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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16467
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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can dog skin tags be frozen off

Customer Question

can dog skin tags be frozen off
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is ***** ***** I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry to hear that Sally has some skin tags and I understand that you are interested in whether cryotherapy (freezing tissue to kill it) is an option.
We don't use cryotherapy much is dogs because most of their masses, even benign ones, have a base or fingers into surrounding tissue and they can regrow.
If we have a truly benign skin tag though we can use laser surgery to remove them, taking a small amount of tissue around the base so that they don't regrow. This has the benefit of little bleeding and inflammation and no stitches needed postoperatively.
Before any mass is removed we do need to make sure that it isn't the type of mass that is aggressively invasive into surrounding tissues, because then this localized type of removal won't work.
You don't mention where Sally's skin tags are. Tumors of any sort in young dogs are uncommon.
Do her skin tags look like the ones in the link below?
http://crvetcenter.com/oldsite/papill1.jpg
If so these are probably contagious viral warts (papillomatosis). These are a contagious, sexually transmitted or close contact disease caused by a virus and contracted when a dog mates with or licks/sniffs a dog that is affected by them. They tend to be found on the lips, eyelids, inside the mouth, on the footpads, and in the genital area. They are not contagious to people but they are extremely contagious to other dogs. As such she should be kept away from other dogs so out of doggy day care and dog parks.
In most cases these benign tumors resolve with no therapy needed at all in weeks to months. Rarely these can transform into a malignant variant and don't resolve. These need to be removed surgically with wide margins.
If the warts are getting ulcerated, interfere with eating or become uncomfortable we can use an antibiotic, Azithromycin, for 10 to 14 days which seems to hasten their resolution.
If you'd like to read more please see this link for an in-depth article about contagious warts in dogs: http://www.petwave.com/Dogs/Dog-Health-Center/Skin-Disorders/Warts.aspx
Please let me know if you have any further questions.