Our 13 yr old Akita has sebaceous cysts in and around her behind and one on her tail. The vet was able to break some and we're working on the one of the tail. Because of her age, the vet doesn't want to anesthetize her. Are these cysts harmful to her? Is there anything we should avoid doing when breaking them? Otherwise, she is in good health except for arthritis which is being treated and she is moderately active and at the vet's two weeks ago.
My dog has a few small sebaceous cysts too. They come and go. Occasionally I break them, but only if they are very near the surface and look right for breaking. Otherwise I leave them, and they cause her no problems. Sometimes I notice one of them has disappeared, so either it broke of its own accord or she nibbled it open.....I have no real idea as there is never any kind of wound left behind, so how they can disappear is a mystery!
Are your dog's cysts very large? The ones on my dog usually are about the size of a small lentil. I suppose if they were very large, or obstructing her anus,or putting pressure on surrounding tissue, it might be a different situation, but otherwise I am sure they are pretty harmless. I don't think she would even need surgery for these.
Whenever I break open one of these, I make sure my hands are clean, then use a thin cotton-wool pad soaked with warm salt water or with dilute (I use herbal) antiseptic to prevent any possible infection. I use saline or diluted Echinacea because it will not harm her if she licks at it afterwards. Bathing the cyst with warm Echinacea tea for a few days before can sometimes also 'draw' the contents to the surface more, and soften the skin there, to make it easier to break open.
If they are right in the anus, the vet breaks them; otherwise, we do it. They are about the same size as you describe - maybe the size of a pea or kernel of corn. We have cream and cleansing solution from the vet but I like your idea of Echinacea - especially if it "draws" the contents to the surface. Anything to make it easier for the dog. Akitas are such dignified dogs and she hates having anybody put her through things involving her behind. Well .... most of the time she's dignified = )
I think all dogs are like that. My Misty HATES anyone interfering with her back end! Who can blame her!
Echinacea is quite subtle. It is my antiseptic of choice for both myself and her. Over years of using it, I noticed that it doesn't heal things over until it has subtly drawn out things from deeper below the skin, so is the best I think for anything which has 'filled up' such a spots/boils/etc. Some people don't realize it can be used as a lotion, but because I noticed it is good for things like this I use it every time. I find ECHINACEA ANGUSTIFOLIA works better than ECHINACEA PURPUREA for a lotion. I usually use the tincture either neat or slightly diluted. But a strong infusion would be ok.
I don't use it too often for Misty. (or myself) Because it has a beneficial effect on the immune system, it's excellent, but I feel that interfering with the immune system too often isn't a good thing. And if she licks it, it is harmless, but if she had it too often...not so good.
I'm still kind of wondering if the development of these sebacious cysts can be food-related. I'm not sure about that. Since I switched Misty's food to this, there have been less little cysts developing:
(this is what her food contains)
Rabbit, brown rice,oats,fish oils,organic sunflower oil,alfalfa,seaweed,carrot,cranberry,dandelion, cleavers.(no wheat/wheat gluten, no artificial colours/preservatives, no dairy, no added sugar/salt)
I had a husky who just loved showing off his behind = )
I think I'd prefer to use something "natural" instead of chemical. Our Akita, NumberNine, is taking Clavamox to prevent infection but am not sure what infection the vet is trying to prevent. Thank you so much for the differences in Echinacea. Akitas tend not to react well to harsh medications. Last year, she had some "warts" removed from the same area and the vet used laser surgery and an extremely light anesthesia. NumberNine was supposed to wear an e-collar to prevent her from licking the area but no way would she wear that collar but she was smart enough not to lick the area.
Interesting about the cysts being food related, I never thought of that. She eats j/d by Hills for her arthritis and t/d also by Hills. The vet recommended the j/d in particular. Do you make your own dog food? Because of her arthritis, she also takes glucosamine, omega-3 and twice a year has a series of intra-muscular Adaquan shots.
It's strange that the vet didn't explain why NumberNine needed the Clavamox (?)
As I said, I'm not sure at all if there is any relation between the cysts and food. My dog has always had occurrences of these cysts as long as I've known her. On one side of her ancestry there is Hungarian Vizsla, and this breed is prone to sebacious cysts apparently, as well as Lipomas(harmless tumors) She has two or three of these too, but they don't need surgery. When I first got her (rescue) she was on regular canned dog food (Pedigree or Winalot) with store-bought mixer. She never got table scraps.
At first she had these cysts more often. Then when I changed her food I noticed fewer of them occurring. But there were other changes in her life. When she came to live with me her life changed in many ways, she spent more time running outside, and other changes. So it's hard to know what relates to what.
She is 11 now. In excellent health so far. I give her Glucosamine/Chondrotin supplement every day 500mg. Glucosamine/200mg Chondrotin, in accordance with her weight (28lbs) because she had a broken leg in her past history. Very very occasionally that leg 'twinges' slightly, but 90% of the time gives her no trouble at all. But I thought the Glucosamine was a good idea to keep up. She runs like the wind and loves to walk all day! I hope she will continue to be blessed like this for a long while yet.
I think the Clavamox was to prevent infection of any kind. This vet is quite good with NumberNine, she seems to understand what the dog can tolerate. Akitas have three layers of hair which makes it difficult to see anything on their skin and it was just by grooming her that we found the cyst on her tail. Her behind seems fine but the vet still has to look at it. Akitas are also the type of dog who don't show if they are in pain but a few years ago it was obvious that she had difficulty with her back legs and the vet did some tests and she has arthritis that was fortunately found early. Her breed is prone to that and food does make a difference which is why she eats j/d. The glucosamine has helped and she likes the taste. Don't remember the exact dose but NumberNine weighs about 80 lbs. The omega-3 helps her skin. Having a Siberian husky as her "roommate" and two small dogs keeps her active which is good for her arthritis. I just hope that the cysts on her behind are gone. Like you, I hope God smiles on her - I just love her so much and so does the husky. They are inseparable. I better stop writing - I could talk about the dogs all day = )
In certain instances (but not if there is intense pain) I do think that regular exercise can be very good for arthritis. As I think the ligaments and muscles that surround the joints are built up and kept strong by good exercise, and 'support' the joints better.
When Misty came to me, her leg had been broken, and was still healing. The vet seemed to think arthritis was definitely on the horizon, and she would get arthritis while still fairly young, so he said.
I noticed her leg muscles on both sides did not have the tone they should have. She was excited to be living where I live, with thousands of acres of land to play and run on. We went out every day, and she often wanted to keep going when I was tired out! She would take off running like a greyhound on a race track! I was worried she might make her leg worse. I tried to slow her down, especially at first, but she would have none of it, so I let her do what she felt like doing. After a short time I noticed her occasional slight 'hopping' and limping(from the broken leg) had disappeared, and also her back leg muscles had built up beautifully. I feel pretty sure this helped to heal her.
(I saw similar with another dog too. A farm dog, whose pelvis had been very badly damaged at age 18 months, after being hit by a tractor. After the initial healing, at first that dog was limping about everywhere, but kept running! And gradually the return of his strong muscles and ligaments from the constant exercise seemed to support his joints, not wear at them.)
Well as the years have gone by, there were only the very few occasions when I could tell Misty got the odd 'twinge' from that leg. I was concerned about arthritis, but since the Glucosamine/Chondroitin, she has not even had one twinge recurring, so I feel that is sufficient right now to give her that little extra support.
Obviously if I saw any marked change or decline in her I would take her for stronger medication. But so far I do believe it is being kept at bay. The longer she can go like this, without having to take strong drugs, the better I think.
NumberNine knows when to stop - when she's had enough. Even days when the weather is bad and it effects her arthritis, she has learned how to use the stairs without causing herself pain. When we go for a walk, she lets us know when she is getting tired.
Sometimes the best remedy is the least intrusive and/or medical. Their incredible will to get past their injuries, etc. also plays a huge part in their healing. Even when I'm writing this, she is lying here like a big slug lol She deserves it after playing with the husky all morning.
A lot of the time they do seem to sense what is good for them, and we should listen. Dogs have beautiful intelligent ways about them. I watch my Misty and she makes me smile. She knows when there are nettles ahead or thistles, on our walk, and won't go there. She must smell them. She will tell me when she's tired too. When she's ready to go home.
I watch her because the things she does are intelligent. I don't exert my will on her all of the time, I let her speak too. We've fixed all the 'pack leader' stuff now, so I can listen to her.
Sometimes I make a mistake. Every night I go with her down to the bottom of the garden for her to pee. The other night she wouldn't do it. I thought she was being wilful, and came over all 'pack leader' on her. I NEVER get annoyed with her but am firm and matter-of-fact. I was determined she wouldn't get away with 'playing up'.
Then I turned the lamplight on her, and saw she was upset. I ignored that, and waited more for her to finally pee, so we could go to bed. She was beside the gate which opens onto the lane, and wouldn't move from there.
So in order to get it over I took her out onto the lane. She did a business! Then I realized she hadn't been playing up to me at all. She flatly refuses to do business in the garden. Only that time I hadn't listened. I wish I'd taken a photo of the look she gave me afterwards! If I could translate it into English it would have been "I forgive you, but I wasn't messing you around. I was trying to tell you something."
I love dogs' ways. I love the way they are. They are like a bridge between the wild world where we came from, and our human world now. And they are so eloquent.
Dogs do communicate but we have to listen. They all have different ways of communicating. Miss Puff will give a toy to one of us if we're sleeping and she wants to go out. NumberNine pulls the blankets off, etc. Sometimes with the cats and dogs, I feel like I "sense" things, like if something is wrong or bothering them and I "talk" to them. They can talk right back but in their own way. That was how we found NumberNine's "warts" and arthritis. Even our small dogs do it. They can communicate if they're depressed, lonely, etc.
NumberNine is the alpha dog but she isn't aggressive about it; in fact, she's very protective of all of us but in a way that is assertive and non-threatening. If one of our cats or dogs doesn't feel too good, she protects them by guarding their food so no one can steal it.
Your dog doesn't like to do her business in the garden lol Our husky doesn't like anybody to watch her but when she's finished, she scratches the grass and dirt goes all over the place. Our lhasa apso will not poop on cement. Maybe they need therapy.
Dogs are eloquent - I've never thought of that but it's quite true. They give unconditional love and we have to do is feed them, water them, walk them and rub their bellies - and probably a lot more. But they're worth it.
I don't mind your "rambling". I could talk about dogs for hours.
Hugs from NumberNine, Miss Puff, Rawhide, Hoss and the cats - Icepick, Anakin and Laverne .... almost forgot - and from me.
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