Eyelid Tumors

By Emily Thielke
Eyelid Neoplasm or eyelid tumors are found in
both cats and dogs but mostly in older dogs
Some breeds that are
predisposed to eyelid
masses include:
oLabrador Retrievers
oCocker Spaniel
o Samoyed
oSiberian Husky
oAlaskan Malamute
o Cairn Terrier
o Dachshund
oShih Tzu
o Basset Hounds
 Usually benign
 May be based on clinical
 Often originate from the
glands located within the
eyelid margin
• Most common in dogs
It rises from the
meibomian gland and
found near the
meibomian orifice
• Can be confused with
sebaceous hyperplasias
 Elevated, nodular masses and are usually 2-5 mm
in diameter
 May appear black or brown but often appear as
yellowish or tan on cut section
 May exhibit alopecia, hyperpigmentation and
ulceration with secondary infection
 May be itchy and inflamed
 Melanoma
 Papilloma
 Histiocytoma
 Fine needle aspiration with cytology followed by
histopathology and tissue biopsy are often used to
confirm what kind of tumor we are dealing with
 Surgery is often recommended to remove the eyelid
tumor however they may reoccur more than once
 Less common in cats but are
often more malignant
 Not all masses of the eyelids
are tumors though. Some are
fungal infections and others
can be inflammation
 Most common
 Commonly found in cats
with white or pink eyelids
 Common in outdoor cats
with prolonged sun
 Ulcerated and reddened area on eyelid margin
 Excessive tearing
 Mucoid or pus-like discharge from the eye
 Cloudiness, bluish haze or film covering the cornea
 Frequent pawing or rubbing of the eye
 Increased blinking or squinting of the eyelids
 Basal Cell Carcinoma
 Fibrosarcoma
 Mast cell tumor
 Complete medical history and physical examination
 Complete ophthalmic examination
 Fluorescein staining of the cornea
 Bacterial culture of secretions from the eye
 Fungal culture and cytology
 Fine needle aspirate
 Tissue biopsy
 Chest X-rays to look for possible spread of the tumor
 Surgical removal
 Surgical reconstructive techniques to preserve protection
of the eye
 Small mast cell tumors may respond to systemic
corticosteroids or locally injected corticosteroids
 Cryotherapy, freezing of the tumor
 If large enough, may also involve removal of the eye
 An eyelid mass should be removed :
 The mass becomes too large
 Concern about malignancy
 Corneal or Conjunctival irritation
 The patient is traumatizing the mass
 Also the owner may just want it removed for cosmetic
 The patient is placed in sternal or lateral recumbency
 Specialized eye drapes are used ( precut hole placed
over the eye and secured in place with towel clamps)
 Surgically clip the surrounding area and scrub
 Flush eye with saline to remove any debris
 Bishop-Harman forceps
 Chalazion Forceps
 Jaegar Lid Plate
 Stevens Tonotomy Scissors
 Needle Holders
Chalazion forceps or
Jaeger lid plate are used
for stabilization
A full thickness incision is
made using a sharp
The incision is then
closed using two layers
 Our role in this procedure is mostly client education
other than handing the tools to the DVM, assisting as
the scrub nurse during the procedure or taking vitals
 Important issues to address to the client would be :
Eyelid tumors can reoccur multiple times
Monitoring their activity so as to not open the incision
Monitor incision for infection and keep it clean
Use of an Elizabethan collar may be needed to keep the
animal from causing more trauma to the eye
 Follow up appointments are necessary
 However, there is nothing we can tell the owner for
prevention purposes, unless we get to educate them on
the breed of dog they choose, and even then it can still
happen in breeds that are not predisposed to eyelid
 Educating them on how to care for their animal after
the treatment plan is about all we can do.
Canine Cancer: Sebaceous and Modified Sebaceous Gland Tumors Artical from
National Canine Cancer Foundation (2010) Retrieved on 2-23-11 from
Eyelid Tumors in Dogs By: Dr. Noelle McNabb (1999-2010) Retrieved on 2-23-11 from
Eyelid Tumors in Cats By: Dr. Noelle McNabb (1999-2010) Retrieved on 2-23-11 from
Small Animal Surgical Nursing Skills and Concepts by: Sara J. Busch (2006 Mosby Inc)
Retrieved on 2-23-11 from Chapter 7 Specific Procedures Ophthalmic Procedures Pages 225232
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