Meibomian carcinoma

From Dog
Meibomian adenoma on the eye of a dog[1]

Meibomian carcinoma are a malignant neoplasm of canine ocular adnexal skin.

These tumors are slow-growing, locally invasive growths within the meibomian glands of the eyelids that secrete an oily solution to stabilize the tear film over the cornea.

Meibomian carcinoma are more common in older dogs and may metastasize to regional lymph nodes.

Clinically, a large, ulcerated growth on the upper eyelid is visible, and conjunctivitis, chemosis and submandibular lymphadenopathy may be present.

Diagnosis usually requires histopathological examination of biopsied tissue samples.

A differential would include meibomian adenoma[2] (common), mast cell tumor, clear cell adnexal carcinoma, melanoma (heavily pigmented), sebaceous carcinoma and liposarcoma[3].

Surgical excision is usually curative, although the judicious use of laser therapy[4] or cryotherapy may assist resolution in cases that involve large amount of eyelid tissue where resection may be difficult.

Recurrence is uncommon with these tumors.


  1. Televets
  2. Gelatt KN (1975) Meibomian adenoma in a dog. Vet Med Small Anim Clin 70(8):962
  3. Piviani M et al (2012) Cytologic features of clear cell adnexal carcinoma in 3 dogs. Vet Clin Pathol 41(3):405-411
  4. Bussieres M et al (2005) The use of carbon dioxide laser for the ablation of meibomian gland adenomas in dogs. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 41(4):227-234