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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Sebaceous Cysts (Epiderman Inclusion Cysts)

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Condition Overview

Epidermal inclusion cysts, also called sebaceous cysts, are common surface tumors found anywhere on the body.

Symptoms

The cysts produce a dome-shaped swelling up to an inch or more in size beneath the skin, though most are smaller. They can become infected and may need to be drained. This sometimes leads to a cure.

Causes

Kerry Blue Terriers, Schnauzers, Poodles, and spaniels are most often affected. Epidermal inclusion cysts begin when dry secretions block hair follicles, causing an accumulation of hair and sebum (a cheesy material), and subsequent formation of a cyst.

Diagnosis

It is often impossible to determine whether a skin tumor is benign or malignant by appearance alone. The only conclusive way to make a diagnosis is by biopsy, a procedure in which tissue or cells are removed by your veterinarian and examined under a microscope by a veterinary pathologist.

Treatment

Surgical excision is the treatment of choice, although it is not always required.

Prevention

Information needed.

Support

Please contact your veterinarian if you have questions regarding this condition.

Show Sources & Contributors +

Sources

Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook

Publisher: Wiley Publishing, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Authors: Debra M. Eldredge, Liisa D. Carlson, Delbert G. Carlson, James M. Giffen MD

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