This is a photo of a sebaceous cyst that has semi-evacuated itself from under the skin. The released sebum has dried up but has not fallen off. If this dried sebum piece is removed there will probably be more sebum that can be squeezed out, and should be. I do not apply anything to the area and just let it heal on its own, once the area is completely rid of the sebum deposit it heals very quickly. Like us your dog releases oil through microscopic oil glands in the skin. This oil is called sebum and helps to moisturize the skin and fur. Occasionally the sebum forms a deposit under the skin and a round cyst develops. Most of these you will probably never notice and will go away on their own.
Here is a video I found on youtube of someone squeezing a cyst. The sebum can be thick like it is in the video and it can also be more liquid or both. Color varies from white to yellow to grey. My apologizes if I grossed you out, but this is something simple you can take care of on your own. The cysts are round and located right under the skin, but are not attached to muscle nor are they irregularly shaped. I will work on getting a picture of one that not erupted or been lanced like in the video. I think you see more of them when the dogs are getting more fat in their diet, but I may be incorrect on this point. My observation has also been that they are irritating to the dog and they tend to scratch in that area. the dogs seem relieved to have the cysts evacuated.
Thanks Julie, I think it is good for people with dogs to realize that some things can be taken care of yourself and don’t panic if you find a lump. If it is something simple you can save yourself a vet bill.
Well to be honest…I use to bring my dogs to my vet to have him take care of it. After Dr. Miller lanced a particularly large and juicy cyst that sprayed his face and clothes, he first made me promise not to tell his staff what just happened and second he told me I should be taking care of these myself. LOL
I do make sure my face is not positioned directly above the cyst in case of squirt-er.
It’s almost like squeezing a huge ‘ol pimple or whitehead. Hey I already have all the tools, haha!
Julie do you use local anesthetic? When I am removing these from my patients I would probably be sued for malpractice if I didnt !! lol I presume you are lancing the skin to make the opening a little wider to squeeze out the sebum – or are you just squeezing hard and going for it??
It depends on what stage they are at and how far under the skin. Sometimes you can just squeeze them but most of the time I do lance them. I use the sharpened edge of a 14 gauge needle as a mini-scalpel. No anesthetic, I do pinch it between my fingers to help deaden the nerves and pull the skin tight. The dogs are always happy to have me take care of these and will lie quietly for me.
This is what is great about this blog. There is always good information to be found—thank you, Julie for posting this.
Thanks to Nick B for sending the excellent picture.
Thanks Julie – that is very helpful. Anyone who is a little squeamish should just think of it like a tube of toothpaste and then it’s not so bad!
I didn’t get to watch the video last night, super gross.
My dogs cyst is exactly like that but bigger and it’s dried up but hasn’t fallen off any home remedies or the vet would be my best bet ?