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What Are the Treatments for a Meibomian Cyst in Dogs?

Updated April 17, 2017

A dog with a chalazion or Meibomian cyst in its eyelid may experience some tenderness during the swelling. The cyst indicates an obstruction of a duct that drains the Meibomian glands.

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Symptoms of a Meibomian cyst include swelling on eyelid, yellow to white colour, tender eyelid, heaviness of eyelid, increased tearing and light sensitivity. This painless cyst has a hard consistency and may irritate the cornea.


Owners may spot the dog's cyst through the pink tissue on the inside of the eyelid. Veterinarians can diagnose the Meibomian cyst by visual inspection.


The Meibomian cyst may disappear after a few months. Owners, however, should seek professional treatment for their dog. Treatment may include applying warm compresses at least four times per day, for 10 to 20 minutes. The heat may soften the hardened oils and boost drainage to hasten healing.


A veterinarian may surgically remove an enlarged cyst. The procedure involves an incision into the swelling from underneath the eyelid. A clamp controls the surgical site. The veterinarian scrapes out the cyst’s contents and avoids scarring the skin.


If the Meibomian cyst reoccurs, the veterinarian may follow-up with a biopsy to determine the possibility of a tumour. Examples of tumours affecting the eyelid include tarsal adenocarcinomas and benign tarsal adenomas.

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