Sebaceous Adenomas are tumors that develop on a dog’s sebaceous glands, the natural oil-producing glands of the skin. You’ve probably seen them before on older dogs and been unaware that that’s what they were. Canine adenomas are usually pinkish and have lobules and are found on the head, but they exist elsewhere as well.
The sebaceous system keeps your dog’s coat health and clean. These glands secrete sebum into the hair follicles and onto the skin. Sebum is important for keeping the skin soft and moist. It is sebum that gives the coat of a dog that sheen and it has antibiotic properties. The oil glands can be found in large numbers near the paws, back of the neck, chin, rump, and tail area.
Pictured above, these adenomas grow outward on the skin and can ooze a white oily material. Masses are usually ¼” to 1” inch in size and sometimes they might have subcutaneous tissue involvement. The best news of all is that sebaceous adenoma in dogs is usually not cancerous!
Which Canine Breeds Are Predisposed To Adenomas?
Unfortunately, some breeds have a higher likelihood of developing sebaceous adenomas later in life. Breeds most predisposed to adenomas include:
- Cocker Spaniels
- English Cocker Spaniels
- West Highland White Terrier
- Cairn Terrier
- Kerry Blue Terrier
- Shih Tzu
- Basset Hounds
- Toy and Miniature Poodles
- Alaskan Malamutes
Sebaceous Adenoma Dog’s Diagnosis
Any tumor in your dog should be evaluated with a fine-needle aspirate to make sure it’s benign. Malignant tumors such as matrical carcinoma and sebaceous gland adenocarcinoma are a rare possibility. Sebaceous adenomas in dogs should not be confused with sebaceous hyperplasia’s which looks more like a wart.
Sebaceous Adenoma Treatment
If a tumor is found to be a sebaceous adenoma, there are no treatments unless the tumor becomes a problem. While rare, the placement of adenoma tumors can bother the dog and cause them to rub or lick at it constantly and become sore or infected. If your dog exhibits any signs of discomfort with the tumor, take them into the vet for evaluation.
Checking Your Dog For Sebaceous Adenoma Tumors
You should be regularly checking your dog for any type of tumor, sebaceous adenoma or otherwise. There are several types of sebaceous gland tumors, some of which are cancerous. Therefore we continuously tell you to Check Your Dog each month for anything new that might come up. If you find anything, have it checked out by your vet because early detection is key. For these types of growths, you could be referred to a Dermatology vet for treatment or accurate diagnosis.
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