most veterinary clinics offer for unexpected expenses. I hope that she does well.

Jan. 10, 2018

My dog was in for surgery today for 2 cysts to be removed. One small, and one very large. They quoted me at about 500$ but it’s going to cost 755$ because the vasculature was more complex, making it more involved and take more time than anticipated. So even if you do get a quote for around 500$ or less, take it with a grain of salt. Veterinarians know a lot, but they can’t know everything that’s necessary until they get in there and see how the lump is attached to things. You can have certain sebaceous cysts lanced, but I would not recommend this cheap alternative as it does not remove the sack, and will only fill back over time. This decision is usually only made in elderly dogs, who might not be with us much longer, but still need to be kept comfortable. Hope this helps!

Jan. 11, 2018

Katy L.

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Mauwi

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pitbull

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7 Years

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

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

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Cysts

Well she has had one on her tail for awhile. It was small. Went to class monday and came home to find where she had bit it. Blood and puss leaked from it. So I took her straight to the vet. The vet said they would need to dock her tail. I had blood work done. She has no cancer and is as healthy as can be besides this. I just dont agree with docking her tail when I've read it could be surgically removed. Shes a pitbull/German shepherd. Any help or advice would be appreciated. I'm taking her to a second vet to get another opinion.

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Scar

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Pit bull

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14 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

None

My dog is a 14 years old pitbull. He still gets around like a puppy. He has a cyst on the side of his neck. I can actually lift the cyst up it's not connected. It's also squishy. He has a second one on his inner left thigh and that was is hard, but I can lift it up too and go underneath it too. He doesn't limp from the one on his leg. He is very active and runs. I just want some insight on how much it would cost to atleast have the squishy one drained. Or have them removed all together.

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Kheesha

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Siberian Husky

dog-age-icon

1 Year

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

Fair severity

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0 found helpful

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

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

I Feel Like She Had Muscle Wasting

Interdigital cyst on the right hind leg specifically located on the first paw close to the body. When we took her to the vet, the cyst ruptured when she stood up and so the vet drained it. After draining, she prescribed cephalexin to be taken twice a day for 7 days as well as carprofen twice a day for 7 days. I always brush my dogs fur before going to bed and that was shortly after giving her meds and while brushing the hips to buttocks part, I felt stiffness in muscles and I immediately checked the other side and it was also stiff and both sides seemed to lose some muscles because it really felt different. I called the vet the following day and told her the condition of my dogs hip and she told us to monitor it for 2-3 days. It’s been 4 days and until now, there’s no changes with her hind hips feeling stiff and seemingly had lost some muscles. Any advice on what to do since we haven’t seen her vet yet.

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Meeko

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Doberman Pinscher Mix Chihuahua

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8 Months

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

Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Bleeding, Swelling, Burst,Red Hole

So within a week i noticed my dog's fur lifted on his left flank side closer to middle on side. It was a mass kinda squishy after a week it got twice the size the vet aspirated it and sai it was hard to get anything out but it was redish white like he was fighting something. She prescribed clauvomox after a week it ruptured fluid was reddish yellowish. Its been 2 more weeks and he stil on antibiotics and it ruptured and filled every 3 days after a bath to relieve him i apply a blue kote from tractor supply and leave a cone one him but i feel this insnt a good life hving to be in kennel cause his bloody oozing side. Ive read not to wrap it and theres a hole then it scabs n fills n burst redder n madder each timem

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Manny

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German Shepherd

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2 Years

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

Fair severity

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0 found helpful

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

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Abnormal Scab

My dog had a sebaceous cyst removed a few months ago by a professional veterinarian. The procedure went great and they shaved the area/kept it clean and she wore a collar. Her hair has grown back since covering the area and my dog is not bothered by it at all. I went to check on it yesterday just to see if there was a scab or scar and I noticed that there is a weird scab jetting out from the hole. It looks like a crusty scab with another scab underneath it. My dog did not like me messing with it. Is this a problem or should I let it continue to heal?

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