Does it scratch a particular area of the skin? If yes, it is possible that your tag has encountered a Skin Tag. Skin Tags are a type of outgrowth on the surface of the skin. It is generally moist and is made up of collagen and fibrous tissues. Some Skin Tags are non-cancerous which are medically termed as fibromas or can be referred by several names. Some of their names are acrochordons, fibrovascular papilloma, collagenous hamartoma, hyperplastic or hypertrophic scar. Just like humans, dog too can develop Skin Tag under their skin in small lumps. As the dog ages, Skin Tags appear under their hair. They aren’t clearly visible are benign cancers. These tags are connected to the skin through a stalk which supplies blood to the tag. This stalk is named as Peduncle. Skin Tags are harmless but if scratched or irritated they can cause inflammation and pain.
Types Of Dog Skin Tags
There are two types of Dog Skin Tags:
1.Fibroadnexal Hamartomas: It appears to be pale and small in nature. They branch out of the skin and rest on the surface. They are hairless and sometimes grow or develop to be slightly larger in shape. It is connected to the skin tissue by a Peduncle. If the bulk of the skin tag is larger than the stalk would be generally smaller.
2.Follicular Hamartomas: Follicular Skin Tags are rare in nature, but they do still appear on the skin of the dogs. They are found in groups or clusters and have smooth or flattened tops. They have thickened hair. Follicular hamartomas do not have any connective tissue and usually appear on the surface of the skin. Sometimes, they even might appear underneath the skin. They usually go unnoticed, but if they are slightly larger in size they can be felt by touching.
All Skin Tags are harmless but it can only be troublesome if a tag appears under the eyes or on the surface of the eyelids.
The growth of Skin Tags is generally very slow, and they are difficult to see. They are located on the surface of the skin or underneath the skin. They vary in size and their appearance may also change. Though they aren’t a problem, it can hinder the daily activities of the dog, causing irritation. If the dog scratches the site of the tag it can also lead to bleeding and further develop a skin infection. The signs are as follows,
Stalk-like growths. The stalk has blood vessels.
Growths in the skin resembling a wart
Solitary or cluster like growth
Having flattened tops or plaque-like growth
Growths that can bleed if scratched
Further infection due to the growth
Causes of Dog Skin Tag
Skin Tags mainly comprise of fibrous tissues which are build of collagen proteins. The fibrous tissues are the component in the body which supports the tissues which hold the organs and other body systems together. The cells which are responsible for the production of fibers in the body are named as Fibromas. Hyperactivity of these cells can lead to the production of a large number of fibers in the body, resulting in the formation of skin mass on the surface or underneath the skin. Dos Skin Tag can appear on any breed of dog. But there is an increased chance of getting a skin tag on digs which are middle-aged or who are older.
Treatment For Dog Skin Tag
First, if you come across such a skin mass, consult a doctor. The doctor would examine the growth and would confirm whether it is a Skin Tag or a tumor, which would be even more harmful to the dog and require serious attention. As Skin Tags normally appear on dogs which are aging, it is important to take note of the appearance, size, and location of the tag. To prevent the Skin Tag from growing or infecting other skin tissues, do not use a scissor or razor to trim the hair near the tag on your pooch. Instead, use of electrical clippers or beard trimmers may prevent any secondary infections and would save from any damage to the growth.
If you notice an increase in the lump, a darkened color to the lump, or an outgrowth near the dog’s ear, nose, mouth or mammary glands, it is time you should consider an opinion of a veterinarian. Other symptoms which run parallel with the bump are changes in appetite, decreased energy levels, loss of weight, signs of uneasiness and discomfort, or vomiting and diarrhea. After examining the lump, tell the doctor all the details that you have noticed. The doctor would collect some sample of the lump or may conduct a biopsy to confirm whether it is a harmless Skin Tag or a malignant tumor.
Surgical Method For Removing Dog Skin Tags
Some Skin Tags, go away naturally by shrinking in size, but some may require medical assistance. Undergoing surgery to remove these tags is an option available, but only if the tumor is harmful to the dog it is recommended that one must opt for it. If the tag is causing increased pain to the dog or a lot other physical problems with secondary infections, one must consider treating the tag with a surgery. Or in usual cases, skin tags aren’t a serious issue. Cryosurgery or freezing is another method through which your pooch can be relieved from a tag. This method involves using Liquid Nitrogen or Nitrous Oxide to kill the unwanted tissue by freezing it. Then the tissue is dissolved within a span of four weeks and the tag falls off. This treatment is extremely beneficial for dogs who are easily affected by anesthesia and there are further complications. The procedure only causes temporary pain, there is no pain in the further process after freezing. Sometimes, one freezing session doesn’t make the tag shed, hence in cases like these, the process has to be repeated.
Recovery Of Dog Skin Tag
After any type of removal, prevent your pooch from licking, biting, chewing or scratching the site to prevent any further complications. An Elizabethan collar can be used to achieve this purpose.
Keep the area clean, for a speedy recovery. Even though Skin Tags can be removed, there is a chance that they may reoccur on your pooch. Once your dog has developed a skin tag, he may be prone to other skin related issues too.