Eyelid Lump in Dogs

Eyelid Bumps and Lumps in Dogs: Causes, Types, and Treatment

Eyelid bumps and lumps in dogs are growths associated with blocked glands, non-cancerous masses, and cancerous eyelid tumors. 

A dog eyelid cyst or chalazion is one of the most common types of flesh masses. The other three frequently reported growths include melanoma, papilloma, and meibomian gland tumors. 

Signs accompanying eyelid masses in dogs include redness, excessive squinting, cloudy eyes, intense eye discharge or epiphora, frequent eye rubbing, and mass bleeding. 

A visible bump on dogs eyelid is often benign, becoming problematic when it grows and irritates the cornea. Eyelid masses irritating the cornea cause corneal ulcers, affecting vision if left untreated. 

Diagnosing a growth on dogs eyelid is straightforward, as lumps and bumps generally appear distinct. 

The treatment for eyelid masses in dogs depends on the growth’s classification, size, and location. Options include medication, surgical removal, cryotherapy, and laser ablation. 

What does Eyelid Lump in Dogs Mean?

An eyelid lump in dogs means an abnormal growth on the upper or lower eyelid. Eyelid bumps and lumps are common in dogs, with some growths being cancerous and others non-cancerous. 

The role of the dog’s eyelid is to protect the eye, produce secretions through the meibomian glands, and distribute tears. A bump on dogs eye causes an irregular eyelid margin, which impairs these anatomical functions as part of dogs' eye.

Benign growths (88.41%) are more common than malignant ones (11.59%), according to a 2004 study, “The Prevalence and Treatment of Eyelid Neoplasms in Dogs: 69 Cases (2000-2003),” published in The Thai Journal of Veterinary Medicine. 

Records of benign growths were documented in a 1975 trial titled “Eyelid Neoplasms of Dogs,” published in the American Journal of Veterinary Research. The study classified roughly three-quarters of eyelid bumps and lumps in dogs (75.3%) as benign. 

Eyelid bumps and lumps in dogs require prompt veterinary attention before the condition worsens. Eyelid masses grow and damage the cornea, impairing vision if left untreated. 

Is Eyelid Lump a Common Eye Problem in Dogs?

Yes, an eyelid lump is a common eye problem in dogs. Eyelid masses are a widespread canine eye problem. 

Eyelid bumps and lumps in dogs are particularly common in elderly dogs, according to a 2007 study, “Management of Eyelid Neoplasms in the Dog and Cat,” published in Clinical Techniques in Small Animal Practice. 

Veterinary Record Open published a study, “The Investigation of Histopathology and Locations of Excised Eyelid Masses in Dogs,” in 2019. 

The study included 118 dogs with 119 eyelid masses and found that eyelid bumps on dogs are prevalent in female spayed dogs. Upper eyelid growths in dogs are a more frequent dog eye problem than in dogs with lower eyelid masses. 

What Causes of Bumps on Dogs' Eyelids?

The causes of bumps on dog’s eyelids are unknown. Meibomian gland cysts develop when oils and debris are trapped in the canals and are associated with inflammation and local infections, like tooth or sinus abscesses. 

Benign and cancerous eyelid bumps and lumps in dogs have undetermined causes. Cancer is generally multifactorial and depends on several complex risk factors, including environmental and genetic variables. 

How often does a Sebaceous Cyst on a Dog Eyelid appear?

A sebaceous cyst on a dog eyelid appears frequently. Sebaceous cysts are common in dogs, and the eyelids are a typical site alongside the dog’s head, neck, chest, upper limbs, and pressure points. 

Certain breeds (Shih Tzus, Doberman Pinschers, Schnauzers, Boxers, Yorkshire Terriers, and Basser Hounds) and hairless dogs (Xoloitzcuintli and Chinese Crested) are prone to sebaceous cysts. 

What are the Types of Eyelid Lump or Tumor in Dogs?

The types of eyelid lumps or tumors in dogs are listed below. 

  • Chalazion: Chalazion is a non-tumorous, non-painful, cyst-like enlargement of the eyelid’s Meibomian gland. Chalazion triggers chronic inflammation of the eyelid or blepharitis. 
  • Papillomas: Papillomas are benign, viral, smooth, or cauliflower-like tumors in dogs. Papillomas are known as warts and disappear independently. 
  • Melanomas: Melanomas are cancerous tumors rising from the pigmented cells called melanocytes. Melanomas in dogs are aggressive and spread if untreated.
  • Meibomian Gland Tumors: Meibomian gland tumors stem from the Meibomian glands and protrude outward or extend into the eyelid. The tumors are inflammatory, ulcerative, and painful.

    1. Chalazion

  • Chalazion in dogs, known as a meibomian cyst, is nodular swelling on the interior edge of the dog’s upper or lower eyelid. 

    “Chalazion is one of the most common eye conditions,” states a study entitled “Chalazion Treatment: A Concise Review of Clinical Trials,” published in Current Eye Research in 2023. 

    Chalazion develops when the meibomian gland opening blocks due to local injury, neoplasia, or changes in the consistency of the sebum secretion. Dirt and oils accumulate within the blocked gland, causing swelling and chronic localized inflammation.  

    Symptoms of chalazion in dogs include a visible eyelid mass, redness, and blepharitis. Chalazia are generally not painful to touch. Chalazion is not cancerous. 

    2. Papillomas

    Papillomas in dogs eye are wart-like masses with a viral origin that typically manifest on the dog’s eyelids and inside the mouth. 

    Papilloma eyelid bumps and lumps in dogs are caused by the papillomavirus (a viral infection) and are common in puppies and dogs under one year old. 

    Papillomas in dogs have a distinct appearance. Papillomas are white, pink, or pigmented in color, pedunculated, cobblestone-like, with an irregular shape. Dogs with papillomas often have more than one wart manifesting simultaneously. 

    Papillomas are not cancerous and often disappear independently, particularly in young dogs. 

    3. Melanomas

    Melanomas in dogs are a specific type of tumor stemming from melanocytes. The melanocytes are pigment-producing cells. 

    The cause of melanoma-related eyelid bumps and lumps in dogs is unknown. Overexposure to sunlight is considered a predisposing risk factor. 

    Dogs contract two types of eyelid melanomas. The first type develops from the eyelid skin and resembles a single, typically black, smooth, and protruding mass. 

    The second type of eyelid melanoma stems from the pigmented eyelid margin, which is broad, flat, and bursting in all directions. 

    Melanomas in dogs are cancerous and require aggressive treatment, especially types stemming from the pigmented eyelid margin. 

    4. Meibomian Gland Tumors

    A meibomian gland tumor dog is a neoplasm arising from meibomian glands. The meibomian glands are specialized glands lining the dog’s lower and upper eyelids, producing the oily component within the tear film. 

    Meibomian gland tumors in dogs are the most common eyelid mass in older dogs, accounting for around 60% of all cases. The cause of the gland tumors is unknown. 

    The telltale sign of a meibomian gland tumor is a protruding lobular mass with a pinkish-to-pigmented hue. Meibomian gland growths are prone to bleeding and ulceration as they grow.  

    Meibomian gland eyelid lumps and bumps in dogs are occasionally benign and cancerous in other cases. The non-cancerous type is classified as meibomian gland adenoma, while the cancerous type is called meibomian gland adenocarcinoma. 

    How do Vets Diagnose Eyelid Bumps on Dogs?

    Vets diagnose eyelid bumps on dogs by reviewing their medical history and performing a complete physical and ophthalmic examination. 

    Eyelid bumps and lumps in dogs are visibly distinct, allowing for a presumptive diagnosis. Masses lacking the typical morphology and malignant growths are examined thoroughly using punch biopsy or a fine needle aspirate (FNA). 

    The veterinarian performs a test called fluorescein staining of the cornea to disregard ulcers and carries out X-rays of the dog’s chest to ensure the tumor has not spread. 

    How long does the Lump on Dog's Eyelid last?

    The lump on a dog’s eyelid lasts a few days to several months. Some types of eyelid bumps and lumps in dogs are fast-growing and require prompt removal, while others resolve naturally over several months. 

    Eyelid growths with self-resolving tendencies disappear within weeks to a few months, based on the type. 

    Is Eyelid Lump on Dogs an Emergency?

    No, an eyelid lump on dogs is not an emergency. Eyelid bumps and lumps in dogs, unless cancerous, are not life-threatening but warrant vet attention.  

    Eyelid masses proliferate and often grow large enough to block the dog’s vision field or start rubbing the cornea if left untreated, causing corneal ulcers. 

    Excessive squinting, cloudy eyes, and mass bleeding are signs the dog requires an emergency vet appointment to examine the eyelid mass. 

    How to Treat Bump on Dogs' Eyelid?

    The treatments for bumps on dogs’ eyelids are listed below. 

    • Surgical Removal: The standard surgical removal of eyelid masses entails two options: wedge resection and blepharoplasty. Wedge resection occurs with small eyelid growths (less than a third of the eyelid margin), which are removed by making a small V-shaped incision. Blepharoplasty is a complex procedure recommended for larger eyelid lumps. It includes reconstructing the eyelid to ensure proper function. 
    • Laser Ablation: Laser ablation cauterizes small eyelid bumps and lumps in dogs. CO2 laser ablation is an excellent alternative to standard surgery, according to a study on “The Use of Carbon Dioxide Laser for the Ablation of Meibomian Gland Adenomas in Dogs,” published in the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association in 2005. 
    • Cryotherapy: Dogs with eyelid growths often respond favorably to cryotherapy. The process involves anesthetizing the affected area and freezing the mass to make it fall off. Cryotherapy is performed using liquid nitrogen. 
    • Radiation and Chemotherapy: Radiation and chemotherapy are used when the eyelid tumor spreads. Local chemotherapy is integral to treating locally invasive eyelid melanomas in dogs. 
    • Medication: Medication treats dog eyelid lumps caused by infected or blocked glands. The most frequently used drug is topical antibiotic ointment or eye drops. 
    • Anti-Inflammatory Medications: Anti-inflammatory medications are recommended for eyelid bumps and lumps in dogs in tandem with antibiotics. The anti-inflammatories help reduce the inflammation, eliminating the need for surgery in many cases. 
    • Warm Compresses: Placing a warm compress over the dog’s eye helps extract pus, which clears gland blockages. The vet recommends warm compresses to avoid surgery. Surgical removal of the growth is warranted if the compress treatment is unsuccessful.
    • Enucleation: Enucleation is the medical classification for removing the whole eye. The procedure is recommended in dogs in which the tumor is large, aggressive, or invasive, causing irreversible damage to the dog’s eye.

    What is the duration of Treatment for a Lump on a Dog's Eyelid?

    The duration of treatment for a lump on a dog’s eyelid is between 10 to 14 days. Eyelid growths requiring surgical treatment are resolved immediately. 

    Inflammatory and non-surgical eyelid bumps and lumps in dogs take 10 days to two weeks to heal upon adequate treatment. 

    What is the average cost of Treating a Lump on a Dog's Eyelid?

    The average cost of treating a lump on a dog’s eyelid is between $500 and $3,000. The exact price depends on the dog’s overall health, the growth type, and the treatment method. 

    Eyelid bumps and lumps in dogs vary in size and location, affecting the average treatment cost.

    Does the Bump on a Dog's Eyelid disappear naturally?

    Yes, the bump on a dog’s eyelid sometimes disappears naturally. Eyelid bumps and lumps in dogs caused by the papillomavirus, commonly known as warts, generally vanish independently, especially in young dogs with robust immune systems. 

    An example of an eyelid growth that disappears naturally is histiocytoma. The tumor grows quickly before shrinking, resolving itself within a few weeks or months. 

    How can CBD Oil for Dogs help Treat Lump on Dog's Eyelid?

    CBD oil for dogs can help treat a lump on a dog’s eyelid by reducing inflammation, pain, and stress and providing supportive care in the post-operative period. 

    CBD has potent anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is an important part of eyelid bumps and lumps in dogs. The anti-inflammatory effects of dog CBD oil are outlined in a study titled “Effect of Cannabidiol (CBD) on Canine Inflammatory Response: An Ex Vivo Study on LPS Stimulated Whole Blood,” published in Veterinary Sciences in 2021. 

    Dog CBD provides general pain relief. Eyelid growths are often painful or discomfiting, as dogs experience pain during the postoperative period following eyelid mass removals. CBD is “an effective therapeutic alternative in the multimodal management of pain in dogs,” according to a study on “The Role of Cannabinoids in Pain Modulation in Companion Animals,” published in 2023 in Frontiers in Veterinary Sciences. 

    CBD for dogs supports stress and anxiety reduction. Stress and anxiety develop in dogs with eyelid issues, particularly when the mass interferes with the dog’s vision. CBD keeps dogs calm in the postoperative period. 

    CBD’s effect on stress and anxiety is noted in a study, “Daily Dosing of Cannabidiol (CBD) Demonstrates a Positive Effect on Measures of Stress in Dogs During Repeated Exposure to Car Travel,” published in the Journal of Animal Science in 2024.