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Cryotherapy has been used in human medicine for many years to treat a variety of types of skin lesions. Now, it is becoming more popular and attractive in veterinary medicine due to its practicality, low risk, ease of treatment, as well as fast and simple recovery period. Studies have proven that cryotherapy is safe and effective at curing or reducing the size of benign sebaceous tumours and follicular cysts. Repeated treatments may be needed, depending on the lesion and patient response and though it is often tolerated by awake patients, freezing agents, sedation or anesthesia may also be used. 

What kind of lesions can be treated with cryotherapy

  • Sebaceous adenomas
  • Viral warts (papillomas)
  • Histiocytomas
  • Epidermal/follicular cysts
  • Meibomian gland adenomas
  • Eosinophilic granuloma complex (cats)
  • Acral lick granulomas
  • And more!

    Further testing prior to performing cryotherapy treatment (fine needle aspirate, biopsy testing) may be indicated and will be planned if necessary, depending on individual patient needs.

What to expect with treatment

Long or short term side effects of cryotherapy may include:

  • Skin pigment changes
  • Hair colour changes or hair loss at the treated area
  • Sensory impairment
  • Scarring
  • Infection

Redness of the treated area will occur within a few days of cryotherapy after which the treated area will begin to necrose, scab over, and eventually fall off. Up to four treatments of cryotherapy spaced 2-4 weeks apart may be needed in order to fully treat the affected area.

Not all masses are appropriate for treatment with cryotherapy, which is why an assessment should be performed and diagnostics completed, if indicated. If malignancy is found with or without metastatic potential, alternate intervention is advised over cryotherapy. 

Cryotherapy is not appropriate for all patients. Talk to VETDERM Clinic today to see if your pet is a candidate.

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