Skin tags are also common among dogs, regardless of their breed or age. However, the chance of getting these fleshly growths increases with age. In most cases, skin tags on dogs may not be noticed since they are usually covered with fur.
These benign, fleshy growths have different sizes – some can be as little as a grain of rice while others can be as big as the size of a grape. Skin tags are more likely to appear on the face and other parts of the dog’s body. It is vital to know where you should check for skin tags, but most importantly, you should know how to identify one correctly.
Usually, skin tags have the same color as that of your dog’s skin, but in some cases, the shade can be different. They also feature a soft and malleable texture and may have a flap-like appearance as they develop on a narrow stalk. Dogs are more prone to get other skin growth conditions. Hence, knowing the differences between these growths can help you determine whether the growth on your dog is benign or malignant.
But what even causes skin tags on dogs? As of now, there is no solid answer that can explain the causes of skin tags on dogs due to the lack of adequate medical understanding. Some parts are more susceptible to developing skin tags, and skin-on-skin friction is partly to blame.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the prominent areas where skin tags are likely to grow on dogs and a few more important information.
Common Areas Where Skin Tags Grow on Dogs
Very often, skin tags can grow on any part of a dog’s body. Usually, skin tags on dogs are caused by factors such as age and genetics. Various research have linked friction to be a cause for these growths. This suspicion is confirmed by the places that skin tags tend to develop.
Skin tags on dogs appear in common places like the eyelids, face, neck, armpits, nose, legs, and chest.
Ways to Identify Dog Skin Tag
One of the easiest ways to identify a skin tag on your pet is by paying closer attention. In most cases, skin tags on dogs occur as a result of normal bathing, grooming, or even petting. If your dog has a thick fur, you as a dog owner should run your fingers through your dog’s fur to see if you feel a growth.
As an owner, it can be quite scary if you feel or notice any kind of bump on your pet’s skin. For this reason, it is important to familiarize yourself with the signs since skin tags have different characteristics from that of a wart or mole.
Below are some characteristics of skin tags to watch out for:
- Similar color as that of your pet’s skin
- Soft and fleshy
- Smooth texture
- Moveable since they grow on a thin stalk
It is worth noting that skin tags can develop in various sizes. While some have a slightly oval shape such as a rice grain, others may be round-shaped and develop to the size of a grape.
On the other hand, warts tend to be hard and have a thick base compared to skin tags. They have an appearance similar to the head of a cauliflower.
Unlike skin tags, moles on a dog usually have a different color than the rest of the dog’s skin. When you know exactly the various characteristics of these skin growths, it will be easier for you to establish and address the problem.
Steps to Take if Your Dog has Skin Tags
What do you do once you establish that your pet has skin tags? Very often than not, you don’t need to do anything. Nearly all skin tags are benign; hence, they are not considered cancerous or dangerous.
Unlike human beings, it is unusual for dog owners to want their pet’s skin tags removed for cosmetic purposes. In most cases, they aren’t a cause for concern, unless the growth increases in size or seems to irritate and make them uncomfortable.
In fact, most vets do not suggest removing skin tags on dogs except for a valid medical reason. If you decide to remove your pet’s skin tags, there are several home remedies that you can consider. However, these home remedies can be dangerous if not done right. So if the skin tag on your pooch looks healthy and normal, it is best not to remove it.
Can Skin Tags Cause a Health Risk for Dogs?
Skin tags are the same regardless of where they occur. This means that a skin tag that develops on the leg of your dog isn’t riskier than the one on the chest. Nevertheless, several factors can render these skin growths more dangerous.
To start with, skin tags that are located in areas where your dog can scratch or irritate them can cause further problems. For instance, if the skin tag is located on the hind leg of your pet, it can be very easy for them to lick, scratch, or bite them. This is more likely to cause bleeding, resulting in an infection due to the open wound.
When a skin tag gets infected, it can show signs like inflammation. In some instances, a pus-like substance can ooze from it. The situation can get even worse and become painful if your pet is not properly treated.
The face is another location that can be riskier for skin tags to appear on dogs. While the skin tag is the same, it can cause some discomfort depending on where it is located. These growths commonly appear around the eyelids and can cause discomfort or obstruct your pet’s view when they increase in size. Besides, they may cause your dog to paw at the growth resulting in more irritation.
Therefore, although skin tags don’t get riskier based on the location, the risk of them becoming irritated is high.
How to Monitor Skin Tags on Your Dog
If you notice that a skin tag has developed in any of the common locations, it is best to monitor it time and time again. You should also pay attention to growths that may have developed on your dog’s body.
When you know the traits of a skin tag, you should have an easy time spotting one should they develop on your pet. When you monitor the growths regularly, you will notice any changes on the skin tag with ease. Additionally, regular monitoring will also enable you to be alert for any possible infections that may occur so your dog can get treated if it is necessary.
Monitoring skin tags is not that difficult. Better yet, these growths are unlikely to change, and you may go for years without noticing any changes on your dog’s skin tag. Nevertheless, it is recommended to watch over the growth periodically for any noticeable changes. Also, your vet may want to examine it from time to time.
Should I Remove Skin Tags on my Dog?
Skin tags on dogs don’t need to be removed regardless of where they are located. It is advisable to examine the various prominent growth areas awaiting the reasons why these growths develop. If skin tags develop on the prominent parts of your dog, ensure that you check other areas for additional growths. Your dog may never develop a skin tag in his lifetime. At the same time, it may be susceptible to getting these growths all over his body.
Truth be told, the process of identifying a skin tag can only get easier when you have an idea of what you are looking for. You will also have peace of mind when you understand that skin tags are common skin growths.
It is, therefore, a great time to start scrutinizing your dog for skin tags if you have never done it before. Start by examining the prominent areas and be certain that the growths on your dog are healthy and normal. Also, consult with a veterinarian if you need help making a proper diagnosis.