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What are the Treatments for Cysts?

Dear Dr. Barchas, I noticed that my dog Fletcher had a jelly bean size growth on his neck about a week ago. I noticed a...

Dr. Eric Barchas  |  Feb 8th 2009


Dear Dr. Barchas,

I noticed that my dog Fletcher had a jelly bean
size growth on his neck about a week ago. I
noticed a small scab on top and upon removing it a
very thick white discharge came out.

When I squeezed it the bump all but went away so I shaved
the area and cleaned it thoroughly. Since then it
keeps coming back and I will squeeze the “gunk”
out and put Neosporin on it.

I was just curious as to what it might be and was wondering if I should be
doing something differently to it. It doesn’t
seem to be bothering him at all, and he is acting
completely normal.

Thanks so much!

Emily and Fletch
Louisville, KY

Fletcher’s mass sounds like a cyst.

Cysts are benign sacs that fill with fluid. They commonly develop on or underneath the skin. They occur less commonly in internal organs.

Skin cysts generally are not a threat to life expectancy or well being. However, in some instances cysts can become infected or irritated. Occasionally they rupture, causing fluid to drain or leak. Troublesome cysts generally can be removed surgically.

I recommend that you take Fletcher to the vet to confirm that his mass is a cyst and not something more dangerous. I also recommend against manually emptying the cyst, since it may increase the likelihood of irritation. If Fletcher’s cyst is like most, it will not require much management or treatment in the future.