Cyst on Dog Neck

by Jessica
(Nampa, ID)

Dog Cyst Photo

Dog Cyst Photo

Question: Dog bumps on neck About a month ago we noticed a small bump on the back of my dogs neck. Then about a week ago my Mom came to visit and I had her check it to see if she thought he should be checked out. She said it felt a little crusty but she thought it would be fine.

Then a few days ago I went to check on it and it looked really strange. It doesn't appear to be bothering him at all. He doesn't try to itch it and he's not losing the hair around it. His behaviour hasn't seemed to change at all like he's not feeling well or anything. I've looked all over the internet and can find nothing that looks remotely like it. Please help as I can't afford to take him to the vet unless it's absolutely necessary.

Editor Suggestions Bumps on Dog Neck

Dear Jessica,

Sorry to hear about the dog skin condition.

It is truly a strange condition, where the skin is being affected by several nodular bodies, which have grown in large number within a month and shows no accompanying classical symptoms of a skin problem at all. Unfortunately, we are unable to confirm the nature of this condition without any examination and laboratory report based on a detailed biopsy.

Even though it is impossible to confirm, we can assess the possible causes and nature of this condition according to the behavior of it.

In this case, the most important point is the rapidly spreading behavior of these dog bumps over the skin and secondly that there are no accompanying symptoms. It seems that either the condition hasn't reached clinical status, where the classical signs are exhibited or it is possible that these are cutaneous dog skin cysts, which occurs in the base of the hair follicle and causes no symptoms at
all in its initial stages (until ulceration is caused).

There are several kinds of keratinized cutaneous canine skin cysts, but the exact type can only be determined with a detailed biopsy and examination.

Here, we suggest that initially you should try bathing your dog with a medicated shampoo such as Nutri-Vet. This will not only help to prevent secondary bacterial infections, which are surely possible due to the progressively declining condition of your dogs skin health and immunity. Secondly, if the possible underlying cause is infectious and still sub–clinical, bathing your dog with a medicated shampoo will help to resolve the condition.

Additionally, we recommend that you use a natural remedy such as Skin and Coat Tonic, which can help to improve skin and hair strength along with immune system health.

But, it should be noted that this condition can be cutaneous dog skin cysts, which should be handled with care. Therefore, in the initial stages, while you try to resolve it at home, make sure that you do not cause any rupturing of these canine skin cysts while bathing, rubbing, drying or handling.

Cysts on dog usually cause ulceration, inflammatory signs and secondary complications if they get ruptured; they usually contain a greasy matter or hard keratinized follicular matter depending upon type of cyst.

Classical signs appear in advanced stages of this condition. If the aforementioned remedies and shampooing do not help, or the dog skin bumps appear to be spreading to other parts of the body, you should consult a veterinarian for a detailed examination and laboratory tests including skin scrapings and biopsy. Specific treatment will be therefore needed, which should be done without any delay. Remember, cutaneous dog cysts can surely turn into skin tumors (ulcerated cancer) in very advance stages of this dog skin condition.

Best of luck and please keep on up to date on the canine skin cyst problem.

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Dog Subdermal Fluid Cyst

by Doug Baker

Our 16 year old border-australian shepherd has a large fluid cyst behind both shoulders over the rib cage. The fluid is clear; and our vet says it is non-threatening.

They are now larger than a baseball on both sides and look like they could rupture. I wanted the vet to drain them, but she said they would just fill back up again. We think they are uncomfortable and dangerous to the dog.

Any thoughts on this.


Doug Baker

Editor Suggestion Dog Skin Cyst

Hi Doug,

If these are cysts, your vet is probably right. Draining them would provide temporary relief, but because whatever is causing the cysts to form is still present, they would come right back.

However, if they are causing discomfort for your dog, something should be done. Surgery to remove the entire cyst is usually curative, but I can’t say what is best for your dog since I have not examined it.

You can always take your dog to another veterinarian for a second opinion and more treatment options.


Jennifer Coates, DVM

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Dog Sebaceous Cyst Treatment

by Tracy

My 11 year old miniature schnauzer has a sebaceous cyst on his hind right leg. The cyst erupted and the cheesy materials have been expressed. My vet didn't seem too concerned with the cyst to begin with and he's acting fine (but he keeps trying to lick the wound). The emergency number said it could wait until Monday morning. What would cause it to burst like that and how dangerous is it?

Vet Suggestion Dog Sebaceous Cyst Treatment

Hi Tracy,

Sebaceous cysts have a tendency to erupt like this when pressure builds within the cyst and/or it is bumped, chewed on, or otherwise traumatized.

I agree with the information you got from the emergency number; this can wait until your regular vet is open again on Monday. In the meantime, simply keep the area clean by wiping it down with an antiseptic solution like chlorhexidine solution followed by an application of an antibiotic ointment (e.g., Neosporin) 2-3 times a day.

You will likely continue to have similar problems with this sebaceous cyst in the future even if it heals uneventfully now. They are usually very easy to remove, so you might want to consider talking to your vet about this option.

Good luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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