Removing a Skin Tag from a Dog

Skin Tags on Dogs—Our Story

When our dog Brutus was 11 years old, we noticed a skin tag growing between his front legs. We visited the vets and were told that it wasn't harmful, but to keep an eye on it. Two years later, the skin tag had grown into a 4 inch (10cm) dangling droplet of floppy skin that was truly unsightly.

I started to notice whilst out walking with him that perfect strangers would stop and stare at him and children would laugh. Brutus didn't much care either way—if it got him an extra scratch behind the ear he was a happy boy. I, on the other hand started to find it embarrassing, I felt like these people were judging me wondering why on Earth had I not gotten that thing removed?

I checked the tag every day for bleeding. However it always felt cold to the touch, leading me to believe that there couldn't be much blood flowing into it. You can see in the picture below how large the skin tag was prior to taking him to the vets (you can see it just behind his left armpit laying on the carpet.)

The skin tag on our dog before removal.
The skin tag on our dog before removal.

Tying Off a Skin Tag from a Dog

I was worried that he might catch it whilst snuffling around in the garden, thus creating a bigger problem than we already had so I took him to the vet, who exclaimed "oh yes, it is a large skin tag isn't it?" Er. Duh.

He explained to me that it could be removed through surgery, but as Brutus was older in his years, he thought that it would be best to try to tie it off! Tying off is a process that entailed the vet first tying some sort of thin line (like a fishing line) around the top of the tag close to his chest. He'd tie it as tightly as he could to stop the blood flow. It would smart a bit so I had to hold Brutus head so he didn't take a chunk out of the vet.

So, I held onto Brutus, gently talking to him whilst he tried to take side long glances at the vet trying to see what he was up to. The vet (let's call him Bruce) told me to brace Brutus' head as he pulled the line tight. Brutus let out a whimper and thrashed around a little, but within about 30 seconds he seemed to have forgotten it had happened.

What Happens After Your Dog's Skin Tag Has Been Tied Off:

Bruce explained to me the following things:

  • Within a few days, the blood within the tag would start to dry up. This is because the flow had been cut off and over the course of about a week it would then would shrivel up, turn black, and fall off.
  • Initially, the tag could swell up so it would be a good idea to put Brutus in a t-shirt to keep the tag close to his chest so that he didn't try to catch or scratch it with his back paws.

So as you can see from the next two photos, I willingly gave up my superman t-shirt for him to wear. Personally, I think it looks better on Brutus than it ever did on me!

After Skin Tag Removal, Putting Your Dog in a T-Shirt is Recommended

After a Dog's Skin Tag Has Been Tied Off

What happened, then? Well, we then waited with anticipation for it to start swelling up.

Holy goodness, did it swell up. It was massive! Within a couple of days, it was about the size of a tennis ball and the skin was very stretched around it. It was starting to emit wetness quite badly, leading us to change the t-shirt twice a day. My husband would hold the ginormous tag so it didn't pull and I would switch the t-shirts over.

Brutus seemed completely unaware of what was happening to him—it did not affect his eating, drinking, or going for daily walks (yes, while wearing the t-shirt. He became part of the elite group, that is, wearer of doggy fashion. And yes it was commented on more than once!)

If The Tie Around Your Dog's Skin Tag Wasn't Tied Off Tightly Enough

After another four or five days, the tag was showing no signs of shriveling up. It was still the same size and still weeping profusely, so it was time to visit Bruce again.

I could tell from his face that it wasn't meant to look like that, he explained to me that it wasn't tied off tightly enough, and a small amount of blood was still getting through into the tag and keeping it alive. Time to tie it off again.

Brutus let out a little yelp when this happened. I think the skin near his chest must have been quite sore at this point. However, again after about 30 seconds he seemed unaware of it.

Luckily, Brutus is a very laid back, relaxed dog. If he weren't, he may have reacted very differently to this treatment and all the t-shirt changing. Afterwards, we went home and continued with the t-shirt changing and the daily tag checks (2x). Amazingly, within about three days, it was black and flattened by Brutus laying on it.

A day or two later, whist vacuuming the living room carpet, I found the deposited skin tag on the floor. I checked Brutus' chest and there was hardly any sign at all that it had ever been there.

Bruce admitted to me when we went back for Brutus check up that he had never tied off a skin tag so big before but was pleased with the results. Although he did tell me that there was a good chance that it may grow back again. Brutus is now almost 16 years old and has never grown another skin tag, thank goodness!

Comments 106 comments

lisakprice profile image

lisakprice 7 years ago from Ohio

Thanks for the story. We had two old dogs - a Dalmatian that was 14 and a Weimeraner that was 13 - they both had several skin tags each. The Dal had a large skin tag on his right hip, that looked like it was as big as the one your Brutus had. The dogs don't seem to care that they are there, and our vet recommended that we just leave them due to the age of our old boys. Thanks for sharing your story.

Oscar mom 6 years ago

Thanks so much for your story. I have an old Dachshund with a skin tag in the same area as your dog's. It is not quite as big but growing steadily. The vet wouldn't do much about it because of his age and that it is purely cosmetic. I tied it off yesterday and it swelled up. I was worried I did something wrong which is why I was on here searching this subject. I'm glad I read your story. I hope his tag falls off within a few days.

skyepie profile image

skyepie 6 years ago from Leicestershire, UK Author

Thank you for reading my hub, you are brave to tie it off yourself! Just remember, if it doesn't start to shrink within a few days, tie it off even tighter. Good luck

gisellli 6 years ago

Thank you so much for this post!!!! Our dog Luna actually looks a lot like yours, and has the tag in exactly the same place (smaller tag though about 2 inches). And we tried to tie it a few days ago and it blew up into almost the size of a golf ball. After reading, we have tightened it much more and gave her a tshirt to stop licking it.

The photos helped so much. We are hoping for the drop soon!



skyepie profile image

skyepie 6 years ago from Leicestershire, UK Author

You are very welcome, good luck and I hope your dog is tag free soon.

kaye 6 years ago

thanks so much for your story and pictures, Im taking my ridgeback x dog to the vet tomorrow for a skin tag that has a lot of blood in it and is weeping a little...see what our vet does or says..

Cindy 5 years ago

My 10 year old golden retriever has a skin tag on her lip. It is the size of a large grape and very unsightly. My vet suggested I leave it alone but our tech told us of the tie off method. It swelled up immediately and started weeping also. Glad to hear this is normal, tech recommended tightening tie everyday or 2 to insure cut-off. Sure hopes this works thanks for your story.

T N 5 years ago

My ten year old chihuahua also had a skin tag where your dog used to as well. When I first took it to the vet and showed the doctor she said it didn't need to be taken out and the only way they could do it was to put him on a general anaesthetic. Obviously I didn't want to do this so I just left it alone. But then it grew quite long - to about 2 cm. Then one day it turned very red and black and got bigger so I thought I should try your method. I tied a piece of string around it and at first it swelled up quite big and started blistering and then it just turned red. I figured I didn't tie it tight enough so I tied another piece of string on tighter and it gradually went smaller and black and fell off this morning. From my tying the first string on to today it took about a week.

Basically, I just want to say thanks for sharing your story; it provided me with an effective and cost-free treatment for my dog. Had I not read your story I would have taken him to the vet and he would have had to had the surgery.

skyepie profile image

skyepie 5 years ago from Leicestershire, UK Author

I am really pleased you enjoyed my hub and saved a few pennies too!

IUCowfirl 5 years ago

Thanks for your input. My sister-in-law works for a vet and told us to do the same thing (but using a rubberband) for our dog. It looked like she had an infected nipple then got so large I had to do something! We have been at it for 2 days and I'm going to add sting today to get it tighter. Thanks for the tshirt idea (we put a blanket down where she lays an have been washing it alot). I hope hers falls off before Christmas Day when we have a bunch of people coming over! Then on to smaller ones on her. Oh, hers' is by her last set of nipples (by her back legs) but huge like your's.

Jennifer Robison 5 years ago

Tell me its is ok to do this??? Our poor tbone has a large hanging tag. I can hardly look at it.

skyepie profile image

skyepie 5 years ago from Leicestershire, UK Author

Our vet did it for us, so if you are unsure visit your vets and ask them to do it for you. I wouldn't recommend doing it yourself if you are worried.

irajung 5 years ago

i had a dog which we named QB...and he also has that skin first we thought that it was just a simple bump on his skin...but we were shock when we notice that its was getting big as the days go by...and yesterday..he accidentally bit that skin bump and there was a lot of blood who had gone out of that bump...then this morning, it happened older sister told me to do this tie off and she told me that i should read this entry of your...we will also do this tie off Technic and hope to get a good result...

Gina 5 years ago

My dog has had two skin tags as long as I've owned him. His previous owner did have them checked by the vet to make sure they were benign but as you know they are not too pretty. I was just wondering if it was expensive to have it tied off by the vet? I had thought of doing it myself but after reading that it must be really tight & might swell up I'm not sure I'd have the nerve...

skyepie profile image

skyepie 5 years ago from Leicestershire, UK Author

If you are worried I would suggest you visit your vet to 'do the deed', it can be done quickly during a normal visit, I don't think we paid any extra, just the consultation fee, then two visits after to have it checked as the one Brutus had swelled up very big (although this was the fault of the vet as he had not tied it off tight enough. Good luck and hope my hub has helped.

Leah S. 5 years ago

I'm so glad I found this! Last year my dog had a tag that looked similar to your dog's. I don't know why, but without tying it off, it swelled up to the size of a gold ball and started leaking one day. I didn't know what was happening so I called my vet. She said it was probably about to fall off but if I felt uncomfortable about it I could bring her in. I ended up cancelling the appointment the morning of as the tag had shriveled and fallen off by then. The only problem is, it's grown back! I think I'm going to leave it alone because of his age.

I was just so happy to find this page because I was getting a little worried that this was more serious. I just lost my beloved 15 year old pit bull to cancer after two months of expensive chemotherapy, and I couldn't take losing my other dog right now.

Leah S. 5 years ago

I meant golf ball, not "gold" ball. Sorry for all the typos--I obviously neglected to proofread before posting!

skyepie profile image

skyepie 5 years ago from Leicestershire, UK Author

I am so sorry to hear about your loss, we lost Brutus not long after I wrote this hub and it was terrible. Good luck with the skin tag.

Kelly 5 years ago

Thanks so much for your post! My german shorthair has one about this big on his back leg... I tied it off two days ago. It got swollen yesterday with no change to it today. Tied it again today hoping to get it tighter. I am assuming that since it hasn't gotten worse in the last day, it is okay...? Because it is so large, I would think it would take a little longer to dry up. I am crossing my fingers this works, because I am not going to be able to get the string off if it doesn't.

Counting the days til it turns black and shrivels!

Cuda's Mom 5 years ago

Thanks for the story... I own a very large Rottweiler, Cuda he is 6 years old (rottweilers live about 8-10 years) and has a skin-tag on what I call his elbow, compared to Brutus's it is very small. I really do not think that it is hurting or even bothering Cuda, but it looks gross and people ask about it, I do not know what to say to them. It showed up about a year ago and has only gotten bigger but is not huge, about 1/4 of an inch long and 1/8 inch thick. I am a college student and am having trouble finding a vet who will let me make payments. I do not know if it needs to be removed or not and like I said finding a vet that will tell me anything with out full payment upon the visits end they wont help him. I am good at first aid on horses and dogs being around them all my life (stitches, muscle shots, blood stream shots, even held an artery on a horse that was attacked by courage tell vet arrived elbow deep in a horse chest at 15.) Needless to say I believe that I can do the "fishing line" trick on Cuda. I guess my question is should I? Does anyone know if I can do more harm than good to my boy? Cuda is not aggressive in any way. please help if you have any advice we would really like to here

skyepie profile image

skyepie 5 years ago from Leicestershire, UK Author

Hi there, sorry for the late reply. You could attempt to tie it off yourself as you have had some experience in the past. I would personally advise going to the vets as we did just in case. You could try the PDSA for free treatment or offer a small donation or some of your voluntary time to pay for the work - it's worth a try!!

If you do attempt to tie it off yourself, remember to tie it very tight so it cuts off the blood supply totally. If it begins to swell up you know blood is still getting through and will need to tie it again but tighter. I hope you get on ok, let me know if you are brave enough to try it yourself, i'm sure others will be interested too. Thanks for reading.

bryan 5 years ago

Just tied my dogs off a few minutes ago using 100lb braided fishing line with a constrictor knot. Hopefully i tied it off tight enough. After just a few minutes it seems to be getting darker, is this a good sign? It is pretty big probably 3" in length.

bryan 5 years ago

we are now 6 hours deep and it is almost completely black! but it seems to be swelling a little bit. should i tie another one tighter? if so, on top or bottom of the original? thanks for any help!

skyepie profile image

skyepie 5 years ago from Leicestershire, UK Author

Only just viewed your message.... I hope that your 'tie off' was successful? If it turned black it was almost certainly cutting off the supply which is a good sign.

Did you have to tie it off again? How is your dog now?

bryan 5 years ago

Yup, I tied another one, and it bled for 2 days. I went through 4 t shirts. Now on day 3 it looks like a giant raisin! So I hoping it falls off in the next few days. Looking back, im not sure i needed the second knot. I got scared when it swelled up.

skyepie profile image

skyepie 5 years ago from Leicestershire, UK Author

Well done, it sounds like you have tied it off successfully! It should fall off soon by the sound of it.

bryan 5 years ago

It fell off!!! It was stuck in between his chest and the t-shirt! Thanks for posting this, I had thought about doing this for a long time but didn't have the guts. Sure glad I did it was gonna cost a fortune for the vet to do it.

Linda 5 years ago

Thank-you for writing this article, my little dog has a big skin tag hanging on her lower eye. We had tied it off on Friday but it has swelled up and blood is coming out of it, I was searching on line to see if that was "normal" and glad I found your post, so that I know those signs are normal. We tied another piece of floss tight around it this morning, tied it tight and hoping it will fall off, it really blocks my dogs vision and bothers her, she is 14 yrs old.

skyepie profile image

skyepie 5 years ago from Leicestershire, UK Author

Oh bless her, I really hope it all goes well. It sounds like she will be very grateful once it is removed...good luck!

Debbie 5 years ago


Was it oosing blood?

Our dobie has a skin tag about 1/3 the size of ur Brutis

I tied it off yesterday and this morning his shirt was covered with blood. is this normal? i sure hope it is. i thought i tied it pretty tight. He even yelped a little.

Debbie 5 years ago

Sorry about the repet post, was an accident & i couldn't find where 2 delete 1 of them, so sorry

His shirt wasn't really covered with blood just the front where the tie off was

its still bleeding some but looks like it is shrinking some

skyepie profile image

skyepie 5 years ago from Leicestershire, UK Author

When Brutus' was done it didn't bleed but oozed where the skin ballooned up. It was like that for some days until it was tied off tighter. You may need to check it to see if it needs to be tied again but tighter.

Good luck

acrossthepond 5 years ago

I just wanted to thank you for posting your story about Brutus. I have a 14 year old Staffie who has the same skin tag, but it's on the inside of one of his hind legs. It’s been there for years and it never bothers him. On a recent trip to the vets for something else, we came out with a suture on his unsightly dangly thing, the vet didn't mention it might swell up and look even more revolting, so I ended up going back for a check-up a week later. This time we saw a different vet, and after convincing me, my boy was immediately booked in for surgery to remove the skin tag. When I got home I couldn’t stop worrying about my 14 year old having to go through surgery. So I ended up googling for more information on skin tags and discovered your story. The following day we went straight back to the vets for another check-up, this time with the vet that first applied the suture. I told her of your story, and she was in total agreement about trying a second tighter suture ... within 24hours it’s shrivelled up into a horrible black thing, we’re pretty sure it’s going to drop off any day now. I feel so happy to have found your story and so relieved that my boy hasn’t needed a stressful day out at the vets. I’m so sorry for your loss, what a handsome boy Brutus was.

skyepie profile image

skyepie 5 years ago from Leicestershire, UK Author

I am so thrilled that my hub was useful for you. When writing it, I had no idea that it would be such a common problem with our canine friends. I hope by now the skin tag has dropped off and your staffie is looking gorgeous again! Thanks

ladywesson 5 years ago

Hello all,

thank you so much for your contributions to the skin tag discussion. They were extremely insightful. My Boarder Collie (2 years) has a skin tag on the side of his face. It seems to come out of a hair follice as there are are 2 whiskers growing. the skin tag is not very big and it doesn't seem to bother him, but I notice that it is growing realtively fast. The vet told me not to worry because the growth is benign. However, she also told me that she would have to put the dog under for the surgery... Are they trying to rip me off..??? Thanks so much for your help..!!

skyepie profile image

skyepie 5 years ago from Leicestershire, UK Author

It would depend whether your dog had a skin tag or a growth. My experience was with a skin tag, which was just a dangle of skin which can safely be removed via a tie off. If your dog has a growth it may be that it is more complicated to remove if it has vessels or other areas of concern to consider. It may be worth asking your vet if it is just skin and whether it can be removed via a tie off, they should be honest with you if they know you are aware that there is a possibility of it being tied off.

ladywesson 5 years ago

Hello Skyepie,

thank you for responding to my post.

I believe it is just a skin tag, but it was the size of a sesame seed when we first noticed it, and now it is almost the size of a pumpkin seed. It kind of just dangles on the side of his mouth. It is grayish in color as is his skin in the areas where his coat is black. The surgery with full anaesthesia would be $700, which I would pay for my "baby" but not if there are other options to have it removed... I will discuss this with the vet again... Thank you again so much for responding.

gooner 5 years ago

thanks for all the info, my cross collie has a few skin tags but one under her arm, i am now concerned with as Molly is constantly licking at it & is now making it bleed, gonna try a tee shirt to stop her at it. not wanting to try myself i will speak to my vet tomorrow & ask if he will tie it, so sad for your loss of your lovely Brutus, he has helped many doggy friends

kaya 4 years ago

My 2 yr old aussie has skin tag approximately 1-2 cm on the outside of her hind leg just above the knee. It started off as a tiny bump last week, and now looks like a tiny nipple. At first it was only flesh colored; after scratching it, it turned a pink/red color. 2 days later the tip scabbed but the flesh colored tag remains and appears to be slowly stretching out, and lengthening. I have tied a red string and will watch how it progresses in the coming days...

skyepie profile image

skyepie 4 years ago from Leicestershire, UK Author

Good luck and I hope it works, let us know! thanks

Janet 4 years ago

My 9 year old Lab.had a small skin tag in the middle of her muzzle - it was there yesterday, today when put down her food for her, I noticed a minute black mark, which for a moment I thought was a small tick - then I looked closely, it was all that remained of the tag. Some how or another,the tag had come off! I rubbed the little black dot ightly, and that came off too - there is no trace of the tag!

Jami 4 years ago

Hi my 9 year old beagle lab cross has a very ugly skin tag that has been growing for the past 3 years and we tied it off it has been blistering and bleeding and now its starting to smell is this normal?

Tina 4 years ago

I have a 8 yr. old English American Bulldog mix with a large skin tag (about 4-5 inches) same story, vet advised not to do anything. Last week it started bleeding and went to the vet to check it out and told us that my dog need surgery to remove the skin tag, quoted me a minimum charge of $765.00 and it could me more once they do the surgery. Same situation, we love our dog very much but $765 is to much for an ordinary working family that needs to consider other things. I have heard about the tie method from family and did search for any more information, when I came across this Forum/Page. I would like to Thank everybody, especially SKYEPIE for the information.

I tied the skin tag last wednesday night and it swelled up and it bled a little. After 2 days it changed to brownish-redish color and started to blister. I used a cotton cloth to cover it. I retied it again yesterday, making sure it is tight and secure. Today, it turned black and it shrunk from 4or 5 inches to 2 inches. I am just waiting for it to fall off, anytime. I will update when it comes off.

This forum/site is amazing and very informative to those people searching for answer.Now I know that I am not alone and other people is experiencing the same dilema.Again THANK YOU!!!!!

skyepie profile image

skyepie 4 years ago from Leicestershire, UK Author

Hi Jami, I don't recall Brutus' smelling at all during our tie off. Ensure the tie is really tight as the smell could be the skin weeping, this will continue to happen if blood is still getting through to the tag. You could try bathing it in a little salt water too. If after another day or two it does not seem to be shrinking i would visit the vet to have it checked. Good luck

Tina, well done it sound like another successful tie off!!

Tina 4 years ago

The 4-5 inches Skin Tag FINALLY came off. It took one week for it to come off and I tie the skin tag 3 times to re-enforce it and did have swelling up for the first 4 days with blister and bleeding.Finally the 3rd tie, after one day it turned black and shrunk. Anybody trying the Tie Method for the Skin Tag, just be patient and would suggest to re-tie again just to be sure there is no more blood circulation on that skin tag. THANK YOU SKYEPIE for starting this, without this forum I would not have the courage to do it.

Gary 4 years ago

I have a 12 year old cockerpoo that has several small skins tags. Can I use a wart solution on them in leiu of the tie method. The largest one is about 1/2" in diameter a 1/2"long and looks like a nipple. They are mostly on his back.

Hilda 4 years ago

I have a 10 year old newfi with a large skiing tag on the bottom of her chin. I took her to the vet Friday and it was tied off.... It has expanded and is somewhat oozing. I don't know if this is normal but according to your blogs it is.... I can't tie anything near it.. How long before it shrivels ? It seems to keep expanding, Turing red like a balloon..any chance it will burst? I'm trying to be patient but I'm close to taking her to the Vet ER... Help !!!

skyepie profile image

skyepie 4 years ago from Leicestershire, UK Author

Hi there Hilda, This is what happened to Brutus too, it didn't burst but did ooze a lot. It needed tying off tighter so we took him back to the vets. Within about 2 or 3 days it had turned black and was shrivelling up. Maybe a trip back to the vet and ask them to re-tie it would be in order? Good luck, let us know how you get on?

Robin 4 years ago

Thank you for the info! I have an eleven year old Pit. I've had her since she was 6 needless to say..she is my baby. Same story....the vet said don't worry about it.Just cosmetic, Now it has grown to 4" and is bleeding pretty badly. She also has another forming on her hind leg. I have taken her to a "so called clinic" and they said surgery for removal would be about 500.00.Needless to say, with three other pets...and scores of other bills, I can't afford that at this time. i was so glad when I came across your post. I didn't know that vets performed this practice as it seems a bit unconventional. But if it works....I'm all for it! I take Juicy to the vets on Saturday....wish me luck!

skyepie profile image

skyepie 4 years ago from Leicestershire, UK Author

Good luck at the vets..... fingers crossed for you both!

Robin 4 years ago

Thank you! Juicy is scheduled for surgery 1/26/12. Three Hundred bucks! It is too big...and I don't want to run the risk of infection. At her age....I want her to be as comfortable as possible.The tie off method is not even something my Vet would consider....

skyepie profile image

skyepie 4 years ago from Leicestershire, UK Author

I think if you are not comfortable doing the tie off and your vet will not consider it, you are doing the right thing. I hope it all goes well, try not to think about the cost, remember our dogs are like our children and worth every penny!!

Lisa 4 years ago

Thanks for the info. I have a 16 1/2 year old yellow lab who has many skin tags. None seem to bother him except for the one in his ear. He's always rubbing his head on stuff and it ends up bleeding everywhere. I think it must be in an awkward place and tickle or something because he never seems to be bothered by the other ones. I'm thinking maybe this one needs to be tied off. Thinking of doing it myself but hmm maybe not. Thanks again.

Kristy 4 years ago

I just found a red small grape like growth on my 7 yr old male boxer. I thought it was a swollen nipple since its on his belly but looking closer its definitely not a nipple. Did anyones skin tags look swollen and have any cuts? I have put neosporin on it and have been giving him garlic for any possible infections, I am very worried its something serious so any info would be great as my "son" HATES the vet so that's a last resort. Thanks for your post

skyepie profile image

skyepie 4 years ago from Leicestershire, UK Author

I never noticed any cuts or bleeding from the tag it just felt soft like loose skin. Might be worth a visit to the vet if it is hard or causing any real discomfort, as skin tags generally cause no pain when they are touched or handled. Good luck

Aussie 4 years ago


First I am going to add to the long list and say thank you, for simply writing this post. My dog has had a skin tag on her elbow for years and it has never bothered her, but recently it has gotten longer and she has began to chew at it. I called vet after vet, and they said anywhere from $400-$700 to get it removed. Well being a college student who just got laid off that isn't an option, so I am trying your handy method. I'll repost if all goes as planned, thanks again!

Leo 4 years ago

Yes, my Chocolate Lab has a 4 inch one in the same area. Poor guy keeps licking it so I did a Google search and so glad I found your thread. Gonna do the tie off, I saw some one use dental floss, I'm going to give that floss a try.

Leo 4 years ago

Ok, it's now the 2nd day after tying off and yup like all the post it's looking gross. His T-shirt I put on him is really wet from all the weeping. I threw on some gloves and took a look, it looks like a Purple, Brown and Red Kiwi. Anyways, tied some more dental floss around the choke spot tight enough for my dog to flinch a little. Put his shirt back on and I'll check again a couple day. It does look the tag is dying for sure.

Shorty 4 years ago

I think I just found one on shorty inside her ear, about an inch and a half long. How fast do these things grow, I just had her groomed in late December. She's a long haired border collie bassett mix. Will definitely be at the vet first thing monday. As far as I can tell its just hanging by skin. Does anyone know what I should expect from the vet, plus Shortys 14 years old.

Leo 4 years ago

Well, yesterday the front of his shirt was torn open and could see that most of his Fig was gone. Just a small piece of skin remained, about 2 inches. I tied it off some more and my dog didn't even flinch. Put a bunch of antibiotic ointment around the tied off area since I could see a small area looked a little bit infected, small yellow spot. Then put a nice fresh t-shirt on him. will report again in a few days.

CC-Ohio 4 years ago

I enjoyed all the posted experiences: I wonder if the second tying of the skin tag is necessary due to the fact that there is a swelling that occurs as a result of the first tie-off. This swelling may be opening up the first and initial tie, allowing blood to circulate. Also it would be nice to know what type of string, floss, fishing line, and type of knot should be used? Question two, when the second tie-off is done, is it applied just below or above the first tie, and with the first tie left intact? If those with experience could submit a more detailed steps on what they think would be a good common guide to follow. I was wondering if, when the tie is done, would it be a good idea to place some antibiotic cream or Iodine ointment on the tie as an aid against any infection? After all, the tie-off is actually being used to cut off the tag by a slow process of starving it. I believe from reading all the comments that there are alot of brave and caring people. I hope that my opinion has helped and is definitly not posted to criticize anyone, but is a collection from what everyone has bravely posted. Especially do I thank Skyepie for sharing her experience, her careful details and photos of her beloved Brutus. My heart goes out to all of you!

Leo 4 years ago

Well, my dog ripped off his second t-shirt and was able to see "nothing" on his chest. Looks like his Tag is long gone. Thanks for this Blog in saving me hundreds of $$'s.

Amber 4 years ago

I just got an english mastiff, and he has one on his back looks like a mushroom. Looks pretty bad and kind of embarrassing. I cannot pay $500-$800, no way. So I will be trying this method. Only problem is I do not want a 200 pound dog mad at me :-/ Any suggestions on that..I don't think he will bite but I just got him, so I am not 100% sure. He doesn't know me well enough yet....hmmm....

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skyepie 4 years ago from Leicestershire, UK Author

Might be worth seeing your vet for a check up first to make sure that it is nothing more ominous. When Brutus had his it was soft and dangly so was easy to tie off. Have a friend with you when you tie it off as it will pinch and he might snap. Also you might want to put on a muzzle on him if you're not sure. You want to keep all your fingers!

Good luck

Penny 4 years ago

I have a doxie-she is 9 1/2 years old and has had one on her chest for months now. It is dragging the ground. So yesterday I tied it off with rubberbands. It is already black, she doesn't seem at all uncomfortable with the exception that she has to wear a tshirt...not cool to a doxie. Hopefully it will come off in a few days. Thanks for the info. :)

Quee 4 years ago

I just came from the vet and found that the little growth over my Dobie's eyebrow is a skin tag. I'll probably have it removed at the end of this year assuming it doesn't grow too much, when I take her in to have her teeth cleaned - the vet said she would do it then.

candi 4 years ago

My dog has a hard lump under her skin right next to her nipple. Today I noticed that her nipple started bleeding real bad. I don't work and not sure what to do. She is about 13 years old and is my baby and I don't want nothing to happen to her

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skyepie 4 years ago from Leicestershire, UK Author

Hi Candi, The tag that Brutus had was never hard, it was floppy and loose. Maybe a trip to the vets to get it checked out if you're worried. The PDSA will treat your dog if you are on benefits and you can give a small donation or offer some of your time for free. Let us know how you get on.

Mally 4 years ago

Hello skyepie,

My dog has what we thought was a 'wart' on her back inner thigh. After reading your story I now believe it is a skin tag as it looks EXACTLY the same apart from the size (my dog's is a lot smaller). Around a month ago I attempted to tie off the blood supply with a piece of thread (as I know they doc tails by using an elastic band and believed it was the same principle). To this day it is still exactly the same, apart from a build up of blood (as clearly thread is no where near thick enough and I obviously did not tie it tight enough). After consulting a vet today about what we should do, they told us the only thing they could do was to operate, but they were not keen on that option due to my dogs age. I told them about what I had done (i.e tying it up with thread) and they responded by saying to take it off immediately, and leave it alone as the method I have done could potentially change the nature of the wart/tag (i.e make it cancerous). After coming on Google to see what steps to take, I came across your article which reinforced my idea to cut off the blood supply. What I was wondering what why my vet suggested it may change the structure of the wart/tag? What is the difference between a wart and a tag? Do you believe I should go ahead and cut off the blood supply, and if so with what? You mentioned you used something similar to fishing line, what else can be used?

Thank you so much for your time.

Kathy Graboyes 4 years ago

Hello and thank you for this wonderful forum. My Dog Max had a skin tag on his eye and it has grown tremendously in the last few months. We thought that it would fall of because it is just hanging on a small piece of hair. It is really black and looks like a shriveled up raisin. It is on the side of his eye so it never really bothered him. The last few day he has not been himself so I put a flashlight on it and saw that it was scratched actually cut. When walking him he did rub his eye against a brick wall. We are taking him to the Vet but they can't see him for 3 days. I am worried that he is in pain and also worried that there could be infection. Thanks in advance.

Tara 4 years ago

I just want to add my thanks for this detailed post, firstly to Skyepie & to all others who posted their experiences. This helped me take the plunge to tie off my 14 year old Chinese Cresteds skin tag. Bluffs tag had been growing on his neck for about a year or so. My husband tied dental floss around it 10 days ago, we had to do an extra tie 3 days later, it was shocking to watch to process of how the tag swells up but knowing all the info given in the links had to go with the flow. Exactly as detailed in so many posts, the tag starts to shrink and this morning we found it just hanging by a little piece of hair on his neck!! Thanks again to all.

Lisa Perkins 4 years ago


I found this very helpful thread when researching skin tag removal for my 11-year-old pit bull/boxer mix, Rocky, who has three skin tags: two under his chest, and one on his butt cheek.

After reading the complete thread, I summoned up the courage to tie off the skin tags with dental floss about a week ago and have progressively added tighter and tighter tie-offs. The two under his chest, (one is very long and skinny; the other was the size and shape of a quarter and had a thin "stem"), swelled, reddened, and oozed, but they have now completely dried up, shriveled, and hardened. They have yet to fall off. They never seemed to bother Rocky through the whole process.

The tag on his butt cheek, the largest of the three and with the broadest "stem," is still quite nasty looking (if you dare, see a photo here:

Yesterday, he started licking and chewing at it, so it seems to be bothering him. It looks soooo tender, and the floss seems to be cutting sharply into the skin, so I'm very hesitant to tie yet another, tighter piece on (the other tags gave me no squeamishness at all) — yet, I know the key to getting this job done is to cut off the life support to the tag. Or, would I be wiser to snip off the floss, give Rocky some relief, and get the vet involved with surgical removal this point?

Skypie (or anyone who's been through this), would you dare to look at the picture and tell me if you think this looks as bad as it got for Brutus (or other dogs) before his tag began to shrivel?

By the way, Skypie, I'm sorry to know Brutus passed on, and I'm grateful that his spirit continues on through helping other dogs through this post.

Thank you for any further encouragement or advice you can offer to help us get through this last tag!


Lisa 4 years ago

Here's that photo link of Rocky's skin tag, which should work better:


Lisa 4 years ago

Update on Rocky's skin tag: It's gone! This thread inspired me to keep tying it more tightly, and then suddenly yesterday it started to shrivel significantly. It was still on when he went outside for his morning constitutional, but when he came back in it was gone, and I can hardly even see the spot where it was!

Thank you! For anyone else who has any doubts, be brave and just keep tying new pieces of floss on more tightly a couple of times a day. It works!

meg 4 years ago

thank you for your story i have a staffordshire bull terrier with exactly the same skin tag but nowhere near that big, i have two small children who keep pulling it thinking its something to play with and the vet wants £150 to have it removed so it has been tied off. i was a bit worried at first but this has helped. x

mike 4 years ago

just tried this on my boxer mix . hope it works

PAUL 3 years ago

Hi there

my stuffy cross wiema has a sort of large nipple sort of grape size been vets and they want hundreds of bucks , just enquiring when you tied it off did it go for a soft dangling piece of skin to like a cherry after i tied it off as it seems to be now a lump under where i tied it off and the outer lump is turning black

Paul 3 years ago

So sorry to hear Brutus passed away he has been an inspiration to all the people with the same problem and can only thank you in advance

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skyepie 3 years ago from Leicestershire, UK Author

Yes it should be tied off as close to the body as possible to ensure a tidy finish when the tag falls off. Glad you have found my hub useful, it seems far more common than I had realised when I wrote it!! Good luck

Crystal 3 years ago

My chihuahua has one of these things also, she is 8 years old and it doesn't bug her it all, it's black and shrivelled up and its gotten bigger. they want it to be removed but it's so expensive and my parents (i'm 17 btw) are too financially stressed to pay 200$ . I'm scared to do it myself, but she would look so much better, i feel like she doesn't like having it there appearance wise haha . what kind of string is to be used?

Crystal 3 years ago

it looks just like a rasin too , like your big guy here , it isn't like the dog skin tags i looked up on google

Mac&Ruby 3 years ago

I wanted to post my story in case it might help anyone who will be trying this method. This page gave me the courage and info to try it on my own. My vet also agreed I could try to do the tie off from home! I rescued Ruby, a 6 yr old English Bulldog, and she had a 4-5 cm loose skin tag hanging from her belly like a nipple. I tied it off 3 days ago with fishing line and it swelled up immediately and turned really red. It had been weeping and pretty gross, so we put another tie above the old one today. Within an hour it was darker and turned black shortly after. It's decreased in size a lot as well. I hope it's near it's end. I also applied antibiotic ointment twice a day to the site to prevent infection and she has been sporting my wife beater shirts. I'll update when it falls off... Hopefully tomorrow!!

Ellen Chang profile image

Ellen Chang 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

I just used sewing thread and dental floss since I couldn't find the floss at first. Jake is a Vizsla and has one by his eye. Thanks for all your posts. It gave me the courage to try it!

mandy doughtie 3 years ago

Hello! I just wanted to say thank you SO MUCH! Your list really helped me. About 3 years ago almost for my mother in law passed away. We took in her dog Sebastian because he's very aggressive towards other people with the exception of the people that he knew. About a year and a half ago we noticed something on Sebastian that seem to look like Just a swollen nipple. Over time it started to grow. In the last 6 months or so it has grown to be the size of about a lemon. Over the last couple of weeks it started to grow again. I called the vet to see how much it would be to try and have it removed. they told me that it would be anywhere between 600 and 1000 dollars depending on size. my husband and I decided to just leave it alone because although it was ugly and big it didn't seem to be bothering him. About a week ago he started licking and messing with it to the point where it kept bleeding. I kept trying to wrap it up and gos to try and get him to leave it alone so it could heal up. I sat at my kitchen table for days and cried because I knew I didn't have the money to take him to the vet and have it removed. All I kept thinking was how I had let my mother in law down because now there's this is staying on her dog in there is nothing that I could do about it. I decided one day that I was going to call the SPCA and surrender Sebastian because I didn't have the night money to fix him And I was worried that if somebody has driven by that they would call the animal control and I would be charged with animal because he had an open wound.. that day I ran across your post on the internet while looking up skin tags. I decided that I would still try to attempt it even though Sebastian skin tag was so large.. it was better than the alternative if I had surrendered him they would have had no choice but to put him down. although Sebastian is 8 years old I know he still got a lot of years left in him and the last thing I wanted to do is to give him up and put him down. Monday night I used a rubber band rather than a piece of string because his stock was so large. this morning I got up his skin tag igone the only thing left is a piece of skin that's been dried up from where the stockings to be. almost looks like a baby's umbilical cord as its drying up and falling off

Melanie 3 years ago

Ok. After reading all your posts... I'm going for it. Boxer-Pit-American Bulldog mix has raisin style tags that have grown to the size of blackberries. The one by her neck is broken and bleeding but the one on her back is just as black and raisin-y as it has always been. Wish me luck. Will post results. Thank you to the original poster! You are saving us all a TON of money!

Gary 3 years ago

I tied a large one off on my german shorthair's chest after reading this. It got huge and purple. The next day I tied another string around it and it went almost black but today it looks like the black layer peeled off and it went super bright crazy red. Not sure if I should tie it again or wait a couple days.....

Kay 3 years ago

My 6yr Standard Poodle had a small flesh coloured tag at the bottom of her eye for the last 6 months...started as a small dot and grew (downwards) to about 4mm..not huge but long and skinny. The vet said just to keep an eye on it and only worry if it started to grow that it was scratching her eyeball. However, I was worried that it could get clipped when at the groomers...I had heard of tying off so last night I "very carefully" took a piece of thread, cut it into a few inches, tied a loop and then placed the loop around the tag as close to the skin as I could, and pulled tight. She is a very patient dog and does not pull away, when I tightened it she did not move at all. I carefully trimmed the excess thread so that it would not go up into her eye. This morning, I checked it out of curiousity--it was black and small, I touched the small pce of thread and the whole thing came off! There is still a small dot there--and I won't be surprised if it does grow back..but I can do it again if necessary. I was thrilled with the results...and surprised to find this write-up on it tonight!

Good luck to all (and I have also heard of people doing this on armpit/neck tags)

Kimber R 2 years ago

I have a 17 year old cat. She had a growth on her belly, next to a nipple. At first it looked like a water filled blister. She tore it open using the doggy door. It dried up for a while, but when it came back, it was a hanging tag like tumor. We took her to the vet who said at her age, he wouldn't do the biopsys and cancer checks. He would just surgically remove it. As we are very low income, we have been keeping it clean and bandaging it so she doesn't aggravate it. It frequently oozes and bleeds. It now resembles 2 shrimp stuck to her belly. It is attached by a small umbilical structure.As it is vasculated, can I still tie it off? As a farm kid, I did this before in certain applications. It causes her no pain, she doesn't mind us touching it while cleaning and bandaging. Opinion please?

isa 2 years ago

Hi, I just wanted to say thanks for all the info on this page. After ringing round vets and being told that it would be anything in excess of £125. I decided to tie of my dogs skin tag myself. I used dental floss to do the tie and like a lot of other peoples it ballooned and went bright red the next day. She had gone through 3 t shirts in a day, all covered in blood. I tied it a second time as I thought the swelling might have loosened the first tie, allowing blood to get back through. 3 days later and the tag has dropped off leaving just a little bit of bare flesh. My dog is much happier already, I think she sensed people's reactions when they saw her huge fist sized skin tag hanging from her thigh. I wouldn't have had the courage to do it without these posts, so thanks again.

Strudel 2 years ago

Thank you for posting this. My dog is 14 years old had a big ugly black growth on his belly that he would rub and it would sometimes bleed. Tied it off and used the t-shirt method....within three days it dried up and looked like a raisin....Fell off by day five.

The second day was probably the worst when you sort of freak out when it is weeping...I just re-read your post over and over to reassure myself that I did it right.

Katie 2 years ago

I'm trying this on my 7 yr old pit. It has been tied off for a full 24hrs and oozing a little and turning red. Think I will tie it off again using floss. I also put a cotton ball of Apple Cider vinegar on it earlier to clean. Braggs acv is the one I used. Will update again on the progress or once it's gone.

Katie 2 years ago

Update: a full week later and we have made progess! The tag on her knee is now much smaller, hard and the size of a raisin. I have been cleaning the area with iodine several times a day to prevent an infection. The tag has pulled away from the skin and is sorta oozy looking. I'm hopeful it will fall off soon!

Thanks for the blog on this issue. It has been very helpful and gave me my medical degree to attempt this ;) I'm very sorry for your loss. I enjoyed looking at his pictures. Looked like a very happy boy :)

Katie 2 years ago

Final update: a little over a week and my girl is skin tag free!!

gennie hughes 2 years ago

he looks just like my dog buddy!!!!

Darlene 2 years ago

This has been so helpful! I tied off my dogs inflamed skin tag with dental floss on day 3 it fell off. By day 7 it is healing perfect! Thanks for all the facts

Mssy 2 years ago

First....I would like t thank everyone for sharing their stories! I have a 5 yr old Springer Spaniel....about 5 months ago I noticed a growth on his belly.....i first thought it was an infected nipple or bug bite of some sort....well as the weeks and months passed by , i quickly saw that is looked like a skin hung at its longest about 3 inches...well I was so afraid he would scrath it or tear it while running. never seemed to bother long story short.... I have been reading online for about a two months. After reading Brutus's story.....I felt 100% sure about what to 2 days ago...I nervously tied fishing line at the base of the tag....which was fairly large....I then tightened 6 rubberband at the base as well. My baby boy never made a sound or jerked. 2 days now. And the tag is completely black....dried up and I am anxiously awaiting for it to be gone!!!! I failed to mention....while I first tied it immediately turned blue. My only concern is the base, his belly is a little praying that the healing continues just as fast! Good Luck!!

Jen 23 months ago

Thanks for detailing this story. My 2 year old dog got a broccoli-looking skin tag that snagged on his leash and bled out. I tied it off with floss, as suggested from a how-to-do site, but kept wondering what if I tied it tightly enough.. The same day, I can across your site, which gave me the resolve to redo the tying to make sure it was tight enough. I'm glad I did because after I did it properly, the swelling died down within half a day.

momofangel 22 months ago

I wish I had found these posts earlier today! My dog had a big growth on her back leg. I had already seen a vet a few months ago for routine checkup and she checked it and it was non-cancerous, just unsightly. She suggested surgery with a cost of at least $500, which we really can't afford. I tied it off a couple days ago and today it just looked terrible. It had grown into this big black, oozing, blistery looking thing! It really scared me and my daughter was freaking out, so we took off the rubber band. I'm praying that it will go down a bit, but so far she's just laying around and licking it. Actually as I am typing this, I looked at her and it has actually started looking like the old hanging blob again! It's still a little dark, but looking more normal. I'm too scared to try it again, though. I think I'll just go see my vet.

krista 21 months ago

My red nose pittie has a skin tag on his upper eyelid it keeps getting bigger and now how eyelid is swollen. Not sure what to do

Kori 21 months ago

Thanks for all the input everyone~tied my Bogeys small tag today...getting darker already this evening. I'll update for those of you searching like me.

Kim 19 months ago

How has everyone cared for the site where the tag fell off.

Is it an open wound? Like you could stick your finger into?

My 10year old Lab Big Deuce has one that is going to fall off any day on his belly. Thanks.

Kel2103 12 months ago

Just read all your posts, as we have a staffie with an unsightly skin tag hanging off his stomach! This has been present for over 6 months with a rapid growth spurt and due to age we were reluctant to put him under. I tied it over 4 days ago and it did go hard & dark but was still hanging on, quite swollen and today weepy. So your blogs have encouraged me to re-tie it. It did bleed a little (panic set in) but soon stopped and my daft old boy didn't even flinch!! I shall update once were finally skin tag free

Cheryl 9 months ago

My bigger than normal rotti has a skin tag in the middle of his chest. It's quite unsightly. We actually refer to it as a 'chestical'. When I called the vet for a price to remove it, they estimated $500, due to his size and cost to sedate him. It was more than I could spend for a cosmetic fix. I heard about tieing it off and did 2 days ago. Was concerned how much bigger it is now, but see that is normal, though tightened it up and back to the waiting. Really hoping this works. Thank you!!!

Tiffany 7 months ago

Thank you! I'm waiting to see the results from tying off my dogs skin tag currently. It was soft and stretchy. It hasn't been 24 hours yet and it's swelling.. I'll watch it and maybe need to tie it tighter..

Carol Gatti 3 months ago

My dog is 13 years old and has a large skin tag like your Brutus. I have tied it off but have not noticed any change as yet. It does feel cool to the touch. How long before you saw any change in the tag? I have tied it more than once to make sure I did it correctly. Not really seeing any oozing of the tag either. The skin tag is so unsightly looking and I just want him to be rid of it. Thanks!!

lisa m 3 months ago

advice needed.

i tied my dogs grape size skin tag off, it didnt swell but has started to shrink. it is day 3 and it is still weepy and STINKS , i have been salt water bathing but need to know if this is nornal, please help TIA.

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