Dermoid cysts are a benign congenital neural tube defect of skin in dogs.
These cysts are caused by a defect in epidermal closure, which leaves islands of multipotent ectoderm in abnormal locations such as within the central nervous system. They are commonly found in Rhodesian Ridgebacks as an autosomal dominant condition, but can occasional be observed in other breeds.
In dogs, these cysts are usually found along the midline, but can be found intracranially, as well as on the cornea, ocular adnexa, nose and tongue. They may communicate with the skin surface via a sinus pore.
Many are asymptomatic unless they enlarge sufficiently to cause local compressive effects or rupture.
They are rarely associated with spinal cord neural deficits but intracranial dermoid cysts invariably result in neurological disease, such as atazia, hemiparesis, seizures and secondary hydrocephalus.
Diagnosis is usually based on presenting clinical signs.
Surgical excision is usually curative for cutaneous dermoids, but visceral and intracranial masses may require specialist referral surgery.
- Ridgeback Rescue
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