A Guide to Pet Cryosurgery

Innovative treatments and advances in technology give vets unlimited potential in taking care of your pet with safe and effective methods. Cryosurgery is one such treatment that also does not require chemical immobilization. With it, those who have pets with other problems that could cause complications need not worry. It also needs minimal post-operative care.

What is Cryosurgery?


It is a treatment that uses intense cold to destroy abnormal or unwanted tissue. It uses liquid nitrogen to freeze superficial growths, masses, and warts. It is relatively painless and quick. Hence, there is usually no need for sedation. However, the vet may insist on sedating the animal to make it comfortable.

How Does it Work?


The procedure uses liquid nitrogen at -127 degrees Fahrenheit to freeze unwanted tissue, masses, and skin growth. The vet uses a cryoprobe to target the treatment area to the millimeter. The nitrogen numbs the nerve endings and reduces the chance of your pet feeling pain during the procedure. 

The application of liquid nitrogen ruptures the skin cells and causes the masses to fall away. It is a safe and noninvasive alternative to the use of scalpels.

Conditions it Treats


Cryosurgery is effective in areas where surgery may have complications, like the mouth. It treats various skin conditions. These include masses, lesions, warts, cysts, and other skin disorders. The most common growths are:

  • Papillomas: These are viral warts that show up on the skin or the oral cavity. They are susceptible to freezing.

  • Sebaceous or adenomas: These are common in middle age to older animals. Adenomas are waxy, hairless nodules. Some people refer to them as old dog warts.

  • Hemangiomas: These are small nodules that contain blood. They usually happen after your pet experiences solar damage to the skin.

Although it treats skin growth, cryosurgery is ineffective when treating subcutaneous or dermal nodules.

Benefits of Cryosurgery


The treatment is beneficial in resolving various skin masses and growths with a high success rate. It also has several other benefits that make it preferable to other procedures.

Ideal for Patients Who React to Anesthesia


Some animals react to anesthesia. If your pet is one of those, cryosurgery may provide you with the solution you have been desiring. The vet can remove the unwanted tissue without the need for anesthesia.

No Downtime


The treatment is fast and effective. There is no need for long healing periods. Your pet can get back into its routines faster than if it went through surgery.

Relatively Painless


The cold temperature numbs the nerve endings in the treatment area, reducing the pain sensation. In some cases, pets will not need any sedation at all. 

No Stitches, No Scars


Cryosurgery does not require stitches, and it leaves no scars. However, this may also be a drawback in some cases because it also means there is no tissue for histology. You need to find out what kind of growth or mass you are dealing with beforehand.

For more information on cryosurgery, visit Animal Hospital of Whitfield County at our Dalton, Georgia office. Call (706) 226-3710 to schedule an appointment today.

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