Meibomian Gland Tumors in Dogs: Picture & Vet Information

Score for Seniors:
Activity Level:
Weight: Pounds


eye exam at the vet

This article was updated on March 8th, 2024

What are meibomian gland tumors in dogs?

Many eyelid tumors are overgrowth of the meibomian gland, as shown in the picture below.

The most common types of meibomian gland tumors are adenomas (which are benign), and adenocarcinomas (which are malignant). Both tumors arise from the meibomian glands, which line the eyelids and are critical for producing the oily portion of tears.

Benign tumors are the most common and are usually seen in senior dogs. They appear as slow-growing bumps on the inside or outside of the eyelid, and may be pink, pigmented, or lobulated.

Larger tumors may become ulcerated, bleed, or scab, leading to pain and irritation.

Small masses may simply be monitored by your vet, however, if they grow large, rupture, or cause irritation, then surgical removal will be recommended. 

About cancerous meibomian gland tumors

Cancerous tumors arising from the meibomian glands are also generally slow growing, but have the potential to damage nearby tissues and spread to the lymph nodes. They appear similar to the benign lesions described above. 


Surgery is recommended for large or malignant tumors, and is usually curative. Traditional surgery is effective for removing small masses. If a mass is larger, surgery may be more complex and involve the removal and reconstruction of part of the eyelid.

Laser ablation, cryotherapy (freezing of the tumor), radiation, pain medications, antibiotics, lubricating drops, and an E-collar may also be needed in some cases.


The prognosis is good, with only 10% of these masses recurring. The cost of treatment will depend greatly on the individual dog, but may start around $500. 


  • Dr. Liza Cahn, Veterinarian

    Dr. Liza Cahn is a veterinarian who graduated from Michigan State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 2013 with a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM). Dr. Cahn has five years of experience working as a veterinarian in small animal practice in Washington and California. She loved working with dogs and cats and educating owners on all aspects of veterinary medicine, especially animal behavior and dermatology. She has since transitioned to remote work to be able to spend more time at home with her husband, two young kids, and two cats, and is thrilled to be able to combine her love for veterinary medicine and passion for writing. Dr. Cahn has an active veterinary license in Washington State.

Disclaimer: This website's content is not a substitute for veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian for healthcare decisions. Read More.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.