Just like humans, our four-legged friends can also develop skin tags. Also known as acrochordons or hamartomas, skin tags are fleshy, painless growths on the skin.
A skin tag is made up of fibrous tissue found in bone, cartilage, and connective tissues and appears as single or multiple lumps.
Although they may look like warts, skin tags are tear-shaped, are of the same color as the dog’s skin, and do not typically calcify.
They mostly appear in areas with skin-to-skin contacts such as the legs and belly.
Different Skin Tag Removal Treatments Costs
- Surgical Removal
Due to its benign nature, few skin tags are actively treated. Those located in the facial area that could interfere with the dog’s vision or breathing are usually removed by surgery.
Dog breeds that require frequent grooming would also benefit from skin tag removal. These can get caught in clipping blades which would cause bleeding and pain.
Other owners choose to excise the skin tags just for aesthetic purposes. However, this could be expensive and could lead to multiple unnecessary surgeries for your dog since they tend to grow back.
As for the dog’s skin tag removal surgery costs, Helping Hands Clinic in Virginia offers growth removal from $125 to $725 depending on the size.
A non-invasive treatment option is cryosurgery.
This treatment method involves the use of extreme cold to destroy abnormal or diseased tissue and slow its regrowth. Quick and painless, it is considered to be a safer method for skin tag removal since it does not involve sedation or anesthesia.
Boston Pet Clinics performs cryosurgery starting at a price rate of $300. Be advised that there might be minimal post-procedure pain.
Cauterizing the skin tag using high-frequency electric current is another treatment option. Also known as electrodesiccation, an electric current will be delivered via a needle-shaped electrode to the targeted area. Cauterization usually costs $175 but can be as high as $300 to $500; maybe even more if extra lab works have to be performed to ensure that the skin tags are not cancerous.
This technique offers fast wound healing and does not require extensive preparation. The cauterizing tip also ensures minimal to no blood loss, which is particularly advantageous for dogs with blood clotting issues.
Regardless of the procedure you choose, your dog will end up with a wound following surgery. Topical treatments to prevent infection, lessen inflammation, and relieve pain will be prescribed by the veterinarian. Price ranges are usually as follows,
- MicrocynAH Wound & Skin Hydrogel (16-oz): $20.32
- Zymox Topical Spray (2-oz): $9.14
- Vetericyn VG Plus Wound & Skin Care (4-oz): $20.32
Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Skin Tags
Surgical treatment is optional, not to mention, the price of dog skin tag removal is expensive. Thankfully, you can choose to go the alternative route.
A number of natural homeopathic remedies are marketed to lessen inflammation and reduce the risk of infections.
Tea Tree Oil – Tea tree oil has long been used for a variety of skin conditions in humans. Dog-specific tea tree oil products have recently been formulated to soothe your pet’s pain and itching.
With its natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, tea tree oil could be effective as a skin tag treatment. Be Soothed Tea Tree Oil Skin Relief Spray (12-oz) is available for $8.
Vitamin E – Older dogs have a higher risk for skin tags which could be attributed to oxidants and skin deterioration such as wrinkling. Vitamin E contains antioxidants that boost skin health, aiding in skin tag improvement. Sea Pet Omega Plus Fish Oil with Natural Vitamin E (16-oz) sells for around $20.
Types of Skin Tags
Two types of skin tags have been identified:
- Fibroadnexal or collagenous hamartoma is the most common type. Easily identified due to its hairless properties, this type is typically found in the lower limb areas and pressure points.
- Follicular hamartoma is less likely to occur. This type looks like flattened lumps with thick hair and is often found in clusters.
Not to worry, this skin disease is generally harmless and does not pose a major negative threat to your dog’s life. However, if a skin tag becomes too large, it can interfere with daily activity and increase the risk of catching infections.
A single direct cause of skin tag has not been identified but all signs point to an overactive connective tissue disorder. Increased production of supportive tissues can become skin tags over time.
Dogs of advanced age or those with increased skin irritation are also prone to skin tags. Chronic trauma and past damage of the epithelial tissue also trigger skin tags.
Genetic predisposition might also play a role. Though not proven, skin tags are more likely to develop in larger dog breeds and Cocker Spaniels.
Other factors include parasites, a tight collar, poor skin care, and nutrition, and chemical irritants.
The slow growth of skin tags usually means you will not notice them hiding under your dog’s fur until they become too big that they peek out.
Signs uncharacteristic of skin tags include pain, discoloration, abnormally rapid growth or swelling. When this happens, consult your veterinarian immediately.
To obtain a definite diagnosis, your veterinarian will conduct a visual examination of your pet. After analysis of the symptoms and the lump, a biopsy may be recommended to determine if the lump is cancerous or not.
Skin tags alone may not be a cause for concern, but secondary infections should be prevented as much as possible.
Skin tags in dogs are brought about by an assortment of factors. When you take those factors into account, preventing skin tag occurrence becomes easy.
Your dog’s overall health should be the main focus. When your dog is not completely healthy, it could result in lower immunity and various skin problems including skin tags. Always make sure your dog receives a balanced diet with complete nutrition.
Hygiene also plays an important role in skin tag prevention. Wash and groom your dog regularly to promote healthy skin and coat.
Research on the recommended bathing frequency for your dog’s breed and don’t overdo it. Too much bathing could also be detrimental by blocking skin oil production. When it comes to your dog’s skin care regime, finding the right balance and frequency is important.
Be meticulous when buying shampoo and skin care products for your furry friend. Certain shampoos and soaps can dry out the skin and accelerate skin tag formation.
Skin tags are never a cause for alarm. Proper canine care and regular visits to the veterinarian will probably guarantee that your dog does not develop this skin issue. When it does, however, abundant treatment options are available and have been proven effective in restoring your dog’s skin health.