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Lipoma on a dog.

Species: Dog
Breed: Black Lab / Mutt
Age: 8-11 years
Hi Dr. Laurie, You gave me such great advice on my cat Bobo, I'm writing about my Parents dog Pepper. Shes a spayed overweight (medium sized in height but about 80 lbs)female dog around 8 years old. She still gets around well, and when she sees a squirrell, shes like a bullett (sp). My question is, she has a soft growth about the size of a solftball, maybe a little bigger, yes I said soltball. She doesnt flinch when you rub it, push on it, play with it in any way. Doesnt seem to bother her at all. When I parents brought her to the vet he said it was just a 'fat deposit" that she was so fat or something, the fat had no where else to go, so it was just clumping in one area. This sounds hokey to me. Is that possible? Shouldnt it be removed? She refuses to go on walks and has the run of a large yard whih she prefers to stay in. Her sister , by the way, is a year or so older...golden lab / chow mix, and is in liver failure and they said theres nothing they can do at this point excxept keep her comfortable, she also has very bad hips and is on tramadol or toradol , never can remember the two, and is about to go in to gave a benign tumor removed from her eye. I hope her old body can endure the operation, although I'm pretty sure they understand she wont be with us much longer, they are determined to make her last days as good as possible. Do you think the anesthesia will affect her liver failure? I'm sure her vets are taking all precautions.
I'm not sure if asking 2 questions for 2 different dogs for one price is fair,I know this takes a lot of your time so if you could at least address the first on I would so appreciate it.
Love what you do here and the service you provide is invalueable.
Sincerely, Tina


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi Tina,

What you are describing on Pepper certainly does sound like a fat deposit. The other name for it is a lipoma. They are really common in dogs. The vast majority of the time they are nothing to worry about. I have seen some that are bothersome if they sit under a muscle layer, such as in the groin. But generally we don't get concerned about them. They happen in normal sized dogs as well as overweight dogs. I only remove them if they are bothersome.

I should mention that I always like to test potential lipomas to make sure there is not a more serious tumor underneath, but it is rare that this is the case.

Ideally it's best to ask a second question if there are two dogs you are asking about, but I'm not sure how much I can tell you about your parents' dog.
There are a number of variables here, but the short answer is that the vet would not go ahead with surgery if they felt there was a concern. They will use medications that are not processed through the liver. It's hard for me to comment more on that situation.

I hope that information helps!

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.