Pet Wellness Guides > Can Dogs Get Skin Tags? - Pet Insurance Review
Can Dogs Get Skin Tags?
Can dogs get skin tags? You may have some of these small, abnormal growths of skin yourself. Humans often get them on their neck and they are simply benign little tufts of skin. But can these same growths occur in our pups? They absolutely can, and most of the time there is nothing to be concerned about.
Let’s take a deeper dive into skin tags on dogs!
What Do Skin Tags on Dogs Look Like?
Because most dogs are covered in thick hair, we often feel their skin tags before we see them. Skin tags are small balls of skin that are moveable and only a few millimeters in size. They are either pink(ish) in color or dark and are not painful at all to your dog.
The thing about skin tags is they can often be confused for other things such as warts and ticks. They can REALLY look like ticks. And some cancers like melanoma can appear as a black skin tag.
When you first notice a skin tag, take a good look to make certain it is not a tick. With ticks you can generally see legs and a tick will become quite engorged over a couple of days, while a skin tag will remain the same size over the same period of time.
Why Do Dogs Get Skin Tags?
There are a variety of things that can cause skin tags to develop on your pup:
Skin tags are often caused by irritation of the skin. This is why skin tags normally develop on a dog’s chest, knees, and elbows. Skin tags also occur where a dog’s harness or collar rub. If your dog suffers from allergies and bites or scratches a specific area repeatedly, they may also develop skin tags in that spot.
There is a virus called papilloma virus that often causes warts on dogs, but it can sometimes cause skin tags to form as well. The virus itself is generally not harmful to dogs. If the virus causes multiple skin tags to form in an area that is bothersome, they can be removed or your vet may decide to try antiviral medications first.
Any dog breed can develop skin tags as they age. But there are some breeds that seem more predisposed to them than others including Boxers, English bulldogs, Pugs and hound breeds.
Treating Skin Tags on Dogs
Surgery is the only real treatment for skin tags and most dogs don’t require that. If there is a tag on the dog’s eyelid or somewhere else where it is really causing irritation, then your vet may want to remove it. This is usually done through excision or cauterization. If the tags are a result of a virus, antiviral drugs may be prescribed.
Can Skin Tags on Dogs be Prevented?
Taking preventative measures will not guarantee that skin tags will never develop on your fur baby. Having said that, there are some things that you can do:
- Ensure collars and harnesses fit properly and do not cause skin irritation
- Treat allergies that may be causing excessive biting or itching
- Make sure they have soft supportive bedding to decrease rubbing or skin irritation
Skin tags are generally nothing to worry about. Sometimes a cancerous growth or a disease-carrying tick can appear the same. It’s always good to get any new growth checked out by your vet. If your vet determines it’s a skin tag and it doesn’t seem to be bothering your fur baby, you can simply leave it alone and keep an eye on it.
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- https://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/skin/skin-tags-dogs “Skin Tags on Dogs”
- https://www.animaltrust.org.uk/conditions/skin-tags-dogs “Skin Tags on Dogs: Causes and Treatment”