What Can Cause Lipoma In Dogs: Direct Symptoms Prevention

Lipoma In Dogs is subcutaneous1 (below the skin) lumps or tumors that typically form in older dogs. They’re normally soft and have minimal movement beneath the epidermis2. Lipomas normally have little effect on the skin above them.

They enlarge with time, restricting the dog’s ability to move his legs or lower chest. They can also be a source of anxiety for humans3, who frequently assume the worst when they discover a weird new growth.

What Exactly Is Lipoma In Dogs, And Are They Dangerous To Your Dog’s Health?

Lipoma in dogs is a cancerous tumor4 that is benign. There’s no need to be concerned in the great majority of cases! Benign tumors are infiltrative tumors that penetrate muscle tissue and may require removal in the future.

Liposarcomas5, on the other hand, are malignant tumors 6that can migrate to the lungs, bone, and other organs.

A veterinarian can determine the difference between benign lipomas and malignant liposarcoma, but the average pet owner can’t. Make an appointment with a local animal hospital if you notice an odd growth on your pet. To be sure the tumor isn’t a dangerous liposarcoma, a professional examination will be required.

What Does Lipoma In Dogs Look Like?

A lipoma in dogs is a lump under the skin that you may discover because it causes the fur to stick up strangely or because you run into it while caressing your dog. Lipomas are often soft and moveable, with no attachment to the underlying body wall.

Most lipomas can grow to enormous proportions and cover your dog’s entire side without producing any medical problems. Veterinarians can’t tell if a skin tumor is a lipoma based on how it appears or feels.

Most cell tumors and soft tissue sarcomas are two potentially malignant tumors that develop lipomas under the skin and feel soft and squishy like a lipoma, can also develop under the skin and feel soft and squishy-.

Every year, an estimated 1.7 million dogs in the United States are treated for lipomas in dogs. Your dog may acquire lipomas for a variety of reasons, but here are some of the most prevalent causes of these canine lipomas that pet owners should know.

Lipoma In Dogs: What Causes It?

In many cases, the precise cause of an adipose tumor is unknown. Some factors are thought to play a role in the development of benign fatty tissue tumors.

  • Hormones
  • The effects of exposure to the sun on the skin
  • Environmental chemical exposure
  • It could be the start of a cancerous tumor.
  • Viruses \ Genetics
  • unhealthy eating habits

The following breeds have shown signs of predisposition: Dachshunds, Cocker Spaniels, Weimaraners, Miniature Schnauzers, Labrador Retrievers, Doberman Pinschers, and mixed breeds are some of the most popular breeds.

Read more about tumor type, symptoms

Symptoms Of Lipoma

You, the pet owner, will discover the normal adipose tissue tumor when petting your dog or at a routine veterinary check-up. However, because this form of tumor can grow to be rather enormous, you may see it before you realize it has been growing.

  • These tumors are typically soft and smooth, with a rubbery texture.
  • When touched dog’s body, normally moves freely beneath the skin.
  • It’s not uncommon for local healthy tissue to merge with cancerous tissue.
  • This benign tumor is usually round or oval, and it is well-defined.
  • Swelling may occur if the tumor spreads into the muscle.
  • They are commonly found on the neck, chest, trunk, and legs, but they can also be found on other parts of the body, such as the tongue.
  • This sort of tumor can appear behind the eye, in the abdomen, or around the head on rare occasions (causing serious secondary effects)


There are two classifications for fatty tissue tumors. Both types are unlikely to develop into cancerous masses, but they can be done with surgical removal to ensure your beloved canine family member’s health and safety. Consult your veterinarian to see if your lipoma in dogs needs to be removed.


These lipomas are simple to remove, and recurrence is rare.


This tumor has spread into neighboring muscles and tissue, and recurrence is common.


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Image by Alice Castro on pexels

The majority of lipoma in dogs is discovered during routine veterinarian appointments. A comprehensive physical exam will be performed by your veterinarian or animal hospital, and a routine checkup will include a look for visible lumps. If you see growth in your dog, make an appointment with your veterinarian to see if it is hazardous.

The information you can supply ahead of time will be extremely helpful to the veterinary team. As the examination begins, your veterinarian and her technicians may ask questions.

  • To your knowledge, how long has the tumor been growing?
  • When you touch the bulk, does your pet appear to be in pain?
  • What does he eat regularly?
  • Has he had a typical appetite recently?
  • Is he having any difficulties eating?
  • What have his recent urination and defecation patterns been like?
  • Has his demeanor changed in any way?

Your veterinarian may recommend additional tests after palpating your pet’s chest, limbs, and belly for malignancies other than those you’ve been able to show her.

  • Oily material and fat cells will be removed with a needle aspirate and inspected under a microscope (cytology7) to detect and confirm the fatty tissue tumor.
  • To study tissue (histopathology) and rule out a malignant, cancerous tumor, a punch biopsy or complete excision biopsy may be required.
  • If the suspected tumor is thought to be in a location not easily reachable during surgery, a radiograph, ultrasound, or computed tomography (CT) scan may be required in addition to identifying the tumor from normal fatty tissue.
  • If the tumor is in the belly, for example, exploratory surgery may be considered.

If surgery is needed to remove the lipoma, a thorough blood count, chemical profile, and urine test will be performed to assess your pet’s overall health and ensure that surgery is feasible.

Treatment For Lipoma In Dogs

Dog Fatty Tumors: How to Tell and Treat Lipomas At Home

There will be a few variables in the therapy protocol. The process to be followed is determined by your dog’s age, current condition of health, type of tumor, location, and size.

For example, if your dog is getting on in years and the tumor does not appear to be causing him any discomfort and is indeed benign, you and your veterinarian may decide to leave well enough alone.

When it comes to our overweight dogs’ family members who may need surgery, they may need to shed some weight beforehand so the veterinary surgeon can tell the difference between a tumor and regular body fat.

Your much-loved dog will be closely followed during the operation. He’ll be given intravenous fluids and painkillers. The monitoring of his blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate, rhythm, and oxygen levels will be critical while he is under anesthesia.

The majority of lipomas do not return after surgery.

Recovery Of Dogs

lipoma in dogs
Image by Bruno Cervera on pexels

If the tumor is simple (non-infiltrative), you may be able to leave the hospital the same day. Overnight observation may be required for a more intrusive procedure.

Your pet will require your constant attention after you return home. You will administer pain medications and anti-inflammatories under the supervision of veterinary experts. Make certain that your dog doesn’t lick the wound.

If your veterinarian thinks it’s necessary, she’ll recommend an Elizabethan collar. If you have any worries about the healing process, keep an eye on the incision for discomfort or infection, and call the clinic. After the procedure, it won’t be able to exercise for 3 to 6 weeks.

It’s worth noting that infiltrative tumors have been seen to reappear in up to 30% of instances after a year. Continued weight control is critical, and it may help to slow the potential for regrowth.

Prevention of Lipoma In Dogs:

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Image by blue bird on pexels

It is necessary to see your pet’s health you can also see some pet health tips. It is not difficult to keep your dog in good health. Lipomas8, which are simple fatty tumors beneath your dog’s skin, can be avoided with regular visits to your veterinarian, a high-quality, balanced diet, and consistent activity throughout your dog’s life.

Understanding the dangers of giving your dog low-quality foods and enabling them to absorb simple things that can still be poisonous to their systems is crucial to preventing fatty tumor formation.

Dog owners have a lot to be concerned about when it comes to their pet’s health. Most Lipomas, for example, are fully preventable via healthy lifestyle choices, so you and your dog may never have to deal with them.

Lipomas have no recognized method of prevention. However, because they are more common in overweight dogs, maintaining a healthy weight should help to decrease the size and/or the number of lipomas.


This was all about lipomas in dogs. However, we have a piece of good news too.  While lipomas are a common type of canine tumor, they are usually benign since they are non-cancerous.

When the endocrine and immunological systems aren’t working properly, the body does everything it can to encapsulate any unwanted material and expel it through the skin, which is the largest excretory organ.

Lipomas and other fatty tumors are common side effects of this procedure.


Q. Do dog lipomas go away?
  • Some lipomas will shrink with weight loss but not disappear altogether. Overall, the outlook after the diagnosis of a lipoma is generally great, and no cause for alarm.
Q. Are lipomas painful for dogs?
  • For example, if a lipoma grows big enough — say, to the size of an orange, and it’s on a dog’s leg — it can hinder the dog’s ability to walk. Lipomas in dogs are not painful, however. It’s also worth noting that a dog does not have to be fat or overweight to develop a fatty tumor.
Q. What foods cause lipomas in dogs?
  • A poor diet is likely the reason why your dog keeps getting lipomas. Excessive carbohydrates, preservatives, and toxins in processed dog food contribute to the growth of dog lipomas.

Reviewed by: Omejua Chimdike (B.MLS), Biomedical Scientist (UNN)

About Omejua Chimdike .G.

A talented, knowledgeable, and certified medical laboratory scientist with experience in carrying out standard laboratory practices (tests) on patients of various cultural backgrounds with the aim of researching and developing diagnostic approaches that will aid in the diagnosis of diseases and increase patient outcomes to treatment. Currently, working as a research scientist at Everight Diagnostic Laboratory Services limited (Centre for Research and Molecular Studies), Nigeria.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chimdike-omejua-520859199

WordPress : https://omejuachimdikeacademia.wordpress.com/

Gmail: chimdike.omejua.188155@unn.edu.ng

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  6. Dougherty, Thomas J., et al. “Photoradiation therapy for the treatment of malignant tumors.” Cancer research 38.8 (1978): 2628-2635. ↩︎
  7. Al-Abbadi, Mousa A. “Basics of cytology.” Avicenna journal of medicine 1.01 (2011): 18-28. ↩︎
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