Common Types of Cysts on Dogs and How to Treat Them

A licensed vet with over a decade of experience keeping pups happy and healthy. When she’s not seeing patients, you can find her researching the latest advancements in pet healthcare or hitting the dog park with her own furry sidekick.
A licensed vet with over a decade of experience keeping pups happy and healthy. When she’s not seeing patients, you can find her researching the latest advancements in pet healthcare or hitting the dog park with her own furry sidekick.

Our blog posts are carefully crafted and reviewed by experts in canine health and behavior, ensuring accuracy and relevance by referencing authoritative sources, primarily scientific studies and veterinary guides. Before publication and significant updates, we rigorously verify the factual accuracy to deliver thoroughly researched content grounded in the latest canine science.

Editorial Policy and Guidelines
Our blog posts are carefully crafted and reviewed by experts in canine health and behavior, ensuring accuracy and relevance by referencing authoritative sources, primarily scientific studies and veterinary guides. Before publication and significant updates, we rigorously verify the factual accuracy to deliver thoroughly researched content grounded in the latest canine science.

Did you know that dogs can develop various types of cysts ranging from sebaceous cysts on the skin to internal cysts like mesenteric or ovarian cysts? The signs of these cysts can vary, from visible skin growths to subtle discomfort or digestive issues. Diagnosis often involves a combination of physical exams and imaging tests, leading to suitable treatment options such as drainage, surgery, or medication. Understanding the types of cysts on dogs, their signs, and treatment options is essential for ensuring your furry companion’s well-being.

Key Takeaways

  • Sebaceous, follicular, epidermoid, pilar, and apocrine gland cysts can develop on dogs’ skin.
  • Skin cysts can cause inflammation, infection, discomfort, and should not be squeezed or popped.
  • Internal organ cysts like mesenteric, pancreatic, ovarian, and testicular cysts can occur in dogs.
  • Symptoms include abdominal pain, weight loss, and discomfort, requiring prompt veterinary evaluation.
  • Treatments may include drainage, medication, surgical removal, and post-treatment monitoring for cyst recurrence.

Sebaceous Cysts

skin condition with cysts

Sebaceous cysts on dogs are common skin growths caused by blocked oil glands. These cysts are typically benign and appear as raised bumps under the skin. Prevention of sebaceous cysts in dogs involves maintaining good hygiene practices, such as regular grooming to prevent the accumulation of dirt and debris that can clog the oil glands.

If a sebaceous cyst ruptures, it can lead to inflammation, infection, and discomfort for your dog. To prevent this from happening, it’s important not to squeeze or try to pop the cyst yourself. Instead, consult your veterinarian for proper treatment.

Regularly checking your dog’s skin for any new lumps or bumps can help detect sebaceous cysts early on. If you notice any changes in size, color, or texture of the cyst, or if your dog shows signs of pain or discomfort, seek veterinary care promptly. Remember, prevention and early detection are key in managing sebaceous cysts in dogs.

Follicular Cysts

Follicular cysts on dogs can be caused by blocked hair follicles, leading to the formation of fluid-filled sacs under the skin.

If left untreated, these cysts can become inflamed or infected, causing discomfort for your furry friend.

Treatment options for follicular cysts may include drainage, medication, or in some cases, surgical removal by a veterinarian.

Follicular Cyst Causes

One common cause of follicular cysts in dogs is the blockage of hair follicles, leading to the accumulation of fluid and debris under the skin. This blockage can trigger the formation of a cyst, which may grow over time if not addressed promptly. Other factors contributing to follicular cyst development include hormonal imbalances and genetic predispositions.

Regular grooming and bathing can help prevent the buildup of debris and oils that may clog hair follicles. Maintaining a healthy diet and weight can reduce the risk of hormonal imbalances that could lead to cyst formation. Promptly addressing any skin infections or irritations can prevent complications that may result in the development of cysts.

If left untreated, follicular cysts can lead to complications such as infection, inflammation, discomfort, and in some cases, rupture. It’s important to monitor your dog’s skin health and seek veterinary advice if you notice any unusual lumps, bumps, or changes in their skin.

Treatment Options for Follicular Cysts

Treatment for follicular cysts in dogs typically involves veterinary intervention to address the underlying causes and prevent complications. In cases where the follicular cyst is causing discomfort or infection, surgical removal may be necessary. Your veterinarian may recommend antibiotics to prevent or treat any potential infection that could arise from the cyst. These medications can help reduce inflammation and promote healing.

While veterinary care is important for managing follicular cysts, there are some home remedies that may help alleviate discomfort. However, it’s vital to consult with your vet before trying any home treatments.

In some instances, drainage techniques under veterinary supervision may be used to address particularly large or bothersome cysts.

Epidermoid Cysts

skin growth removal procedure

Epidermoid cysts on dogs are commonly benign growths that develop beneath the skin’s surface. These cysts are typically filled with keratin, a protein found in skin and hair. Here are key points to keep in mind about epidermoid cysts:

  • Epidermoid Cyst Prevention
  • Regular grooming and proper hygiene practices can help prevent the development of epidermoid cysts.
  • Keeping your dog’s skin clean and free from irritants may reduce the likelihood of cyst formation.
  • Consult with your veterinarian to address any skin issues promptly to prevent cysts from worsening.

When it comes to Epidermoid Cyst Management, it’s essential to:

  • Avoid squeezing or trying to pop the cyst at home, as this can lead to infection or further complications.
  • Seek veterinary advice if you notice changes in the cyst’s appearance, size, or if it causes discomfort to your dog.
  • Treatment options may include surgical removal by a veterinarian if the cyst becomes problematic or infected.

Pilar Cysts

Pilar cysts are common in dogs and are typically small, round lumps that can be found beneath the skin.

If your dog has a pilar cyst, you may notice a raised bump that’s firm to the touch.

Treatment options for pilar cysts in dogs may include monitoring, surgical removal, or drainage by a veterinarian.

Pilar Cyst Characteristics

One of the common types of cysts found on dogs is the pilar cyst, known for its distinct characteristics. Pilar cysts, also known as trichilemmal cysts, are typically found on the skin’s surface and are often filled with keratin. Here are some key points to keep in mind regarding pilar cysts:

  • Pilar Cyst Removal: If your dog develops a pilar cyst, it’s essential to seek veterinary care for proper diagnosis and treatment. Veterinarians may recommend surgical removal of the cyst to prevent any complications.
  • Veterinary Care: Regular check-ups with your veterinarian can help monitor your dog’s skin health, potentially catching pilar cysts early on.
  • Pilar Cyst Prevention: While pilar cysts may not always be preventable, maintaining good grooming habits for your dog can help reduce the risk of skin issues. Regular grooming, including brushing and bathing, can aid in preventing cyst formation.

Understanding the characteristics and potential treatments for pilar cysts can help you provide the best care for your furry friend’s skin health.

Symptoms in Dogs

To identify pilar cysts in dogs, watch out for specific symptoms that may indicate the presence of these skin growths. Behavioral changes can be one of the signs to look for. If your dog starts displaying unusual behavior such as increased irritability, restlessness, or aggression, it could be a potential indicator of a pilar cyst.

Additionally, keep an eye out for any digestive issues. Dogs with pilar cysts may experience vomiting, diarrhea, or a lack of appetite. These digestive problems can sometimes be linked to the presence of cysts and should prompt further investigation by a veterinarian.

Monitoring your dog’s behavior and digestive health regularly can help in the early detection of pilar cysts, allowing for timely medical intervention. If you notice any of these symptoms persisting or worsening, seek professional veterinary advice promptly to address the issue effectively.

Treatment Options Available

When addressing pilar cysts in dogs, veterinarians typically recommend surgical removal as the primary treatment option. This procedure involves excising the cyst under anesthesia to prevent recurrence and potential complications.

In addition to surgical removal, here are some other treatment options available for pilar cysts in dogs:

  • Medication Options: In some cases, veterinarians may prescribe medications such as antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drugs to manage any potential infection or inflammation associated with the pilar cysts.
  • Natural Remedies: Some pet owners opt for natural remedies like herbal ointments or essential oils to help reduce the size of the cyst or alleviate any discomfort their dog may be experiencing.
  • Home Care Suggestions: Providing a clean and comfortable environment for your dog, along with gentle cleaning of the affected area, can aid in the healing process post-surgery and prevent further complications.

Remember to consult with your veterinarian to determine the most suitable treatment plan for your furry companion’s pilar cysts.

Apocrine Gland Cysts

skin condition causing cysts

Apocrine gland cysts in dogs typically develop as a result of blocked hair follicles, leading to the accumulation of fluid and debris. These cysts are associated with the apocrine gland function, which is responsible for secreting a substance into hair follicles. When the hair follicles become blocked, either due to debris, dirt, or skin cells, the normal secretion process is disrupted, causing a buildup that can develop into a cyst.

Cyst formation in apocrine glands can lead to the development of small, firm lumps under the skin of your dog. These cysts may vary in size and can sometimes rupture, leading to discomfort and potential infection. If left untreated, apocrine gland cysts can grow larger and become more painful for your furry companion. Hence, it’s important to have any suspicious lumps checked by a veterinarian promptly.

Treatment for apocrine gland cysts usually involves draining the fluid accumulation and removing the cyst sac to prevent recurrence. In some cases, surgical excision may be necessary, especially for cysts that are large or recurrent. Regular monitoring and proper care can help manage apocrine gland cysts effectively.

Mesenteric Cysts

Mesenteric cysts in dogs are fluid-filled sacs that develop in the lining of the abdominal cavity, often near the intestines. These cysts can vary in size and may cause discomfort or complications if left untreated. When dealing with mesenteric cysts in your dog, it’s important to be informed about the available options for treatment and the diagnostic techniques used by veterinarians.

Understanding the potential complications associated with mesenteric cysts and taking preventive measures can help safeguard your dog’s health in the long run. Complications such as cyst rupture or infection can lead to more severe issues if not addressed promptly.

By staying proactive and seeking appropriate veterinary care, you can promote the well-being of your furry companion.

  • Mesenteric Cysts Treatment Options

Surgical removal is the most common treatment for mesenteric cysts in dogs. In some cases, drainage procedures may be considered by the veterinarian. Medications to manage symptoms or prevent infection may also be prescribed.

Pancreatic Cysts

Developing in the pancreas, pancreatic cysts are fluid-filled sacs that can occur in dogs and may require veterinary attention for proper management. These cysts can lead to complications such as abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss if left untreated.

When pancreatic cysts are suspected, a veterinarian may recommend diagnostic tests like ultrasounds or CT scans to confirm the diagnosis.

In some cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to address pancreatic cysts in dogs. Surgical options for pancreatic cysts include drainage procedures to remove the fluid from the cyst or even partial removal of the cyst itself to alleviate symptoms and prevent further complications. It’s important to consult with a qualified veterinarian to determine the most suitable treatment plan for your dog’s specific condition.

Regular monitoring and follow-up appointments are vital after treatment to ensure the cysts don’t reoccur and that your dog’s pancreas remains healthy.

Ovarian Cysts

Ovarian cysts in dogs are fluid-filled sacs that can develop in the ovaries and may necessitate veterinary evaluation for proper management. These cysts can vary in size and can potentially impact your dog’s health if left untreated.

When dealing with ovarian cysts in your furry companion, here are some important points to keep in mind:

  • Surgical Removal: In some cases, surgical intervention may be required to remove the cysts and prevent any complications.
  • Hormone Therapy: Your veterinarian may recommend hormone therapy to manage the cysts and restore hormonal balance in your dog.
  • Fertility Concerns and Long-Term Management: Ovarian cysts can affect your dog’s fertility, so it’s crucial to address any concerns regarding breeding. Additionally, long-term management strategies may be necessary to monitor and prevent the reoccurrence of ovarian cysts in the future.

Testicular Cysts

What’re the key characteristics of testicular cysts in dogs?

Testicular cysts, also known as spermatocele or epididymal cysts, are fluid-filled sacs that develop within the testicles of male dogs. These cysts can vary in size and may be single or multiple. Commonly, testicular cysts are important and asymptomatic, but they can lead to hormonal imbalances and potential infertility concerns in some cases.

When testicular cysts cause discomfort or affect your dog’s reproductive health, surgical removal may be necessary. Your veterinarian will assess the size and location of the cysts to determine the best course of action. Monitoring options post-surgery may be recommended to make sure the cysts don’t recur.

It is vital to address testicular cysts promptly to prevent complications and safeguard your dog’s well-being. If you notice any changes in your dog’s behavior, such as excessive licking or swelling in the testicular area, consult your veterinarian for a thorough evaluation and appropriate management.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Cysts on Dogs Be Contagious to Other Pets?

Cysts on dogs aren’t usually contagious to other pets. However, direct contact may pose a transmission risk. Prevent this by keeping affected areas clean. Treatment options vary based on the cyst type, affecting prognosis.

Are Certain Dog Breeds More Prone to Developing Cysts?

Certain dog breeds may have a genetic predisposition to developing cysts. Environmental factors can also play a role. Be aware of these factors in breeds prone to cysts and take preventive measures for your pet’s health.

Can Cysts on Dogs Cause Pain or Discomfort?

Cysts on dogs can cause pain or discomfort depending on their location and severity. Treatment options vary but may include draining or surgical removal. Preventive measures like regular check-ups can help manage cysts effectively.

Can Cysts on Dogs Burst or Rupture on Their Own?

When cysts on dogs burst, it can lead to an emergency situation. To prevent this, focus on proper cyst management. Regular vet check-ups and early detection are essential. Remember, proactive care is key.

Is It Safe to Remove a Cyst at Home?

Removing a cyst at home is risky. Home remedies and DIY removal can lead to severe consequences. It’s not safe to attempt this without professional guidance. Consult a vet for proper diagnosis and treatment.


In summary, recognizing the various types of cysts in dogs is essential for timely diagnosis and treatment. Regular monitoring and veterinary care are important for managing these growths effectively.

Remember to remain vigilant for signs of discomfort or abnormal growths on your furry friend’s skin or internally. Stay proactive in seeking veterinary advice to address any cyst-related concerns promptly and promote your dog’s health and well-being.

Recent Posts

Share this
Scroll to Top