My Ridgeback puppy has a weird growth on his neck – could it be a dermoid sinus?
The short answer: no.
When I first bred a puppy that had one of these super-sized skin tags, I, too thought it might be some form of dermoid sinus, which is a congenital defect occasionally found in Ridgeback puppies. I could feel that the growth was “anchored” beneath the skin – that is, that is continued into the dermal tissue – which compounded my concern.
At six weeks old, I had the growth removed. It was tough, fibrous tissue, not at all like a dermoid. The puppy was fine, and sailed off to his new home.
Since then, I have heard reports from other Ridgeback breeders who have encountered this same type of growth. Most were located on the neck, just below the jaw, which is where my puppy had his. At the advice of their vet, some had simply left the growth, with no ill effects.
When another breeding produced a puppy with a similar (and smaller) growth, I left it alone. And that puppy was perfectly fine.
Last summer, while visiting cousins who had a young German Shorthaired Pointer, I noticed that he had two of these growths, on his ear flaps, close to where they folded over and met his head. We later visited the breeder, who noted that this was a “thing” with GSPs, and they just leave them alone. A vet that I see regularly who also owns the breed confirmed this, adding that he sees them regularly and doesn’t do a thing to them.
So there you have it: The growths are not dermoids, they are not breed specific, and they do not need to be removed unless they are very large and get in the way, or for aesthetic reasons.