Dog skin tags, known by medical professionals as acrochordons, are small non-cancerous growths on the surface of the skin, that usually appear on older dogs. Most of the time these growths are only an appearance concern, however, there are cases when they can become a medical problem and need to be removed.
Going to a veterinary clinic is the best course of action for determining whether the skin tags are dangerous or not and the treatment to proceed with.
Dog skin tag removal cost
The cost of removing a dog’s skin tag usually ranges between $100 and $600. These costs will depend on your geographical location, the size of the tag, and the type of procedure done when removing the skin tag.
The simplest skin tag removal is by cutting off the lump and the cost for this is usually somewhere from $50 to $200 depending on whether an anesthetic was used and the size of the skin tag. After the skin tag is cut, a technician will care for the dog until the bleeding stops and a bandage will be applied.
Cryosurgery is another approach, can cost between $100 to $500, and is a relatively quick procedure, often painless. Boston Pet Clinics for example charges around $300 for a dog skin removal using this procedure.
Another procedure to consider is Electrosurgery which can cost on average around $175. However, depending on the facility and the severity of the skin tag, the cost may go up to $500.
Surgical removal is a more complex procedure that requires anesthesia and its cost will be between $200 and $500+. This price is influenced by the facility where you choose to go, the size of the skin tag, and the needed anesthesia.
We did some research on multiple veterinary clinics in order to see their costs for a simple canine skin tag removal procedure. In the table below we listed several clinics and their costs:
|Veterinary Clinic||Cost for Dog Skin Tag Removal|
|PetSmart||$50 to $150|
|Banfield Pet Hospital||$100 to $200|
|VCA Animal Hospitals||$75 to $150|
|Petco Veterinary Clinics||$50 to $100|
|BluePearl Veterinary Partners||$200 to $300|
At Helping Hands Clinics located in Virginia, the cost for surgical removal of a dog skin tag may go from $125 up to $725. The cost will depend on the size of the lump.
On MyDogGuide.com an article says that removing a skin tag from a dog can cost anywhere from $135 to $995.
We highly recommend talking to your nearest veterinary facility in order to obtain a more accurate cost for dog skin tag removal. Take into consideration that the costs listed are estimates and each case may require a different course of action.
Extra costs related to skin tags on dogs
Taking your dog to the vet will usually come with an examination fee. This expense may often represent an extra cost, aside from the procedure itself.
A biopsy may be required in order to determine if it is a simple skin tag or a more serious medical issue. The cost of a biopsy might mean an extra $200 added to your overall expense.
Keep in mind that if your dog has several skin tags, each one will be charged extra.
Depending on the type of procedure needed in order to remove your dog’s skin tag, anesthesia may be needed which will cost an extra $100.
How to confirm the diagnosis
To determine whether it is a simple skin tag or if there is a more serious problem to deal with, the best approach is to pay a visit to a veterinary office. The vet will decide if the tag or wart needs to be removed, as well as the procedure to be used. Often, a professional veterinarian will first recommend monitoring the progress of the skin tag, if it is small and does not cause any pain.
However, if a lump will grow fast and cause irritation, pain in the area and even bleeding, we recommend that you visit the veterinary facility as soon as possible.
During the exam, the veterinarian doctor will monitor the dog’s heart rate, and temperature, and examine the abdomen and the skin tag area. In case the skin tag looks suspect, a biopsy of the lump will most likely be required. This procedure is done by extracting material from the mass and then examining it through a microscope or sending it to a laboratory for more complex tests. The biopsy will determine whether the lump is benign or malignant, and only with the test result the doctor will be able to figure out a treatment.
Symptoms of a dog skin tag
A benign lump of a skin tag will not provoke any pain unless it grows too large, so it’s basically almost always harmless.
Any serious issues with a skin tag will cause the dog vomiting, diarrhea, bleeding lump, lack of appetite, as well as other symptoms.
Overview of the procedure to remove skin tags
- Simple skin tag removal – This procedure will require cutting off the skin tag. As stated above, after the procedure a technician will care for the dog until the bleeding stops and a bandage will be applied on the specific area. After this, the dog can be taken home with no other treatments required
- Surgical skin tag removal – If surgery is needed in order to remove the skin tag, local anesthesia will be needed. The procedure is used when the lump represents a much more serious risk and the vet will remove the skin tag with a scalpel and send it to a laboratory for a biopsy.
- Cryosurgery skin tag removal – This procedure will require nitrogen liquid in order to freeze the skin tag. The skin tag will simply fall off. This is said to be a painless and quick procedure.
- Electrosurgery or cauterization – The veterinarian will use a laser in order to cauterize the skin tag, which will fall off right away. Local anesthesia is recommended to be used, because the laser may cause a burning feel to the dog skin.
Causes of a skin tag
There may be several causes behind a dog’s skin tag. Some are caused by external factors while others by health. You will find below several common factors:
- Collar – If the collar is tight around the dog’s neck, it may cause some irritation causing damage to the skin.
- Environment – Different chemicals from around the house may cause irritation to your dog’s skin and skin tags.
- Food – Not having proper nutrition may cause the appearance of skin tags on dogs. Malnutrition will break the dog’s immune system causing rashes that can lead to skin tags.
- Genetics – Some dogs may have this issue inherited. Usually, there is no way for it to be prevented, just ensure you monitor the progress of the skin tags.
- Hygiene – Dust and dirt on the dog’s skin can cause rashes that may lead to a skin tag’s appearance. Grooming your dog constantly will definitely protect your dog’s health. Also, some pet owners choose to bathe their dogs too much. This will lead to dry skin, prone to serious rashes, and often causes the dog to develop skin tags.