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Lipomas are fatty tumors, or growths, in dogs. They appear at random, in various parts of the body, over time. They are soft growths and can be “moveable” under the skin. They are usually benign. These fatty tumors can show up in any age of dog, but usually begin to appear as the dog ages. Lipomas may also be within muscle and tissue and may also be connected to tissue. These are usually nothing to be concerned about; however, there are times where fatty tumors can be malignant. This is why when a dog gets a growth it is very important to get it checked by a veterinarian.
There are some breeds that get lipomas more often than others, such as the Weimaraner, and other large dogs, but any dog as they get older can get them. At times, lipomas can develop when a dog is overweight, have certain health conditions, or “just because.”
Lipomas are soft, fatty growths under the skin that are benign. They are found directly under the skin and can be very small or moderate in size. Many lipomas occur due to the dog’s aging process.
There are very few symptoms of lipomas. The only symptoms to warrant a veterinarian visit are if the dog develops a soft lump under his skin from an unknown source.
There are specific dog breeds that have a disposition to lipomas as they age, even though all breeds can get them these dogs have a greater risk of getting these pesky lumps.
The only known cause for lipomas, benign growths under the skin, is aging.
It is crucial to find out if the lump really is a benign fatty tumor or something more serious. A diagnosis is important so the doctor can give you the correct treatment recommendation as well as the proper prognosis. While a great percentage are benign, some can be malignant so it is imperative a veterinarian test the lump to find out.
When you take your dog to the veterinarian for lipomas, he will do a physical examination as normal and ask you specific questions about the lump – such as when it occurred or when you first noticed it.
The only way any lump can be determined to be benign or malignant is by a needle aspiration and testing. The cytology testing will reveal the type of lump it is and if it is benign. The veterinarian will take a needle and insert it into the lump and draw out any fluid. This fluid will be given a microbiological stain and then put under the microscope to be examined.
Once the veterinarian determines what type of lump it is, he will then suggest a course of treatment. Lipomas can usually be left untreated, depending on the size and location. If your dog has to have a lipoma removed for a specific reason deemed by your veterinarian, then surgery will be required to remove it.
Many dogs get lipomas, and some even have them all over their body. As long as the veterinarian has tested any suspicious lumps and they are benign, then your dog has an excellent prognosis. In some cases, dogs may get lipomas that are very large and interfere with daily life, and have to have them removed. If this is the case with your companion, your veterinarian will give you specific instructions on how to care for your dog after this minor surgery.
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