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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. 

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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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Bella

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Portuguese Water Dog

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9 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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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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0 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

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

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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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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Archie

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Border Collie Britt

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5 Years

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Fair severity

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1 found helpful

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

My 5 year old border collie has 2 masses, each about 3mm in size. Our vet things they are sebaceous adenomas. She wants us to take in in under general anaesthesia and remove them. Is this really necessary? They dont seem to really bother him... is there a chance they might be malignant?

Nov. 29, 2017

Archie's Owner

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1 Recommendations

Typically sebaceous adenomas are benign growths originating from the sweat glands of the skin; the decision to remove them is down to you, surgical excision is curative but a wait and see approach can be taken especially if they are causing no harm (they may itch, get damaged and bleed). I would remove them, but there are varying opinions on removal and the decision is yours; Archie is still young and would tolerate anaesthesia well. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM http://cal.vet.upenn.edu/projects/derm/Home/ADNEXAL/sebac/sebadc.htm

Nov. 29, 2017

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Kobi

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Golden Retriever

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10 Years

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

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

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

I removed a cyst from my dog (I think) thinking it looked like a tick, until it was out and was yellow semi solid pus the whole way through hardened at the skin in a scab. Now there is a 3mm dia. X 5mm deep hole in his skin. What do I need to do to protect it from infection

Sept. 4, 2017

Kobi's Owner

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0 Recommendations

It is important to ensure that the wound is kept clean and free of debris; you could try applying some Neosporin to the wound but this may slow down the overall healing time but would create a barrier to prevent direct contamination. The wound is large, and it will take some time to close naturally as it will heal from the bottom up instead of two opposed skin margins coming together. If you have concerns, or want a quicker healing time visit your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Sept. 4, 2017

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Hoyt

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Norwegian Elkhound

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5

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Mild severity

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1 found helpful

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Considering a second surgery, for removal of 10-11 Sebaceous Gland Cysts, of various sizes, and placements. My 5 year old Male Norwegian Elkhound had surgery under a general anesthetic, for what our vet describes as the largest number of Sebaceous Gland cysts he's ever seen,15. This second "crop" has developed, with the 1 cluster area again taken up with multiple cyst eruptions. Is there a less radical treatment, or do we have additional surgery? Is this genetic?

Sept. 2, 2017

Hoyt's Owner

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1 Recommendations

There is some evidence of genetic predisposition to sebaceous cysts in some breeds but I am not sure about Norwegian Elkhounds, smaller numbers of cysts may be managed with warm compresses and encouraging them to rupture themselves (without sticking a needle in them) but large numbers and large individual cysts would require surgery. Supplementing Hoyt’s diet with essential fatty acid supplements and with krill oil may help with the development of cysts as well as regular grooming and bathing. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Sept. 2, 2017

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Cooper

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Yorkshire Terrier

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10 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

Cyst On Back Of His Nexk
Cyst On Back Of His Neck

Cooper is about 3 1/2 lbs and about 9-10 yrs, has what I believe to be a cyst about 1/4-1/2” in circumference (about like a small marble). Paying for a vet visit is not the issue. The problem is, he has a bad heart, and after “putting him under” he may not wake up. Unfortunately, that’s what is being suggested to remove the cyst. It’s on the back of his neck about 1/2 way between his ear & shoulder. My suggestion was to remove it under.a local but vet said he’ll move around too much. Any thoughts or suggestions?

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