Follicular Cysts in Dogs: A Closer Look What Are Follicular Cysts In Dogs and How Can They Be Avoided?

Follicular Cysts in Dogs: A Closer Look

Follicular cysts are among the most typical medical conditions that can affect dogs. Learn more about this condition in this article.

It's crucial for pet owners to keep a close check on their animals' health. Follicular cysts are among the most typical medical conditions that can affect dogs. These tiny sacs packed with fluid that can develop on a dog's skin can be upsetting and irritating. Follicular cysts are often benign, but they can progress into more serious disorders requiring veterinarian care.

To further assist you in understanding and providing for your canine companion, we'll go over what dog follicular cysts are, their causes, symptoms, and remedies in this article.

Types of Cysts on Dogs

Dogs are susceptible to a variety of cyst forms. Listed below are a handful of the most typical causes:

  • Sebaceous cysts: A ruptured sebaceous cyst on dogs is the most prominent type of cyst in dogs and forms in the sebaceous glands in the skin. They can appear anywhere on the body and are frequently filled with white, greasy fluid.

  • Follicular cysts: Since these cysts develop in the hair follicles, they can develop on any portion of the body where there is hair.

  • Epidermoid cysts: These cysts form in the epidermal layer of the skin and contain keratin, a protein found in hair, nails, and skin.

  • Pilar cysts: These keratin-filled cysts form in the hair follicles.

  • Lipomas: These fat cell-based benign tumors commonly develop beneath the skin. Although they are not actually cysts, this term is frequently used to describe them.


Cysts can develop in dogs for a variety of reasons. Among them are:

  • Unbalanced hormones: Unbalanced hormones, such as those brought on by an overactive thyroid gland or the use of specific drugs, can impair the normal operation of hair follicles and result in cyst development.

  • Breed predisposition: Certain dog breeds are more likely than others to develop follicular cysts. For instance, long-haired breeds like Poodles and Shih Tzus are more prone.

  • Skin trauma: Any injury or trauma to the skin can disrupt the normal functioning of the hair follicles and lead to cysts forming.

  • Inadequate grooming: Follicular cysts are more prone to form in dogs with poor grooming practices. Cysts can occur when dead skin cells and hair follicles accumulate on the skin's surface, obstructing the hair follicles.

  • Immune system issues: Follicular cysts are more likely to form in dogs with compromised immune systems. Cysts can occur when diseases like lupus or allergies weaken the immune system's capacity to combat infections and inflammation.


Follicular cysts of the skin can cause a variety of signs, including:

  • Skin lumps or bumps: Follicular cysts commonly present as tiny, elevated skin lumps or bumps. They can have a diameter that varies from a few millimeters to several centimeters.

  • Hair loss: The cysts may result in bald patches by causing hair to fall out surrounding the affected area.

  • Inflammation and redness: The skin around the cysts may become itchy, red, and inflamed.

  • Itching and scratching: Dogs with follicular cysts may scratch, lick, or bite the afflicted area due to the irritation and discomfort caused by the cysts.

  • Discharge: The cysts may occasionally burst, causing a fluid or pus discharge.

  • Pain: Dogs with follicular cysts can experience pain and discomfort.

Treatment and Management Options

The treatment and management of dog hair follicle cysts depend on the extent of the condition and the underneath cause. These are some typical forms of therapy and administration:

  • Watchful waiting: If the cysts are small and not giving the dog any discomfort, the vet may advise keeping a close eye on them for any changes.

  • Drainage: The veterinarian may advise draining the cysts if they are large or causing the dog pain. In order to remove the fluid or pus, a small incision must be made in the cyst.

  • Medication: The veterinarian may prescribe medication, such as antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drugs, to help reduce inflammation and manage any underlying infections.

  • Surgery: The veterinarian could advise surgically removing the cysts if they are big and recurring.

  • Good grooming: Proper grooming can help prevent the formation of follicular cysts. Regular brushing, bathing, and trimming can all help remove dead skin cells and hair follicles that may clog the hair follicles.

  • Diet: Feeding your dog a healthy and balanced diet can help improve their overall health and reduce the risk of developing skin conditions.

  • Address underlying conditions: The veterinarian will treat the underlying problem to stop cyst formation in the future if an underlying ailment, such as a hormone imbalance or an immune system disorder, brings on the cysts.

Preventive Strategies

Prevention is always better than cure, and you can implement several preventive strategies to reduce the risk of a hair follicle cyst in dogs. Here are some tips:

  • Frequent grooming: Doing routine grooming on your dog, such as brushing, washing, and hair clipping, will help avoid the accumulation of dead skin cells and hair follicles, which can block the hair follicles and cause cyst formation.

  • Healthy nutrition: Giving your dog nutritious and balanced food helps support healthy skin and fur and a strong immune system.

  • Environmental control: Prevent skin allergies and infections that can result in cyst formation by keeping your dog's surroundings clean and free of irritants like pollen or dust.

  • Exercise and play: Regular exercise and playtime can help better your dog's overall health and reduce stress, which can compromise its immune system and increase the risk of developing cysts. There are many toys, like Flying Squirrel or Kong Classic, available for playtime.

By putting these preventive measures into practice, you may lessen the possibility that your dog will develop follicular cysts and enhance its general health and well-being. Remember to visit a veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan if you observe any signs of cysts or other skin diseases.

Was this article helpful?