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Dog Lipomas

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Dog Lipomas

Lipomas are benign tumors that pop up in older dogs. Usually soft and well defined; they are right under the skin. They can appear anywhere on a dog’s body, but more frequently beneath the abdomen and chest. There are no breed specifics for a lipoma. They are most common in older female dogs.

There is always the possibility that the tumors can become infiltrative and involve other layers of tissue. They can go so far as between the muscle fibers. Those that involve the deeper tissue will be harder and less defined. On occasion in dogs, they can cause Dog Pain. The occurrence of infiltrative lipomas is not frequent.


As with any change in your dog's condition, the initial signs will depend on the owner. Any swelling in the skin or the appearance of lumps should be investigated, especially if the lumps are considered to be Dog Cancer Lumps. Most of them will be oval or spherical.

Your veterinarian may perform needle aspiration. This is the removal of tissue cells for laboratory analysis. If the aspiration is inconclusive, your vet may choose to perform a biopsy. Either of these tests will be done under sedation.

Treatment Options

Many of these tumors are slow growing and require no treatment. If they become invasive, there are several options.

It the tumor is causing discomfort it may be removed to increase their mobility and improve the life of your dog. If they are infiltrative, it will require the wide and more extensive surgical removal. Often there will be cells left in the dog’s body, but with a slow growing tumor, no further treatment may become necessary.

Dog Radiation Therapy is another consideration for invasive tumors that cannot be surgically removed. The infiltrative tumors do require aggressive treatment to preserve the life style of your dog.

Before surgical removal the standard blood tests and chemical profiles will be done routinely.

At home care

Keeping your dog comfortable is important. If there are any changes in your dog's conditions, your vet should be notified. Once the tumor is removed the usual precautions should take place. Any redness, swelling or discharge should be noted. Your dog should not be allowed to lick or chew the area. Often an Elizabethan collar will be used to prevent the dog from accessing the area.

Sutures will remain in place for 7-10 days. Treatment will be easier after this occurs. Keep your dog free from pain from the surgery. The proper administration of pain medication will also help to relax your dog and prevent extreme rejection of the Elizabethan collar. You need to be strong and not give in to your dog wanting to have it off. Keep your dog comfortable and aid in their recovery.


There are no known preventions for lipomas. Early removal is advised. If you see a lump or bump on your dog's body, you should consult with your vet. Often the lipoma will be observed over a long period of time unless it appears to be inhibiting your dog from its normal activities.

Suggested Products

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Additional Dog Cancer Pages

Dog Cancer | Dog Skin Cancer | Dog Bladder Cancer | Dog Pancreatic Cancer | Dog Bone Cancer | Dog Cancer Prevention | Dog Cancer Diagnosis | Dog Lymphoma Cancer | Dog Gastric Cancer | Dog Mast Cell Tumors

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