Dog Skin Tag: Causes And Treatment

Do you know about the dog skin tag? What is it or is your pet suffering from it? In this article, I will tell you complete information about this disease of dogs. There are many reasons due to which your dog might get allergies or skin rashes like poor hygiene and improper care. The skin tag is a common disease in dogs and sometimes it can be dangerous to the life of your pet. Read the article till the end to get complete information and in-depth details about the dog skin tag.

What Is Dog Skin Tag?

The Skin tag in dogs is also known as acrochordon, fibrovascular papilloma, and fibroepithelial polyp. These are tumorous growth or a bump or lump-like structure on the skin of dogs. This growth is made of fibrous or connective tissue which is composed of collagen proteins. These proteins are used by the body to make bones and cartilages. Some of the skin tags can be cancerous as well so you need to take your pet to a vet as well.

Types Of Skin Tags

The dog skin tags are also known as Hamartomas and there are major two types of them. I have given a brief overview of both of them.

  • Fibroadnexal Hamartomas 

These are the most common type of skin tags and can be seen on many dogs. The growths formed in this type are hairless and occur maximum on the lower limb regions.

  • Follicular Hamartomas 

This type of skin tag happens very rarely in dogs and the skin growths are multiple. They can be recognized as the flattened masses that have thick hair growths.

Symptoms Of Skin Tags On Dogs

First, I will tell you the symptoms of a dog skin tag that you will notice at first. They can occur anywhere and are just under the skin and you can feel them. They are harmless at first but if they become damaged, they can bleed and cause problems to the dog. Some of the symptoms of a skin tag on the dog are mentioned below.

  • Tumor or bump-like growth
  • Wart-like surface growth
  • Hair follicles grow on it
  • If damaged starts bleeding
  • Often licking, scratching, or itching the area

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Causes Of Skin Tags

Skin tags on dogs can happen due to many reasons and many factors are involved behind causing these growths. Some of the causes of skin tags are given below for your reference.

  • Parasites

Many times the lice, ticks, and fleas get attached to the skin of the dog which results in inflammation or skin damage in the process.

  • Bad Skincare

If the dogs are not well bathed and maintained this might cause skin allergies or problems like skin tags. You must bathe your dog at a regular interval of time and keep them as clean as possible.

  • Improper Nutrition 

It is very important to feed your dog healthy and nutritious food. As poor nutrition can lead to a weaker immune system and make your dog more prone to bad skin conditions.

  • Tight Collars 

Often people make their dogs wear tight collars which rub against their skin causing discomfort and irritation to the pet. This can lead to the growth of skin tags.

  • Irritants 

Sometimes the shampoos and the conditioners that we use on our pet doesn’t suit them and the harmful chemicals in them cause reactions. This leads to the growth of allergies or skin tags.

Where Can Dog Skin Tag Form?

Some of the body areas of the dog are more prone to such growth or skin tags more. Below I have listed the names of the places where it is seen often.

  • Chest
  • Armpit
  • Face
  • Eyelids
  • Stomach
  • Legs
  • Nose

The most common places where a dog has a tag are mentioned below.

Dog Skin Tag On Eye

The skin tag on a dog eyelid requires a doctor’s attention as the eye is a sensitive part of the body. Any rubbing or scratching by the dog on the cornea can cause ulcers or irritation. This might cause a problem with the vision of the dog. Thus, dog skin tag removal from the eye becomes important.

Dog Skin Tag On Lip

Dog lips are very close to the mouth and any infection over there can affect your pet directly.  Skin tags on the dog’s lip can be papilloma warts or even cancerous growth. So if you find any bumpy growth on the lips or around the mouth of the dog. You must go and check it with the veterinary doctor.

Dog Skin Tag Vs Wart

Dog wart vs skin tag on dogs look almost similar and it is hard to differentiate between them. But below I have mentioned some points which will help you to distinguish the two.

  • The most common type of wart that happens on dogs is papilloma. Warts are viral and are contagious.
  • If you see a thin stalk attaching to the growth then it is probably a skin tag.
  • In warts, the base of growth is broad and thick. You can feel the growth and see which it seems to be.

Usually, it is difficult to determine and differentiate between skin tags and warts. So, if you find any such growth on your dog you must consult a veterinary doctor immediately.

How To Remove A Skin Tag On A Dog?

Skin tag on dog turning black or dog skin tag bleeding is the common pointers that show the skin tag is serious. They are very painful and irritating for your pet as well. There are various ways and dog skin tag removal surgery done for treating this problem and the options include

  • Cryosurgery

In this treatment, the skin tag is frozen which causes the cells to destroy and stop the growth.

  • Cauterization

This process is a bit painful at first but later provides relief to your pet. In it, the skin tag is directly burnt from the body of the dog.

  • Removal Surgery

The skin tag is directly removed by the veterinary doctor.

Dog Skin Tag Removal Cost

Skin tag removal cost depends on various factors like the doctor you choose and the procedure you opt for. Different methods have varied costs and I have given an estimate of each of them below without factoring in pet insurance.

  • Cryosurgery- The cost can be estimated at around $150.
  • Cauterization- This procedure can cost between $250 to $400.
  • Surgery- This process is very expensive and can be around $600 to $800.


Are Skin Tags On Dogs Dangerous?

No, the skin tags on dogs are not very dangerous unless they start bleeding or turn dark into color. However, if they cause infection or pain to your pet then removal becomes necessary.

Should I Remove My Dog’s Skin Tag?

You should remove the skin tag of your dog if it is causing other physical problems and secondary infections. Usually, these skin tags do not harm your dog.

Can Skin Tags On Dogs Be Cancerous?

Skin tags are benign-like structures or are sebaceous cysts or lipomas. The skin tags are not cancerous and they are harmless in many cases.

Can Skin Tags Be Cancerous?

Skin tags are not cancerous and they are not associated with cancer. Skin tags are just flaps of tissues on a tiny stalk under the skin.

Is It Normal For Dogs To Get Skin Tags?

Just like humans, dogs can develop skin tags as a normal part of the aging process. No one knows exactly what causes skin tags in dogs or humans, but they are a common finding and typically not a cause for concern.

Do Skin Tags On Dogs Hurt Them?

While harmless, they can cause distress if they grow too large or in a location that compromises your dog’s normal daily activity, or if they become damaged, in which case they can bleed and possibly become infected. Signs your dog may have a skin tag include: Stalk-like growths.

How Do You Get Rid Of Skin Tags On Dogs?

Most skin tags on dogs do not require any treatment at all because they are non-cancerous benign growths. If the skin tag is irritated, bleeding, infected, growing quickly or bothering your dog in any way, then your vet may recommend removal through surgery.


The dog skin tag is a usual problem faced by many dogs. Often people don’t even pay attention to them but sometimes they can cause serious problems. As it is said prevention is better than cure so you must check it with a vet if you find a skin tag on your dog. You will get to know detailed information on skin tags and their types in the above article. I have also mentioned the symptoms and treatments available for your reference.

If you feel any skin tag-like structure on your dog you must consult a veterinary doctor. After reading the article, you will get to know many important facts and details about the dog skin tag that you must know.

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