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Ask the Vet About Fatty Tumors (Lipomas) in Dogs

Fatty Skin Tumors in Dogs
Symptoms & Diagnosis
Treatment
Ask the Vet
Ask the Vet About Fatty Skin Tumors in Dogs
MichaelDym, V.M.D.
Michael Dym, V.M.D.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
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As a practicing veterinarian, Dr. Dym has over 19 years of experience and dedication to enhancing the overall health and well-being of pets. His commitment and passion for pet health continuously drives him to learn more about the art and science of homeopathy through ongoing training and education.

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Showing 1 - 15 of 124
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Showing 1 - 15 of 124
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Date: Nov 25, 2017
Category: Fatty Tumors
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: More.info

Question:My vet diagnosed my dog with a fatty tumor. It is located at the base of her tail. When first noticed it was small and doctor squeezed it similar to popping a pimple, then prescribed her an antibiotic. It went away buy came back and this time I didn't seek treatment right away because it didn't seem to bother her. Therefore it got much bigger and to the point where it was painful. I think it was painful because it was located where her tail bends when she wags her tail. Would it be possible for a fatty tumor to be painful because of location? I just want to make sure she wasn't misdiagnosed. The other question is surgery the only treatment to make them disappear?

Answer:It really doesn't sound like a fatty tumor: we don't pop a fatty tumor like a pimple really ever, they don't grow quickly like it sounds like this one is doing and they aren't usually painful. I would definitely have it rechecked.

Date: Nov 13, 2017
Category: Fatty Tumors
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Diet

Question:My schnauzer has started to develop the fatty tumors. He isn't overweight, in fact closer to underweight. I have is food out free choice. Should I still look at a food that is designed as a weight control product?

Answer:No, it doesn't sound like he needs to be on weight control food if he is "closer to underweight". It would be ideal for me to be looking at him to say this for sure so ask your veterinarian, that has seen him, when you can. Be sure that the "fatty tumors" have been checked and are definitely benign.

Date: Nov 9, 2017
Category: Fatty Tumors
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Fatty Tumor- to remoe or not?

Question:I have an 11 yr, male black lab. He developed a small fatty tumor which was tested and was benign. I just recently noticed a larger one behind his right arm- I noticed as it protruded when we walked. It's about the size of my hand but his gait hasnt changed and he seems fine (over the course of two months). However, is it safer to get it removed? He is 11 so ive slowed him down a lot. No more hunting, long runs, etc.

Answer:I would have it tested and talk it over with your veterinarian. There are plusses and minuses to having it removed. I lean toward not removing benign tumors that aren't bothering them but it needs to be confirmed as benign. If it starts to grow or bother him, it may need to be removed.

Date: Oct 31, 2017
Category: Fatty Tumors
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Lump on rear rump

Question:My dog is 11 and has had this lump for 10 years. She will let me touch it, vet, not so much. It is same size as five years ago. It does not ooze or leak. Any ideas

Answer:It is impossible to say without a fine needle aspirate. The fact that it's been there for 5 years and is about the same size is actually good - it's a strike against it being malignant, but doesn't guarantee it.

Date: Oct 30, 2017
Category: Fatty Tumors
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Bump on dogs tail, sebaceous cyst?

Question:I recently noticed a small bump on my dogżs tail. Heżs a 5 yr old spaniel mix. The area wasnżt red and it didnżt seem to be borthering him. I assumed it was a bug bite or something and have been cleaning it for the past few weeks. It wasnżt getting any better and I decided to squeeze it, thinking there was something in it. Quite a bit of white stuff came out. After googling, I realized it was most likely a sebeceous cyst and I probably shouldnżt have squeezed it. I disinfected the area and applied to Neosporin. Would it be a good idea to see a vet about this or to just continue to monitor the wound for signs of infection? Will the cyst fill up again? Money is tight so Iżd hate to go to the vet and have them charge me just to say that itżs not serious but if it has the potential to be an issue I donżt want to chance it. Iżm not completely sure what would be best to do.

Answer:I would have your veterinarian go ahead and check it out. They can do a fine needle aspirate and confirm that it is benign and probably nothing to worry about. I like to go ahead and be sure on masses on an extremity because if it is something to worry about (malignant), there isn't a lot of skin to close a wound if you have to have it removed and the aftercare after surgery can be really hard, so removing these when they are smaller, right after you find them is ideal. If it is just a benign sebaceous adenoma, they probably won't remove it, but if it looks like it's going to continue to get secondarily infected, they might. And, yes, you were right: don't squeeze it or open it up - that just invites bacteria to come on in (and usually invites him to start licking at it).

Date: Oct 22, 2017
Category: Fatty Tumors
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Small soft lump under dogs skin

Question:Yesterday when rubbing my dogżs belly I felt a small soft lump maybe a half to an inch in size, it is not visible at this point. It is on her right side near her armpit. I told my father because we had another dog with a similar thing however hers was larger and visible. It turned out to be a fatty tumor. Iżm questioning if I should have a biopsy ASAP.

Answer:Having a fine needle aspirate done of any new mass is ideal to confirm that it is nothing to worry about. This is a quick procedure that usually doesn't require even sedation and can be performed quickly by your veterinarian.

Date: Oct 19, 2017
Category: Fatty Tumors
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Golfball sized fatty lump on chin

Question:I just asked sent my issue a few minutes ago and received a quick response. I didn't know how to respond to the questions the vet asked me, so I'm responding here. I was asked:: 1) Has it been aspirated? No. Have oral antibiotics been tried? No. No treatment at all. I just try and keep it clean with his medicated shampoo. Is there a way to send pictures? My issue: My 8 yr old Cocker Spaniel has a large (golf ball sized, maybe) fat lump hanging from his chin. It looks like a big piece of fat meat. It's on the surface, and not under the skin. When he shakes his head, it shakes/moves/flaps too. He scratches it a lot, and it bleeds from the scratching, if I don't keep it cleaned. It started out (about 2 1/2 years ago) as a very small nasty looking blistered bump after he came from getting groomed. It's grown slowly over the past couple of years. About 2 years ago, when it was much smaller, the vet said it was canine acne. Nothing was done about it. But now, I wash it with his medicated shampoo and conditioner (daily), once a day, then apply castor oil twice a day. It smells pretty bad when he scratches it sometimes, especially when it's not getting regular cleanings. I've been cleaning it consistently for about 3 weeks now, and some of the swelling has gone down. But it's still huge. I'm curious to hear what you think. Could this be a tumor or cyst, and not acne as previously thought? If I don't keep it cleaned consistently, he scratches it a lot and it bleeds and appears to swell some. Any advice? Oh, I forgot to mention that he does have skin allergies I believe. He's always chewing his feet and toes, for like 10-25 minutes at a time in one spot, then moves to another foot/toe.

Answer:You need for your veterinarian to recheck it, possibly aspirate it to tell what kind of mass it is and whether it is infected. If it "smells pretty bad" it is probably infected so not matter what cell type type is the origin of the mass, it will more than likely benefit from antibiotics but you have to get those from your veterinarian. They can also evaluate how bad his allergies are and how much they may be factored into the problem with this mass and what treatments are possible.

Date: Oct 19, 2017
Category: Fatty Tumors
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Golfball sized fatty lump on chin

Question:My 8 yr old Cocker Spaniel has a large (golf ball sized, maybe) fat lump hanging from his chin. It looks like a big piece of fat meat. It's on the surface, and not under the skin. When he shakes his head, it shakes/moves/flaps too. He scratches it a lot, and it bleeds from the scratching, if I don't keep it cleaned. It started out (about 2 1/2 years ago) as a very small nasty looking blistered bump after he came from getting groomed. It's grown slowly over the past couple of years. About 2 years ago, when it was much smaller, the vet said it was canine acne. Nothing was done about it. But now, I wash it with his medicated shampoo and conditioner (daily), once a day, then apply castor oil twice a day. It smells pretty bad when he scratches it sometimes, especially when it's not getting regular cleanings. I've been cleaning it consistently for about 3 weeks now, and some of the swelling has gone down. But it's still huge. I'm curious to hear what you think. Could this be a tumor or cyst, and not acne as previously thought? If I don't keep it cleaned consistently, he scratches it a lot and it bleeds and appears to swell some. Any advice? Oh, I forgot to mention that he does have skin allergies I believe. He's always chewing his feet and toes, for like 10-25 minutes at a time in one spot, then moves to another foot/toe.

Answer:I would really have to see it to be able to help you. If it is truly "golfball size", it probably is a mass or badly secondarily infected acne/pustule/abscess. Has it been aspirated? Have oral antibiotics been tried? Did they help?

Date: Sep 26, 2017
Category: Fatty Tumors
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Fatty tumor or cancerous tumor?

Question:I have a 9 month old Pitbull little girl, and I took her a few months ago to go get fixed. Well, ever since her incision has closed and healed, she has developed this large lump in the area, inside of the incision. There is no change in her appetite, health, she's still very playful, very friendly and outgoing, I just wanna know if I need to be worried.

Answer:If she moved around a lot in the 7-14 days after being spayed, she may just have a bunch of scar tissue. A lot of suture isn't fully absorbed for many months, so it's possible she is still trying to absorb the suture. It is ideal for your veterinarian to recheck her real fast and palpate and just make sure her abdominal wall healed fully and what you are describing isn't a hernia.

Date: Sep 24, 2017
Category: Fatty Tumors
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: dog

Question:hi i have a dog with a fatty tumor what can i do

Answer:After you have confirmed that it is a benign fatty tumor at your veterinarian, as long as it isn't bothering him, you don't have to do anything - they are more a cosmetic problem than anything usually. Make sure your veterinarian has checked it to be sure it is a benign lipoma (fatty mass).

Date: Sep 8, 2017
Category: Fatty Tumors
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: My dog has two fatty tumors.

Question:Should these fatty tumors be removed??

Answer:Fatty Tumors (Lipomas) are benign so we usually just recommend removing them if they are bothering the dog in some way - most don't need removing. Be sure they have been tested by your veterinarian and been officially declared benign.

Date: Sep 5, 2017
Category: Fatty Tumors
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Soft fatty lump

Question:Hi My dog has developed a soft fatty lump on his chest . It is really soft and squishy and easy to move and he isn't bothered if I touch it or squeeze it . It is the size of a tennis ball and has grown really quickly but seems to have stopped now I'm thinking it may be a lipoma ?

Answer:The only thing that bothers me about your description is that it grew quickly - one of the traits of benign masses like lipomas (fatty masses) is that they grow slowly. "Quickly" is a relative term - either way you will want your veterinarian to do a quick fine needle aspirate of it, when you can, just to confirm that it is a benign lipoma.

Date: Sep 4, 2017
Category: Fatty Tumors
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Direction of Treatment

Question:Our dog is a 16 yro female long haired dauch. A biopsy of the fatty tumor done in July of this year revealed it as a fatty tumor. Yet since that time, it has grown significantly (locate right hip). Since she is the age she is, surgery seems difficult. What advise or experience can you offer. Thank you

Answer:If it is still just a fatty mass and not bothering her, at her age, I would lean toward not doing surgery. If it is growing quickly, it may not be a benign lipoma - if so, work with your veterinarian to try to determine what cell type it is - maybe do another fine needle aspirate or a biopsy. I rarely do biopsies unless I can do them with a local anesthestic, because if I have to put them under anesthesia for the biopsy, it almost always ends up making more sense to just remove it. Talk to your veterinarian based on the cell type, pre-surgery blood work (how is her kidney function, how is her liver function, etc?), chest x-rays if her heart sounds weak at all, size of the mass (does your veterinarian think they can get it all, close the skin easily afterwards, etc) to determine whether surgery is right for her.

Date: Aug 17, 2017
Category: Fatty Tumors
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Quarter sized lump

Question:My beloved 8 year old pit bull has about a quarter sized lump at the base of his neck just above his right shoulder it seems to be soft and not painful to the touch for him i have not noticed any behavioral changes and has not lost weight nor appetite, is this something i should be concerned with or am i being overly paranoid?

Answer:Most soft masses end up being benign but you should have your veterinarian check it to be sure. They will do a quick fine needle aspirate, which is like a little mini-biopsy, which will allow them to look at the cells under a microscope and determine if it is benign. Some veterinarians feel comfortable reading them in their office - some prefer to send them to a pathologist. If I see questionable cells, I send to a pathologist, but most benign fatty masses (lipomas) can be diagnosed immediately.

Date: Aug 10, 2017
Category: Fatty Tumors
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Fatty Tumors

Question:My 11 year old lab mix has a fatty tumor right below her nipple. Is this dangerous?

Answer:If it has been checked by your veterinarian and officially declared a "fatty tumor" based on the cells that they see after they aspirated it, then No, these are usually not dangerous because they are benign growths. The fact that you got on here and asked me makes me worry that you haven't had it aspirated, so definitely do that when you can - it is a quick, easy procedure that your veterinarian can do in just a couple minutes, while you wait usually. Since it is near her nipple, it makes me worry a little more - they are predisposed to breast cancer just like people.


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