Have you ever noticed a small, flesh-colored growth on your dog and wondered, “Could that be a skin tag?” While skin tags are more commonly found in humans, it is possible for dogs to get them too. Here’s everything you’d want to know about skin tags on dogs.
Skin Tag Basics
Skin tags are benign (noncancerous) growths that can occur anywhere on the body, including on the eyelids, under the arms, or in the groin area in humans. They are also relatively common in dogs and tend to show up around the age of seven. While skin tags are not harmful, they can be bothersome if they become irritated. In some cases, they may even bleed. If you notice a skin tag on your dog, it’s important to have it checked out by a veterinarian to rule out any other potential issues.
What Causes Skin Tags in Dogs?
The exact cause of skin tags is largely unknown, but they are thought to be related to either friction or hormonal changes. Hormones are known to play a role in the development of human skin tags, which is why they are more common in pregnant women or those who are taking birth control pills. It’s possible that something similar is happening with dogs, though this has not been confirmed.
Are Skin Tags Contagious?
No, skin tags are not contagious. You cannot catch them from another person or animal, and you cannot give them to your dog. Also one dog cannot give them to another dog.
How Are Skin Tags Diagnosed?
In most cases, skin tags do not require any type of special testing or diagnostic procedures. Your veterinarian will likely be able to diagnose a skin tag simply by performing a physical examination. In some cases, though, biopsies may be necessary to rule out other potential issues such as tumors.
Can Dog Skin Tags Be Removed?
Yes, skin tags can be removed surgically or with cryosurgery (freezing). The method used will depend on the size and location of the growth. For small growths that are not causing any problems, removal may not be necessary. However, if the growth is large or if it becomes irritated or inflamed, surgery may be recommended. Skin tag removal is considered a minor procedure and typically does not require any type of anesthesia.
While skin tags are more common in humans, it is possible for dogs to get them too. If you notice a skin tag on your dog, it’s important to have it checked out by a veterinarian to rule out any other potential issues. In most cases, skin tags do not require any type of special testing or diagnostic procedures and can be removed surgically or with cryosurgery if necessary.