Any kind of growth on the skin has a tendency to set off alarm bells for owners, be it warts or skin tags on dogs.
It’s good to be a little afraid. If we are, we tend to ask our vet to get to the root of the problem if there is any. But, can dogs get skin tags? Sure. But they’re nothing to be worked up about!
Skin tags are a common enough occurrence among dogs – of any breed. When they do, they usually form on the face, limbs, belly, ears, and so on.
Are Dog-Skin Tags Consider Warts?
Unlike warts or lesions, they are quite benign and aren’t signs of any further, more ominous developments.
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They’re identifiably different.
Skin tags are soft, flexible, and normally flappy, or dangly – like the excessive skin they merely are. And they aren’t contagious.
Warts and other malignant growths are usually more firms, and painful. And they need medical attention for treatment. But what causes skin tags on dogs? And can you deal with them at home? Treating skin tags at home can be difficult, and we’ll get to that in a little bit.
First, learning what leads to the formation of skin tags could help you avoid them in the future, considering they have a tendency to come back.
Here are some of the reasons why your pup may have skin tags:
- You’re not grooming/bathing them enough, or are using a product that’s too harsh – be it a shampoo, pesticide, or anything else at home
- Your dog’s not getting the right nutrition, leading to skin infections
- Bites from ticks, fleas and other parasites sometimes lead to skin trouble
- They’re just in the genes, and your dog therefore just tends to get them from time to time
If the skin tags on your dog are caused due to external factors, i.e. the first three points above, they just might recur in the future.
So make sure your dog is otherwise fit and healthy, and living/playing in a safe environment to have the bases covered.
Now for your other main question: how to deal with skin tags on dogs at home?
While many people tend to believe treating and even removing skin tags at home is safe and doable, it’s always safest to consult your vet before any treatment.
Particularly, if your pup tends to get skin tags around the facial area, be it the mouth, lips, eyelids, etc., or if the skin tags get infected or of a color other than his or her normal skin tone – you should certainly get the vet’s opinion.
However, there are things you can do at home, including minor treatment to ensure your puppy is healthy:
1. Monitoring and Treating Skin Tags on Dogs at home
You need to keep in mind that dog skin tags are harmless most of the time. However, the least you should do at home is to keep a close eye on them and monitor them. Skin tags are known to develop into malignant growths.
And if they’re in a place like near the paw or face such that it constantly irritates your puppy, their scratching or worrying at it could lead to wounds and infections.
Here are some things you can do at home short of removing them yourself:
- Gently examine the skin tag on a daily basis to make note of any changes in size, texture, or other characteristics, or in case there are new tags.
- Check for any cuts, discharge or infection
- If you note something odd in your examination, make sure to consult your vet to rule out anything serious
- You can also apply mild ointment or medicinal cream if recommended by your vet to take care of any infections or conditions
- It’s best not to attempt cutting off the tags without proper sterilization, anesthesia, or professional supervision, even if trying non-invasive methods like tying off tags to make them fall off.
2. Having the Tags Surgically Removed
Removing skin tags at home can be a tricky process. Why?
Consider that the tag may be above a major blood vessel, or not even be benign, needing a more precise surgery to completely remove it?
You might end up causing too much bleeding, infection, or in case of malignant growths having no effect at all.
For these reasons, make sure you explore any options for removing your puppy’s skin tag with your vet.
Being a fairly minor surgery that involves mild local anesthesia, your vet might even take care of it during a routine visit.
And in case your puppy’s supposed to undergo some other procedure, you can have the vet take care of any tags while your pup is still under anesthesia.
In any case, performing invasive surgery at home without professional supervision could well lead to complications and pain for your puppy.
So as far as possible, do keep your vet in the loop for your puppy’s best interests.
Do you think these methods are simple/straightforward enough to use at home? If you have any tips or suggestions of your own, we’d be glad to hear them in the comments section below!
Thanks for reading, and do check out our Dogology Blueprint for more tips and advice on raising your pup!