While you pet your dog, you could notice a small ball of skin growth. But don’t get anxious just yet. These skin growths are called skin tags. Unless the dog does not seem to be irritated because of these tags, there is nothing to be worried about. These skin tags are very common, like in humans. And the same applies to dogs.
What Are Skin Tags?
The skin tags may or may not appear in multiple places. Skin tags are small nodes comprised of blood vessels and collagen fibers. The skin tags also have a few fat cells, nerve endings and an epidermis covering it all. The skin tags appear anytime, and anywhere on their bodies. Skin tags are often confused with warts. While warts are like highly pigmented and appear to be like a small dot. The skin tags are growth on the skin surface, shaped like a drop, that hang themselves with the help of a stalk or peduncle. Skin tags are mostly known to be benign, but can sometimes be cancerous. The skin tags are also known as acrochordons or fibromas. The dogs may also form skin tags under their skin.
Symptoms Of Skin Tags?
Skin tags itself are signs of friction or problems on the skin. They are usually known to grow very slowly. Even though clinically harmless, they can cause irritation and discomfort to the dog. The tag could be very large or itchy in such cases. It could affect his mind, as well as physical abilities, to perform daily tasks. Sometimes the tags could also bleed, this happens due to excessive dryness or even scratching. Bleeding could also occur due to infections on the skin tag.
Skin tags are also known as hamartomas, implying nodules of excess tissue. There are two main types of skin tags that occur on the skin of a dog.
Follicular hamartomas: this type of skin tag is rare on dogs. Their growth is often in multiple numbers. The growth of this type of skin tag is characterized by a flattened mass of tissues covered with thick hair.
Fibroadnexal hamartomas: also known as collagenous hamartomas. These are the most common type of skin tags that occur on the dog skin. Their growth is often found near lower limbs and/ or pressure points.
Causes Of Skin Tags On Dogs
Doctors or veterinarians and researchers haven’t found the exact causes for the growth of skin tags on the skin. But it is believed that these skin tags could be caused due to the high friction of different parts of the skin against each other. Skin tags can also be caused due to excessive rubbing on the skin while bathing the dog.
Sometimes, these skin tags could even appear naturally due to internal functioning, which is completely normal. The different cells that are responsible for forming connective tissues that hold the organs and different systems in place. A few of these cells over function, thus causing excess growth on the skin, otherwise called skin tags.
Sometimes the pet collar is not fit well on the dog’s neck. They are either loose or very tight. Sometimes, there is also some wear and tear of these collars, including rusting and molding. All these reasons could create friction on his/her skin, which could result in skin tags. One should make sure that the collars fit properly to the dog’s neck so that the dog is neither irritated nor does he effected with skin tags or infections.
Diagnosis Of Skin Tags On Dogs
If you suspect that your dog might have skin tags, you can check it by, sweeping your hand all over different parts of his skin. In case you start to feel small lumps of about 2 mm up to a few cms of lumps on the skin, it means that your dog is having skin tags.
It is very important to determine the character of skin tags. They could also be tumors or some other clinical problem. A veterinarian could be very helpful, for determining the nature of the skin tags.
If you suspect the skin tags to be harmful, you could check for characteristics such as a pigmented lump, sudden or rapid growth of the tag, a tag near the ears, mouth, nose or the mammary glands. Your pet could also show other symptoms, because of the tags, such as loss of appetite, sudden changes in weight levels, changed energy levels, signs of discomfort and pain, or vomiting and diarrhea.
You should tell the vet all the changes that you have noticed in the dog as well as the changes in the gag. After which a small sample of the tag could be used for analyzing these tags.
Treatment Of Skin Tags For Dogs.
There are skin tags would normally shrink as compelled by their normal behavior. But a lot of them will stay for a long time until they are removed with the help of different methods such as surgeries, or natural home remedies.
The skin tags should only be removed if the dog is suffering from itchiness, discomfort, or irritation.
There are different types of surgeries that can be performed for skin tags:
Cauterization: In this method, the tissues are burnt or frozen to stop its bleeding, or even to remove a small piece of the tissue.
Cryosurgery: this method uses extreme cold to destroy tissues.
Surgical removal: Removal of abnormal tissues with other surgical techniques, such as snipping with sterile scissors, and then dressing the wound.
Natural home remedies can also be used to get rid of these skin tags. They take a long time compared to surgery but could be as effective as the surgery. Most of these remedies can be found in the kitchen itself.
Make sure to clear the hair from around the skin tags that are going to be removed. Then apply one of the following ingredients on the skin tag. Leave them overnight. Practice this regularly and the skin tag will be gone in two to three weeks.
Apple cider vinegar. (only keep for 15-20 mins and then wash it off)
Tree Tea Oil.
These will help to dry the skin tag or destroy the tissues of the tag. In the end, the skin tags will fall off.