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I have a 5 year old pittie mix who has had a skin tag on his…

Good afternoonI have a 5...
Good afternoonI have a 5 year old pittie mix who has had a skin tag on his left hind leg for a few months. We read online that you can "tie off" these growths with small string. We did that a few days ago and it didn't seem to bother him at all. Still today it seems to only be bothering him minorly (he licks it occasionally but we can touch it with no problem., he isn't acting up and doesn't seem upset). However it has gotten bigger and discolored, can you take a look and let me know if this is concerning? Thanks!
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Answered in 8 minutes by:
3/21/2018
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 11,259
Experience: 15 yrs experience in vet med, 8 in emergency med. Founder of a non-profit animal rescue
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Hello, JACustomer. I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and would be happy to help you today. I'm reviewing your question right now.

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First things first, whatever website recommended the tie-off procedure is absolutely wrong. This is one sure-fire way to cause an issue with circulation and potentially also infection. The reason you're seeing an increase in size is due to blood being able to come in to the area, stagnate and clot. This is also why you're seeing discoloration. The more effective and ideal procedure, which does not risk trauma, infection or worsening of symptoms, is to have the area examined by your vet and removed. If this was small to begin with, your vet may well have been able to remove it with a local anesthetic while he was awake and utilize proper cautery. That doesn't appear possible now due to the increase in size. I anticipate that it not only needs to be examined but will likely need to have surgical removal under general anesthesia. I would also recommend pathology to be sure this is not cancerous (it's hard to tell since I only have this picture to go off of). For now, definitely remove the string as it's only complicating matters, then have your vet see him ASAP.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thanks for the reply, I appreciate it.We are under a snow emergency right now in Philadelphia, is it safe to wait a few days to get him to the vet? We removed the tie and have cleaned the area with soap, water and antibiotic lotion

I would think so, yes. If it changes in the days to come, let me know and include some additional pictures. I'll guide you from there. Hopefully it will remain stable and not worsen.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you for your help, we feel awful :-( never wanted to hurt him only to help. He is licking it but we're keeping it clean since it's open a little. But he's acting and eating fine so I think he should be okay

I would try to keep him from licking it, that's going to encourage infection. Try an e-collar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFWPH17u0eU

PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse
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