My Dog has a Lump Under the Skin – Is it a Lipoma?

Dog LipomaBe careful not to assume that a lump under the skin is automatically a lipoma. This is especially relevant with pet owners as there is a myth that lumps on dogs and cats are lipomas and are ok. This is not the case at all! A lump under the skin can be any number of things, one of them being a cancer tumor just waiting to spread through the body if not removed or treated. SO be vigilant when it comes to your pet, ask the right questions and make sure that you always get a reliable diagnosis for any lump under your pets skin.

A dog or cat can live their whole lives with a lipoma lump that does not grow or cause any health concerns. That is the good news if you pet is diagnosed with a lipoma. As long as the lipoma is not interfering with vital bodily functions like movement, organs, nerves, blood vessels …etc the lipoma is probably fine where it is and there is no need to put your pet through torturous surgical procedure that can be very stressful to your pet.  Be very careful on inexperienced dog groomers that do not understand the possible implications of a lump under the skin of your dog. They may tell you not to worry: “It’s a Lipoma!”. This is wishful thinking or unprofessional advice and maybe completely wrong. A lipoma cannot be conclusively diagnosed by sight and touch. A biopsy or scan is required to truly know what the mysterious lump is. There are many types of malignant tumors that can look harmless at first, but develop to be serious health concerns for your pet. Be vigilant and ask the right questions!

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Lipoma in Dogs – What you should know

Lipoma in DogsLipomas are the most common types of noncancerous tumors found in dogs regardless of breed, gender or age. All dogs can develop a lipoma or even multiple lipomas during their lifetime. Fortunately, a lipoma is usually not a health concern and is simply a lump of fatty tissue surrounded by a fibrous capsule. Lipomas can typically be found under the skin and are soft and squishy to the touch and can be moved around under the skin with your finger. They can appear anywhere on the dog’s body but are most common on the neck, upper legs, underarms and torso.

Although vets will tell you that any dog regardless of if they are young or old, or have other medical conditions can develop a lipoma, it has been strongly suggested that dogs with problems in their metabolism are more prone to developing a lipoma. In holistic or chinese medicine, it is believed that a lipoma is a manifestation of something not right in the body, such as poor organ function (liver, kidney or intestines) or manifestation of “stagnant Qi,” or “phlegm”.

A lipoma is usually not a serious health concern to your dog, but it’s certainly something you need to keep an eye on and take action if you feel that it is having a negative impact on your dog or pet.

Many vets will recommend removing any lump that is found on your pet. But before you chose the surgical path, you need to consider why this is necessary and any alternative options that you have available. Surgery can be very stressful to you dog and it’s not completely necessary in most lipoma related cases. Holistic veterinarians actually prefer to leave benign lipomas alone and simply keep an eye on them since they are not a health concern until they start to interfere with critical bodily functions. If your dogs lipoma begins to grow and is in an area where it is hindering movement, than it may likely be required that you have it removed. For example, a lipoma in your dogs underarm can irritate skin with movement and can cause discomfort and pain for your dog.

Dog lipoma lumpsRemember that a lipoma does not necessarily grow to a larger size. it can also very well stay the same size or even regress to a smaller size and in some cases disappear completely. So its important to take a measure and record its size and shape and just keep a regular watch on its progress every few weeks or months. Take a photo and write your thoughts and measurements on the back of the photo and keep that in your dogs health diary.

Hope this article helps you make wise and healthy decisions for your dogs health. Lets us know if you have any questions below!