This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.


Farlekiin the- Dragonborn
Barked: Thu Nov 29, '12 10:53am PST 
Farley has what seems to be a small lipoma on his left leg around his knee area. I'm not sure how long it's been there (it's small, so it's hard to feel unless you really try, and you can't see it through his fur).

It's about 1/3 of an inch around, round, soft, and a bit mobile. Doesn't appear to cause him any pain or discomfort when I put pressure on it.

I made an appointment for him to get it looked at tomorrow morning, and I guess they'll probably aspirate it just to make sure it's a lipoma, but it definitely sounds like one.

Has anyone else dealt with a lipoma on a dog? I know they're common on older dogs and Farley is 6 and this would be his first one. Are they usually something that have to be surgically removed?

Member Since
Barked: Thu Nov 29, '12 11:02am PST 
Farley, no, lipomas usually are not surgically removed, unless by their bulk or location they get in the way of mobility. our late doberman had a lot of them and the best thing to do is to get them aspirated during annuals and to keep track of the size. Generally they're nothing of concern.

Edited by author Thu Nov 29, '12 11:18am PST


Farlekiin the- Dragonborn
Barked: Thu Nov 29, '12 11:13am PST 
Thanks! So I guess tomorrow's appointment will likely consist of an aspiration and definitely a slap on the wrist for feeding raw laugh out loud


I'm working on- three toys!
Barked: Thu Nov 29, '12 6:09pm PST 
Well, don't know about the slap on the wrist, but yes, I agree that you should definitely ask for an aspiration just to make sure it's a lipoma. The vet I used to use didn't push those (he just said "those things are usually nothing")but after having a dog with a cancerous tumor, I now take NO chances. So while the thing is probably just a lipoma, I would make sure you get it aspirated just in case. In other words, don't let the vet talk you out of it! For Joey, it was easy, cost $30 and was well worth it for the peace of mind it brought.

I'm king of the- world!
Barked: Sat Dec 1, '12 12:51pm PST 
Duke has loads of lipomas! His biggest is almost the size of a tennis ball right in the middle of his chest. It doesn't bother him or inhibit motion, so I leave it be. I would never put him through surgery for something that is essentially cosmetic. If it became irritated or hindered movement, then I would consider surgery.

Every year Duke's lipomas (about 10-15 of them) are aspirated and measured for growth. They all grow each year. He has a "body map" at the vet on which she records the size and location of each lipoma. They are benign and nothing to worry about; very common in older dogs, especially in the chest and upper body.

I have a theory that Duke's raw diet (being higher in fat than kibble) might aid their growth. That's just my layperson's opinion...no vet has confirmed that.

Farlekiin the- Dragonborn
Barked: Mon Dec 3, '12 11:14am PST 
Just thought I'd post an update in here that it is indeed a lipoma. The vet basically said just to keep an eye on its growth but it should be nothing to worry about.

Thanks for the info, Duke. It's weird, when I was doing some reading online, I read that some possible causes of lipomas are actually high-carbohydrate diets, as well as being obese/overweight. I read a thyroid issue can also contribute in some dogs, and in some dogs it happens for no reason at all.

Seems like there is no one single known cause, and even my vet didn't bother saying what may have caused Farley's. He didn't mention diet or anything like that, just said a lot of older dogs get them.

Barked: Tue Dec 4, '12 2:28pm PST 
Trigger has a couple right now, his biggest is about the size of half a grapefruit and is in front of his left hip up by his spine. His first appeared in Jan/Feb of this year, just as he was about to turn 7. It TOTALLY freaked me out because it quite literally appeared overnight and grew very rapidly over the course of just a couple of weeks.

Needle aspiration confirmed it was just a lipoma so we could breathe again. Eventually the growth slowed and then stopped. He's got another one on the other side in the same spot but it's not as big.

I believe they are largely (if not entirely) genetic.

Trigger too now has a body map that outlines where his are and the shape and measurements so that when we go in to the vet we can always compare if something has changed.

My vet said there is no need to have them removed unless they start inhibiting mobility.

Edited by author Tue Dec 4, '12 2:32pm PST


Is it time to- eat?
Barked: Tue Dec 4, '12 9:56pm PST 
Skin tumors are very common in dogs. You can never tell if it is benign or malignant by appearance alone. They must be biopsied. Small tumors can be removed entirely and biopsied that way. Large tumors can be biopsied with a fine needle aspiration. The vet just sticks a needle into the tumor and pulls back on the syringe, obtaining a small sample. Skin punch biopsies can also be done for tumors that fail to provide a sample during a needle biopsy. Open biospsies (surgerical procedure) is done when the tumor is suspected to be a sarcoma. Skin papillomas occur as small warty bumps. They are caused by the canine papilloma virus. There is no need to remove these. Rarely, they can become injured. Hematomas are blood clots under the skin. These are never cancerous. Large ones should be drained.