My Dog may have a Lipoma – Should I be Concerned?

Lipoma in DogsWe received a question from the community and I would like to share the answer with all of you.

Q: My dog has a raised lump under the skin. It feels soft and moves around a little when touched. Should I be concerned? ~Jenny

A: Dear Jenny,

It sounds like your dog may have a lipoma, and while this may sound unsettling; a lipoma is generally harmless in pets especially when under the skin. Lipomas are quite common tumors in pets and especially dogs. They are benign concentrations of fatty cells that do not metastasis through the body. They are basically lumps of concentrated fatty cells.

Most lipomas feel soft to the touch and are movable under the skin, which is what you are describing. Your dog probably experiences no discomfort unless the lipoma is in a area that is very mobile like a joint. Usually if a pet develops one lipoma, they may develop more in their lifetime.

A type of lipoma to be concerned about is called an “infiltrative lipoma” that can grow into the muscle tissue and cause discomfort and may need to be removed surgically. You will need to consult your vet on what type of lipoma your dog has and get a thorough diagnosis.

The more serious type of lipoma is called a “liposarcoma”, which may need rapid removal by a vet. Unlike lipomas and infiltrative lipomas, these are very rare and can spread through the body in the animal’s lungs, bones and other organs. For a liposarcoma, a blood workup and tissue analysis is required to a complete diagnosis as these are not usually visible to the eye or touch. Surgery and/or radiation are used to treat a liposarcomas.

To be on the safe side, talk to your vet and have him/her check your dog and the fatty lump. Remember that in the vast majority of cases, lipomas are harmless and there is probably nothing to worry about. But check with your vet for peace of mind!

~Chris

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Chris Baldwin, PhD
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My name is Chris Baldwin and I am the person running the show behind Lipoma NET. I have an extensive background in scientific research with a PhD in Medicine. I have created Lipoma NET to bring you information about lipoma and related conditions. Subscribe to my newsletter and I will make sure you stay up to date with all the latest news and developments on Lipoma!

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