Skin Diseases: Sebaceous Gland Tumors
Sebaceous gland tumors are often mistakenly referred to as warts or sebaceous cysts. Warts or sebaceous cysts are rare in dogs, while sebaceous gland tumors are very common in dogs and rare in cats. They seem to be more prevalent in certain breeds. Cocker Spaniels, Poodles, Dachshunds, Miniature Schnauzers, and Beagles are more likely to be affected.
These tumors are seen more often as the dog gets to be 7 to 8 years old or older. They may appear as a single growth but are more commonly multiple tumors. Individuals affected with these tumors will continually develop new tumors. It is common to remove 10 to 50 tumors only to find an equal amount six months to one year later.
The tumors are raised above the skin; most are 5 mm to 12 mm (1/8 to 1/2 inch) in diameter; round; with a smooth, often shiny, cobblestone surface. Most tumors are light pink in color, but in some individuals they may be brown or black. These tumors consist of cells that produce a greasy secretion that accumulates around the tumors.
Diagnosing Sebaceous Gland Tumors
Diagnosis is confirmed by physical examination and breed type. A biopsy may also be helpful in confirming the diagnosis and determining if the tumor is cancerous.
- These tumors should be removed if they irritate the pet or bleed frequently. They are cause for concern because of continued trauma from grooming.
- Sebaceous gland tumors that occur on the eyelids should be removed when they are small, because larger tumors are more difficult to remove.
- Sebaceous gland tumors that bleed easily or irritate the pet are more likely to be malignant and should be removed.
Treatment of Sebaceous Gland Tumors
Often sebaceous gland tumors are simply left untreated. Although most of these tumors are non-cancerous, some can be malignant. Malignant sebaceous gland tumors rarely spread, and surgical removal is curative.
Pet laser surgery is an effective treatment for sebaceous gland tumors. In the images below, there were more than normal numbers of sebaceous gland tumors. They were removed with laser ablation, no sutures were needed, and in four weeks the dog’s skin was healed.
Please contact us to schedule an appointment. No referral is needed to be diagnosed and treated at our clinic, and we will follow up with your primary veterinarian to ensure he or she is informed of the diagnosis and treatment your pet receives.