Last Modified on Mar 06, 2014
Natural Treatment for Pets with Cysts
Cysts are not uncommon on dogs and cats. Sebaceous cysts are especially common in dogs, with cystic acne, cysts in sweat glands, and other types of cysts occurring in cats and dogs as well. These cysts can be related to hygiene issues and can become infected, but more often the causes of a pet's cysts are uncertain and hard to prevent.
Your pet's cyst is a sac of fluid or semi-solid material contained within a membrane of cells. They are rarely painful and will often resolve themselves, but if drained or removed a cyst is likely to simply fill back up again or reappear. A dog cyst can cause a scare, as the growth can appear to be a skin disease in your dog, cancer, or look worse than it is. Cysts are more common among different breeds.
Find a Cure for Your Pet's Cysts
As with people, turmeric is thus far the most popular home remedy for cysts in pets, and with substantial positive feedback in turmeric's use for cysts in cats and dogs. It can be added to your pet's diet and/or applied as a paste to the cysts. Let us know what you try from Earth Clinic to get rid of your pet's cysts. Know of a remedy not listed here? Feel free to share your story with us.
01/12/2013: Boilbb from Anonymous: "BTW I was also looking if anyone else had experience with using Tinactin to heal cysts and came across someone who saved a lot of money using it to heal dog inter-digital cysts. My family's dog suffers from this and the epsom salt baths and antibiotic ointment aren't helping anymore so will try this for the dog soon too. Here is the interesting website I came across on it http://voices.yahoo.com/how-save-hundreds-dollars-vet-bills-with-7118192.html"
01/07/2009: Karen from Hatfield, Pa: "I just want to say thankyou for this site. Ive been looking for years for a site like this. My dog (Magnus) is the best friend anyone could ask for and I have found these wart like growths on him. Im so scared they might be cancerous. I lost my Bear (14 yrs. old) just a year ago to cancer and Im scared of losing Mag. Im gonna see a vet to find out if it is cancer. But as far as remedies and vet drugs and knowing what all they did to Bear before he died Ill try all the stuff mentioned in your site. Thanks Karen"Replies
12/13/2012: Drizzle from Palisades Park, Nj, Usa replies: "I don't know If I am posting in the right place but I needed some help and opinions on a recent diagnoses for my Persian cat Caesar (13 y/o). Yesterday we took him for a routine check up to our Vet and we found a large mass on the xray. Today we did an ultrasound and it was not initally what my vet had thought, he thought it was cancer. But based from the sonogram they are cyst growths which are common for his breed. Some were in the liver making it 3x larger than normal. We have no treatment options other than holistic/herbal supplements to try to maintain good liver function. It seems that the cysts have reached it maximum growth but we can never be too sure. My cats a fighter and he shows no symptoms of any pain or abnormalities whatsoever. He his practically as healthy as he can be. I was hoping for some suggestions as to what he can take that wouldn't stress the liver since anti inflammatories are not an option at the moment. So it has to be herbal or holistic to refrain stress on the liver. Any feed back would be much appreciated."
12/19/2012: Elaine from Flint, Texas replies: "You can give you kitty milk thistle which is an herb. Its good for pets and people alike with anything to do with the liver. My cat had a reaction to her vaccines and I took her right back to the vet and he did some test and told me he thought the vaccines may have damage her liver. He said take her home and that she may have to be force fed. I started her right away on milk thistle and even thought test showed liver damage she is still here yrs later and healthy. No more vaccines for her though."
06/06/2013: Lisa from Vancouver, Wa replies: "Ox Bile & Castor Oil: Is a new treatment I'm starting on my LhasaTzu. I'm giving her a 500mg capsule once per day & am putting Castor Oil on the golf ball sized benign fat cyst. I'll let you know what happens."
02/23/2014: Marie Lohr from Sun Prairie: "My dog has a cyst on the edge of his eyelid. It has been there for 9 years he is 9. All of a sudden the cyst got bigger and looks almost like it is a full pimple. It does not seem to bother him but just today it is larger. I am disabled and cannot do emergency. He is not running a temp and there is really no discharge from the eye. I almost wonder if he rubbed on something and got something in it. It does not look like it but almost looks like it is going to drain.
What can I put on it? I put a little antibacterial ointment on it and it seemed to swell. Any help for me? thanks He is 85 pounds and a very good boy"Replies
02/24/2014: Theresa from Mpls., Mn replies: "Hey Marie!
I had a rat terrier with an eyelid margin tumour and hers did the same as your dogs; it was a bump on her eyelid for many years, and it looked like a pimple. I asked my vet about it - he said he could try to surgically remove it, but that there was a chance of messing up her eye lid so he didn't recommend it. He squeezed the tumour just like a pimple, and it popped and goo came out, it bled a tiny bit, and then it was done - no anesthesia or medicated ointments were needed. Then over time it swelled up again and so I popped it myself at home. It seemed every few months or so I would have to express the fluid from inside the tumor. I only did it when it appeared to irrirate my dog's eye - I would see excessive tearing and discharge from the corner of the affected eye; once I expressed the fluid in the tumour the irritation would cease, and the excessive tearing and discharge would go away.
If this were my dog I were my dog I would not hesitate to burst this pimple like tumour if I saw that it were irritating the dog's eye."
01/18/2012: Bbisaillon14 from Manteno, Il / U.s.: "Hello. I have had 2 cats for a long time. But 1 cat who's about 8-9 years old grew a cyst a little bigger than a grape. It's soft pink and doesn't bother him other than it hangs from his neck/cheek. The vet said they could remove it but it would most likely grow back, so we didn't. I've been "popping" it for a while now and clear liquid comes out. It doesn't seem to bother him other than I'm holding him with a washcloth to his face.
My mother suggested I tie a knot around it so it kills the skin and goes away but I'm afraid of the liquid not having a place to go. He is a loved animal in my home and I would hate to cause him pain. I am also afraid of infection- we havn't had any so far, but I know popping it isn't the best way. Any suggestions?"Replies
03/05/2012: Anita from Leeds, Yorkshire replies: "Hi. I have a yorkies who also has these (what my vet calls water cysts). He has told me they are harmless. I still wish there was some remedy I could do at home to remove them. Anita"
03/25/2012: Whisky from Kl, Malaysia replies: "Hi folks. My cat Whisky had a sebaceous cyst (watery cyst) just outside the opening of his right ear for quite a few months, and like everyone else was told by my vet to either operate or leave it. For a while, I would squeeze the clear, odorless liquid out every week or two, and it didn't seem to hurt a bit. But I was worried of infection, so I tried pretty much all the suggestions made in this forum, but without much success. Whisky hated the taste of tumeric and getting him to take some on a regular basis was an exercise in torture for both of us.
In the end, the remedy I took was extremely effective and quick, but not for the faint-hearted. First, I grabbed Whisky and carefully drained the cyst of as much liquid as I could, making sure to take note of where the cyst opening was. I took a small needleless syringe, and filled it with about 5-6 drops of providone iodine (trust me, you won't be using all of it). I made sure to expel all the air out of the syringe tip and body. I wrapped up Whisky in towels (he doesn't react well to vets or vet-like activity), pushed the mouth of the syringe firmly over the tiny, tiny hole on the flattened cyst, and squeezed (or tried to squeeze) some of the iodine into the opening cyst. It doesn't take much - you are NOT trying to refill the whole cavity with iodine. I think I only got only a tiny amount into the cyst - the rest went on the towels, on the cotton ball I had stuffed into his ear just in case he struggled and I missed, and of course on my fingers. And it took a few attempts before I was satisfied that some had gone in.
Of course, it's not completely pain-free for him, as iodine on raw flesh can cause pain. I did get a low growl which indicated that it was a painful, but he did not hiss or react very violently, which would have meant that he was in extreme pain. Like all of you, I'm loath to do anything that causes pain to any of my cats, but I decided to do it as the cyst could turn into an abscess if it gets infected, which will be more dangerous to him in the long-run. In any case, the cyst dried up in a a matter of days and was completely gone in a couple of weeks.
By the way, this "remedy" was suggested to me by my vet. Hope this "remedy" helps someone else. It certainly helped me and Whisky."
12/30/2011: Rosario from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada: "My partner and I have a lab/border collie mix female dog (Koya) who is now almost 12 years old. Since she was young her skin had been oily and which led to her developing small cysts outside of her skin. The vet said these were just subaceous gland cysts. About 3 weeks ago, we felt a small cyst near the back of her lower neck which after a few days became large (about the size of a baseball) and it was "jingling". The vet confirmed that this cyst inside the dog's body had burst. Since about 2 weeks now, this cyst has been drained by the vet for 4 times and although the liquid is draining, it is very slow and the vet cannot confirm when this draining is expected to last or whether the cyst will eventually drain. Koya has also been taking antibiotics from the vet to address any possible infection.
Koya's behaviour and level of activities have not changed at all. She is still very active and playful. Most importantly, her appetite is still very good as always and she still looks very eager and excited during her meal time.
We cannot go with any surgery or even opening her on the cyst area given her age and also the exorbitant cost of this procedure.
Is there any natural way you can suggest that we can do to stop the fluid from oozing out of this internal cyst and eventually dry it and reduce its size or possibly totally have this cyst heal and disappear completely?
Any urgent solution will be very appreciated (e.g. , spice like turmeric or oil or any natural medication I can get to give her both externally or internally -- we've read some benefits of turmeric or some oils or teas on this site but we're not sure which ones may be applicable to Koya's condition). Help please! Thank you."
09/18/2011: Maria from Big Lake, Ak: "My 6 yr. old pit has a lump on her tail, it sticks out and has no hair on it. Also she as small pea size lumps on her upper chest under the skin. They don't move around, someone told me if they move they are cancerous. What should I do and what are these lumps??. Thank you & God Bless!!!!"Replies
12/05/2011: Dez from Waukegan, Il replies: "Caution: Can be cancer!
I have a 7 year old pitbull and he had a lump on his right shoulder for quite sometime. I took him to the vet when I started to notice it and they said not to worry it was just a cyst and that if it bothered us or if he keeps scratching it we can have it removed (It was in the perfect spot for him to scratch too) Due to financial issues at the time we chose to leave it for a while. One day I was reading some forums and noticed one that said that if the lump stays hard its ok but if it gets mushy it was time to be concerned. He scratched it so hard one day he broke the skin on it so we decided to take him in to have it removed. He didn't see his usual doc this day so it was kind of relieving to have someone else look at it. She poked it and blood came out. She was concerned. He went into surgery that day and they did a biopsy. Ended up being cancerous and they had to remove a large area of muscle to make sure it was all gone!! Dont wait and don't try to cure at home... Looks are deceiving and even your doctor can be wrong sometimes. Second opinions are ok!"
07/03/2011: Cara from Canyon Lake, California And United States: "My 13 year old labrador had a wart on his head that turned into a cyst. I immediately took him to the vet and they said I could have surgery to remove it or we could treat with a pulse technique of antibiotics. I opted for antibiotics however they calmed the area down but did not completely control it. The cyst just opens, seals, and then opens again in a vicious never ending cycle. Typically it is one hole that blood comes out of but now it is 2. So there are 2 weak points in the skin. Most of the hair is gone from that area. The area that it seeps out of becomes an open wound. It is right above his eye. I did the preop bloodwork and two of the 8 liver kidney tests came back with higher levels than they should have been. The doc said we could still do surgery however he didnt pass all tests with flying colors. I am so worried as he has never been put under for anything. Now that I have the info about the tests I worry so much more that if I do put him under something might happen. I dont know what to do."
10/24/2010: Christine from Sacramento, Ca: "Our rescue kitty who is probably 6-8yrs old spontaneously developed a large mass on her right cheek yesterday. It literally appeared over the course of a few hours. She's eating fine & it doesn't seem to be hurting her. She's doesn't wince away when I try to touch her face. The mass feels a little hard but not like a rock. She's not acting out of the ordinary at all, no unusual behavior or symptoms. She is primarily an outdoor cat (just showed up malnourished on our front door one day). Can anyone help? not sure what to do. Trying to avoid traditional approach with meds & invasive procedures at the vet. Seems most times I rush an animal to the vet for something that seemed urgent, turns out I could have done the first aid at home. Thank you!"Replies
10/29/2011: Krazy4kilts from Syracuse, Utah replies: "Did you ever find out what this mass was?"
02/16/2012: Lizzie from Mays Landing, Nj Us replies: "My cat had the same thing before. It got larger over time and one day she came home and it was popped and all bloody. I guess eventally it pops on it's own. We then helped her to clean it out with a washrag and she was fine afterwards, the fur grew back and everything healed. But now my other cat has the same thing, I guess that's what happens with outside cats. My best guess would be that it got punctured or got something stuck in it, maybe in a fight, and infection took place. I would suggest you let nature take it's course. Good luck."
11/12/2009: Diana from Tirana, Albania: "Hi,
I am looking for a solution to my cat's problem. She is 5.5 months old. Ten days ago I discovered a lump in her belly. It was not too hard and did not seem to cause her any pain when touched. It must have grown too fast because I check her regularly. I took her to the vet and he found two or three more lumps (cysts) about the size of a hazelnut close to her mammary glands. The vet said that it is very unusual for a cat at this age to develop cysts and that it is better not to intervene until she reaches puberty.
According to the vet, the lumps are caused by hormonal overproduction. He assured me that most likely the cysts will shrink when she matures or after she is sterilized but I noticed that within 3-4 days they almost doubled in size. She eats well, plays a lot and is very very active. I am going to send her to the vet again but I do not know what options there are since the cat is so young. I am looking for an alternative method and I was wondering if anyone has had a similar experience with a young cat. Would you recommend this kind of treatment in this case? Thank you very much and I wish you and your pets the best of luck!"
[YEA] 01/20/2013: Judy from Bangor, Maine: "My dog had a growing cyst, a sty, on his lower right eyelid. I took him to the vet in early December and they said if it kept growing, they might have to surgically remove it and sent me home with antibiotic gel to apply. Despite daily applications of the antibiotic ointment, it kept growing over the holidays. I went on Earth Clinic and found two remedies that I wanted to try: the turmeric remedy and the spring water remedy for dogs with cysts. I started with the turmeric remedy, and for 1 week, put 1/8 teaspoon of powdered turmeric, two twists of black pepper, and a small amount of olive oil to his kibble twice a day. After 1 week the cyst had stopped growing but was not getting any smaller. I decided to stop the turmeric because his stomach was beginning to show signs of upset (slightly loose stools) by the end of the week. After that I switched to the 2nd remedy I had read on Earth Clinic. In his water bowls, he got 100% bottled spring water. No tap water, not even the filtered Brita water that I had been using. I put only bottle spring water that I bought in a 5 gallon containers from Home Depot in his water bowls. I continued to give him the same kibble that I had been feeding him the past year. Nothing changed except the water he was drinking was and still is pure (I hope) mountain spring water.
10 days after I started him on the water, the cyst is gone and his eyelid 100% healed!! It makes me think that the tap water that I had been putting in his water bowl, even filtered by a Brita container, was the cause of the sty in the first place.
This simple remedy saved me at least $800 in surgical bills at the vets. I am very grateful for the person who posted this remedy on Earth Clinic."
[YEA] 07/30/2011: Justicejanvier from Lake Oswego, Oregon: "My Australian Shepherd were getting so many cysts that I took them to the vet. The vet said that her dogs had cysts also and not to worry. I decided to give them the same spring water that I drink. Within a week of drinking spring water instead of tap water ALL the cysts went away."Replies
12/28/2011: Wayne from Nashville, Tn replies: "I have a Lab with lumps under her coat. She is about to be 9 y. O. And of course she is part of my family. The vet said biopsy but then what? I am not wanting to do chemo, etc. So, what is your spring water? I would love to do holistic avenues before anything further is considered and certainly don't want to make her life anything but better."
Turmeric Remedy for Pets with Cysts
Holistic Treatment Ingredients
- Powdered Turmeric - start with small amount
- Dog Food
- Filtered Water or Chicken Broth
Start with a small amount of powdered turmeric to see how well your dog tolerates it. For example, for dogs 50 pounds and up, start with 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric. Add the turmeric to dog's food. Then make "soupy" and more palatable by adding 1/4 cup water or organic chicken broth. Mix ingredients together and serve.
Notes: Contributors with dogs the size of a golden retriever give UP to 1 teaspoon a day of turmeric, divided into smaller doses. One contributor with a cat reported using a "pinch" of turmeric.
Remedy can take anywhere from 1 week to 2 months to work.
[YEA] 02/13/2014: Shih Tzu Momma from Gibsonburg, Ohio: "My Boots got a cyst a couple months ago. Took him to the vet and $65 later I had a vial of antibiotics and the cyst took several weeks to ago away, long after meds were gone.
Monday I noticed another one growing in the exact same spot, gave him benadryl so he wouldn't mess with it but by tuesday it was broke open. So I got on the internet and found this site. I followed the advise of a few different people, mixed tumeric with coconut oil and applied directly to cyst. Also sprinkled a little in a slice of cheese and rolled it up.
Wednesday it was the size of a ping pong ball. I repeated the same steps. This morning (Thursday) this thing is practically gone!
I suppose I was lucky that it worked so fast for us. I want to thank you all for your posts and Boots does too:)
[YEA] 01/15/2014: Sueyd from Harrison, Me: "Our dear family dog developed a cyst near his tail recently. We noticed it under the fur for several weeks before he finally started biting at it and removed the fur. It was quite a mess! My husband was afraid that it was time to put him down (he's a 10 yr old, big, furry husky/shepherd, etc mix). I searched online for a home remedy and came across your site - and was SO pleased to find that many others had experienced similar things with their dogs and offered solutions that seemed to WORK!!!! So - I bought some turmeric from the grocery store. We started sprinkling it on his dry dog food morning and afternoon - probably 1/2 teaspoon per day. By the end of the first week, the skin was growing back, by the end of the second week, the fur was growing in. It's been two months now - we give him a sprinkle a couple times a week - I think he misses it! - but the cyst is completely gone! AND - he is more lively and 'happy' ever since!
OK - that's only HALF of the story! My husband broke a tooth the other day and is experiencing flu-like symptoms since then, so I told him I'd go on-line and do some home-remedy research for him. Well...I've been reading on your site for HOURS today (we'll be starting the oil-pull soon! ), and was reading about the benefits of turmeric (for humans! ), and thought, "Oh! I should post on here that it works for pets, too! " and...come to find out - it's the SAME wonderful site that I had found that saved our dear dog!!! You guys are amazing! I'm so thankful and excited - and taking notes - that I found your site - what a great resource!!! And so thankful for all the comments from people that have tried the different remedies."
[YEA] 02/25/2013: Bea from Sacramento, Ca: "I just had to share what success we've had with using turmeric as a treatment.
My 4-year-old German Shepherd had a strange growth on the back of her neck, almost an inch long but not very wide. Upon taking her to the vet to get it checked out, it tore off as my dog strained against her collar. This gave us a chance to see what was inside, and the vet believed it was a sebaceous cyst given what was coming out of it. Unfortunately, this was not my dog's usual vet and she didn't clean it up or treat it with anything. She merely suggested surgically removing it.
I immediately decided to search for homeopathic treatments, as I was worried about having my dog undergo surgery, having to pay for the surgery, and who knows what else. When I found the success stories on here using turmeric, I figured that would be the best path. I decided to treat her with turmeric both topically and orally.
I chose to mix the turmeric with coconut oil due to the oil's antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. Since the cyst had torn open, I wanted to avoid any infections. I cleaned her up with warm water and applied the mixture. I've been cleaning the area and applying the mixture daily. I've also been giving her half a teaspoon of turmeric mixed with coconut oil twice daily. Sometimes it goes into her food, other times she'll lick it right off the spoon.
We've been at this for a little over a week now, and there is a noticeable difference in her cyst! The top of it has dried up and become almost scab-like. The bottom of the cyst has become much smaller and almost seems to be receding. We're going to continue treating her with this mixture in hopes that it'll completely go away and surgery can be avoided altogether."Replies
03/06/2014: Jazmine Turner from Keighley West Yorkshire replies: "Hi there I have a bearded dragon lizard, she has what looks like a cyst. I would really like to try this turmeric method:), please can you tell me how much turmeric and coconut oil to mix? Thanks, Jazmine"
03/06/2014: Theresa from Mpls., Mn replies: "Hey Jazmine!
You just need a dab of both coconut oil and turmeric. I would start with 1/4 teaspoon of the CO and equal parts turmeric and mix into a paste - it should be firm and not runny. Paint in on your beardie's wart with a q-tip to control application. Do this 2-3 times a day and give it at least 2 weeks.
Please report back and let us know how it goes!"
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 05/27/2012: Haygottago from Ocala, Florida, United States: "I have 2 peeks. The tumeric is working on the female who has cyst in the corner of her eye. So much smaller in just 2 weeks. The male has them on his body. Not sure yet if they are smaller. But think it will take a while before they go away. thanks so much for the advice. karen"Replies
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 06/16/2012: Haygottago from Ocala, Florida, United States replies: "Wanted to update this post.. Been about a month now.. Female's cyst is about a 1/4 the size it was. My male is doing great- his was as big as my fist. Now the size of a golf ball. I am so thankful for the help this site has shared. karen"
12/11/2012: Corene from Muskegon, Michigan replies: "Hi, One of my foster dogs has a cyst on his eyelid. Did you apply paste on your cat's or give tumeric internally? thanks"
12/14/2012: Wendy from Columbus, Oh/usa replies: "Put a teaspoon of turmeric in the dog's food each time you feed him."
01/20/2013: Ruth from Aurora, Colorado replies: "My Saki had a cyst removed 3 years ago and it is now back. She is 11 years old and I don't want her operated on again. I am going to try the turmeric. This sounds like a good solution and a money saver. After watching a video it didn't look like my vet had $200 worth of work to do to remove the last one. The cyst isn't that bad. It just looks painful, but she's in no pain."
[BETTER BUT WITH SIDE EFFECTS] 08/26/2013: Jackie from Canton, Michigan replies: "My husky mix weighs around 60 lbs. And about 5 or 6 days ago I started her on turmeric and worked up tp 1 pill a day and she started getting diarrhea. So I took her off pills and put her on bland diet of rice etc.
Can I start her back on it slower? Her cyst reduced size by almost half. A week or so she scratched the cyst and it burst and I had a mess to clean up. I have had it drained a few times but this last time it filled up fast. It doesn't seem to bother her except the last time when she scratched it. Please let me know what to do."