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Old 05-25-2010, 09:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default how to deal with constant cysts?

Hello,
I have an 11yo Basset named Bailey. He has had issues with sebaceous cysts since he was maybe 3-4 years old, but in the last year or two it has gotten crazy to the point wehre he has 5-6 large lumps at a time. One or two are close to door knob size.

In the past we had a few removed to biopsy, etc. One or two ruptured and so there was surgery for that. He has one on the top of his head that ruptured, but won't ever completely heal. So the vet has treated it a few times with antibiotics, but basically said surgery to remove it and a few others (but not all) is the only way for it to ultimately heal.

The problem I have is that they seem to be cropping up so much faster now...and the ones they pointed to remove didn't rupture, but another few have. It seems like he will be set up for repeated surgerys, because for everyone that goes two more come.

Is there anything to do to help control these things aside from surgery? I am just curious what advice others have gotten, or how they deal with caring for the cycsts.

Thanks
Julie
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Old 05-26-2010, 10:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Yogi has a number of cysts as well and has been getting them for years. I pretty much leave them alone unless they rupture or if they are very large. Earlier this year or last year I had a golf ball sized one removed from the side of his neck because it was so big and one on his spine that was quite large as well. I don't really think there is anything you can do about them, some dogs are just more prone to having them.
I really do hate them, hate they way they look and feel but it's just one of those things.
I hate to put Yogi through surgery, he gets very stressed being at the vet and has some very strange reactions to anesthesia which take 24-48 hours to go away so if the vet feels they are nothing to worry about, I just leave them alone but I always let them know when he gets new ones, just in case.
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Old 05-26-2010, 03:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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there is some slight anicdotal evidence that acne medication accutane has being somewhat efffective but keep in mind under most cases nothing needs to be done. The only time surgery is required is particular cysts repeatedly burst or it is in a spot or of a size irratating to the dog. most dogs are not bothered by them so treating them is more traumatic than leaving them be.

FWIW true sabacious cysts in dogs are very rare, what dogs normal get that are often called "sabacious cysts are in reality called Infundibular follicular cysts (epidermoid cysts, epidermal inclusion cysts, erroneously called sebaceous cysts)

from the Merck vet manual
They are a cystic dilatation of the upper portion of the outer sheath of the hair follicle (the infundibulum) lined by a layer of stratified cornifying epithelial cells that are indistinguishable from the epidermis. These cysts vary in size from 2 mm to >5 cm (lesions <5 mm in diameter are often called milia). The only domestic animals identified at risk are Merino sheep, in which these cysts are often multiple and may progress to squamous cell carcinomas. As with all follicular cysts, these are usually solitary, papular to nodular lesions that are freely movable. They are generally partially compressible on palpation and occasionally have a small opening through the epidermis from which the cystic contents can be extruded. On cut surface, they are filled with a gray, brown, or yellowish, granular, “cheesy” material that is lumenal keratin.[/quote]

and just so you understand how common multiple cysts are in dogs
"Multiple (more than two thousand) epidermal inclusion cysts in a dog.", Canadian Veterinary Journal, June, 1995.

The one thing this dog and many basset have in common is seborrhea which is an underdiagnosed genetic skin condition in basset hound often resulting in oily coat woth large dandruff flakes. This may be a contributing factor. There is no cure for seborrhea but it can be controled with frequent baths with anti seborrheic shampooo like original selsun blue.

Epidermal Inclusion Cysts


Sebaceous Cysts in Dogs

Quote:
In most cases no treatment is necessary. If the decision is made to biopsy the cyst, complete surgical removal is usually performed. This is curative
The one thing this dog and many basset have in common is seborrhea which is an underdiagnosed genetic skin condition in basset hound often resulting in oily coat woth large dandruff flakes. This may be a contributing factor. There is no cure for seborrhea but it can be controled with frequent baths with anti seborrheic shampooo like original selsun blue.
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Old 05-26-2010, 09:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Wow thanks for the feedback! I am kinda at the holding stage with this, because I don't forsee surgery doing anything but causing pain, and ultimately just being required again (and he isn't a spring chicken any more). It's almost like you push one down and other pops up in it's place!

I don't think there is any infection, just the one on his head scabs over and then a week later it opens again, then scabs then opens. They are really gross.

Thanks for the info I will read up on those links.
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Old 05-27-2010, 09:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Unless they are a problem I just leave them alone.

If the dog is having anesthesia for another reason, I'll have some of the worst ones removed while she's under.

Melody had one on her head that I had to aspirate weekly, but it eventually went away.
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Old 05-31-2010, 01:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Hmm... our vet just lances them and if they are large and or infected she'll flush them out with antiseptic and put him on a round of antibiotics. Our older boy has started to get them in the last year or so. We took him in and had 4 of them lanced (she also then removes the lining with a forceps) and that's it... no surgery or anesthesia. Does really even seem to hurt him aside from a little when she's pulling out the linings.
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Old 02-22-2011, 03:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Wow. I got more information right now on this forum about my basset's skin problems than I have found anywhere else on the net. Thanks to all of you who furnished this information.

The oily seborrhea that plagued Bocephus was a problem our vet found early. We were surprised by his first lump and, after a biopsy, Dr said everything was OK, no cancer but the infection had claimed Bo's tail. Now he gets big knots under his skin that Dr says are harmless but ugly. It's reassuring to know we're not alone in this dilemma and that others have come to the same conclusion we have. We bathe him regularly, and apply TAO (triple antibiotic ointment) when necessary and TLC every day.
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