Liz Buchanan BVSc MRCVS
Hello. Let's start with the last question:. Do all eyelid masses need to be surgically removed? The answer is no, because some lumps at the base of hair follicles turn out to be caused by demodex mites or abscesses or cysts, or are present in dogs so old and ill that given the context, they are the least of the pets' worries, or may infringe on the shape of the eye so badly that removal will involve removal of the eye, which the owner isn't prepared to do. Some mast cell tumours for example will regress with chemo rather than removal. So.... Where does that leave you? I always maintain that there is no easy step by step guide to veterinary medicine, which is why it takes five to six years to train. If you could turn to the page in the book headed 'eyelid lumps' and follow hard and fast instructions, life would be easy but our job would be boring and we could train in about six months. For me, the art of veterinary medicine relies on examining the lump in context; not just as a lump with a number of possible causes (potentially including cancer), but as part of an animal. Often, but not always, the next stage is to try to identify the lump and then options for treatment can be identified after that. Sometimes the lump cannot be identified without surgery. We would advise visiting your vet so that a plan for this lump, all factors considered, can be formed.