Lipoma is a soft and pliable concentration of fat below the dog's skin which can occur in varied sizes. These are not painful and very rarely end up causing any real harm to the dog's health. Lipoma are commonly found in older and overweight dogs, though younger dogs can also have them. They are present just below the skin's surface, and feel soft and rounded when touched. They are painless and can occur anywhere on the body. The condition is referred to as lipomatosis.
If you notice a similar lump formed in your dog's body all of a sudden, it is best to take him to a vet. Once your vet examines this lump carefully, its size and location is checked. The same is documented and regularly checked in the following days. If its size increases rapidly or creates a problem with mobility, the vet will perform a biopsy. A small sample of the cells will be examined by a pathologist. This will help confirm the diagnosis of lipoma. The vet will usually recommend you to wait and observe it for some days. If it is not growing too large or isn't hampering the dog's movements, it is best to leave it as is.
Lipoma Removal in Dogs
Lipoma removal in dogs is not recommended if it is not causing any problem in the dog's movement and if it is small in size. Remember, the removal is never done for cosmetic reasons. Usually, it is suggested if it becomes a painful tumor in areas like the armpit, which restricts your dog's movements. So, before its size increases, a smaller surgery is suggested. There are risks associated with administering anesthesia to dogs, which is the reason veterinarians usually discourage this procedure. Remember that the lipomas are a common growth that are not usually harmful.
During the surgery, a skin incision is made using a laser beam. This helps in limiting blood loss and lowers the chances of a swelling in the post-operation phase. Once the procedure is complete, the space where the tumor existed is closed to ensure that no fluid accumulates. Also, a drain is placed in the deepest part of the space which was occupied by the tumor. This drain is later removed after 4-5 days and the stitches are removed after two weeks of surgery.
If the vet suggests that there is no need of a surgery, then you must ask him for the precautions to be followed. He might suggest you to keep track of sizes of the lumps and see if any new lumps are developing. You can take the dog for regular check-ups as recommended. A complete change in the dog's diet will be generally recommended by the vet in order to control the growth of lipoma. Low fat dog food is highly recommended. Also, you can increase the dog's physical activities to burn the excess fat stored in his body.
On very rare occasions, a lipoma may become malignant. If you see any such swelling or lump under your dog's skin, it is best to take him to the vet. He will prescribe the right course of treatment for the same, and decide whether lipoma removal is really essential.