Lipomas occur in domestic animals as well as in their owners, so let’s talk about lipoma treatment in dogs.
Lipomas are fatty lumps, and one of the most prevalent benign tumours in dogs. In fact, most overweight dogs have some occurrence of lipoma.
Lipomas are also found in older dogs. Dog owners tend to get quite anxious when they feel one of these growths on their beloved pet.
However, vets tend to dismiss them for the most part and do not favour removal surgery. This is of course, on the assumption that the tumour is not causing any issues.
What exactly is a lipoma?
If you find, through touch or just by looking at it, that your dog has a lipoma, do take it for an exam at your local veterinarian. This is especially necessary if the growth suddenly appeared.
Your vet will likely first take a full history of the dog, and thoroughly examine the lipoma. The size and location is documented, so that on subsequent visits, any shrinking, re-growth or increase in size can be detected.
If the dog lipoma grows very quickly, or if it becomes so large that it interferes with movement, then it may well be a reason to consider removal. Before that, your vet will usually perform a biopsy (taking a piece of it out with a needle) to confirm whether it is a lipoma or something else.
One thing to keep in mind is that while your vet may mention the term tumour, do not be too frightened by it. Lipomas are almost always harmless, painless and do not usually develop an infection. In fact, they are usually described as just “fatty deposits”.
Lipoma Treatment in Dogs
You might request to have your dog’s lipomas removed if they are unsightly or cause you distress to look at them. Your vet might discourage you from proceeding with surgery due to the usual risks associated with any surgery, such as anesthesia or other complications. It may not be worth any health benefit, as the result would only be cosmetic.
On the other hand, if your dog was going to be anesthetized any way for something else, such as teeth cleaning, then perhaps the two procedures can be combined.
Removal – Permanent Lipoma Treatment in Dogs?
Do bear in mind that removal does not preclude the re-occurrence of the lipoma. You might want to consider removal only if they are so large that they are interfering with mobility, or causing friction.
Once again, it is important that you get them checked out before dismissing them completely. Ensure that you have them looked by a trained professional and note down any characteristics so that any new growth or change in size can be monitored. Confirming that it is lipoma can easily be done via a biopsy or fine needle aspiration. This same procedure wil also confirm whether it is in fact benign.
In conclusion, if you find a lump somewhere on your beloved pet, be under the skin or just under it, have him examined by your local vet to confirm the presence of a lipoma. Lipomas are generally benign, painless and harmless.
Should it be so large that it interferes with movement or causes painful friction, you can opt to have it removed easily, as it is the most convenient lipoma treatment for dogs.