Skin tags can be a frustrating issue when they start developing a puppy or dog. They can look unsightly, dogs can try to chew at them, and they can get in the way of brushing the coat.
While some dogs may get an occasion skin tag, others can have ongoing issues. As soon as one is removed, another appears.
It's always a good idea to have a vet examine a skin tag. This is to confirm that it is one and discuss possible removal. This is normally done with a local anesthetic to numb the area around the tag. And then it is lanced off. There may be slight bleeding for a day or so.
Here, we will answer a question sent in by a Maltipoo owner whose dog is having issues with reoccurring skin tags and other skin issues.
Skin Tag Q&A
My Maltipoo is 4 years old, and up to about six months ago, he had one skin tag and one large zit or large lump that has been lanced twice. I’ve pinched off the skin tag several times in the last two years as well. Now his body has about ten bumps/zits/skin tags and I’m very worried.
I allow him to have meat and cheese from the table but his diet is primarily comprised of his dog food: Origin’s Six Fish. Is this common? I’ve spoken to the vet and they offer to lance each one, but why do they keep coming? is this particular to Maltipoos? Is this normal?
I really appreciate your help!
We can understand how frustrating this must be. Skin tags are not seen more often with Maltipoo than other breeds. We are sure that you know the typical causes:
Poor-fitting collar or other accessories that is rubbing the skin and causing irritation
Bath products, bathing
So, let’s tackle these one at a time.
Food: You are giving your Maltipoo Orijen which is an excellent food, and it is one that we highly recommended. So, the problem is not there.
Few owners are lacking in knowledge to the point of allowing their dog to romp through chemical-laden lawns.
Parasites: Since you have brought your Maltipoo to the vet, we can rule out parasites. Because, of course, the veterinarian would have very quickly identified fleas, ticks, lice, or mites.
You did not mention where the skin tags are growing. However, we are going to assume that these are not localized to any one area. For that reason, we are going to rule out the collar or other wearable element as the cause of tags, zits, and bumps.
Bath products and bathing: We personally do not feel that shampoo alone can cause skin tags. However, you say that your Maltipoo also has zits and other skin bumps does lead us to believe that this may be bathing. Because that refers to both the frequency of baths, and what you use on on your Maltipoo's coat.
So, if you are not doing it already, do give a bath once every 3 weeks. More often than this dries out the skin even if you do use great products. And waiting more than 3 weeks will allow for an accumulation of natural body oils that can block skin pores, and cause other issues (including the pimples).
In addition, low quality products can be very harsh, which strips the skin. And opposite to that, some do not clean well enough. It can be akin to essentially using water alone, and that does not work to properly wash away those body oils.
Be sure to use a superior shampoo and conditioner. We like the Earthbath line of shampoos and conditioners. They are properly pH balances, are gentle on the skin yet very effective in properly cleaning both skin and coat, and come in a variety of formulas for different skin types. As a side note, they have fantastic fragrances.
And try using Earthbath Oatmeal and Aloe Conditioner
for the conditioner, which is the one that we recommend for normal use. It not only has oatmeal and aloe, but also almond and vanilla, so it is really good for across the board.
And when you rinse out both of these, do be sure to use a nozzle if possible, and rinse very well, down to the skin to remove all possible residue.
Another note here is that brushing on a regular basis is important as well, since this plays a role with those oils. When you brush the coat, it distributes oils. So, not brushing often enough could be contributing to the skin tag problem.
We’d suggest being sure to go over the whole body at least once every 3 days.
And the last possible cause of skin tags would be genetics, which of course if out of your control. Your Maltipoo may be genetically predisposed to developing the tags.
You must be used to the fact that skin tags on a dog can really get in the way of proper brushing, as snagging one on a brush or comb can be very painful for a dog. And it can be really frustrating to try and go around multiple skin tags.
Other than that problem, since skin tags are not dangerous as they are benign growths, we would suggest only removing the ones that are troubling to you, and leaving the rest. Or, you may want to go once every 6 months or once every 12 months to the vet to have them all taken care of at one time.
As the vet must have told you, it will be important to monitor any skin tags that remain on your Maltipoo. Since there is a very slight change that one can become cancerous. If this were to happen, it is seen more often with ones around the lips and mouth.