Skin Tags in Dogs

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As your dog ages, you might notice different growths on his skin. Fortunately, many of these growths are harmless skin tags, the same shade as your pet's skin. It's always a good idea to have any growths checked by your vet, just in case it is something more serious. Always let your vet know if a skin tag grows dark or it is no longer the color of your dog's skin, or if it constantly bleeds. Your vet can remove the skin tags if you wish, although that's generally just for cosmetic purposes.

Skin Tag Appearance

Skin tags appear singular or in groups, and once a dog develops a skin tag, he's likely to sprout others. They are generally soft, and may grow on stalks, but round or flat growths are common. Skin tags vary in size, but the majority are not large. The larger the skin tag, the more likely it is to irritate your dog.

Similar Growths

Aged canines are prone to benign growths similar to skin tags. These include "old dog warts," which most often appear in small breed dogs. Skin tags are more common in large breeds, although they can show up on any dog. Old dog warts are generally hard, raised, light-colored growths. Fibromas look like skin tags, and usually appear as raised, single lumps on the legs or head. They tend to grow larger than skin tags.

Skin Tag Removal

Occasionally, a skin tag develops in an area that causes your dog irritation, or he may chew and bother it. If that's the case, removal is usually recommended. Have your vet remove the skin tag -- don't try this minor surgery on your own. Most skin tag removals don't require anesthesia. Your vet can freeze the skin tag, and it will fall off within a few days.

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