March 5, 2010

What are Fat Deposits in Dogs?

Filed under: benign tumors in dogs,fat deposits,lipomas,lump — Dr. Amber Reed @ 8:16 am

Fat deposits in dogs, also known in lipomas, are among the most common benign tumors in dogs. Older dogs and overweight dogs are most susceptible to lipomas and many dog owners will tell you that at one time or another they have discovered one of these dog fat deposits. Usually, veterinarians will tell you that you needn’t worry about lipomas because they are not hazardous for your dog’s health.

Still, any time you examine your dog and find a lump, you should visit the veterinarian to ensure that everything is on the up and up. If a growth has suddenly appeared, your veterinarian will take your dog’s history and do a careful examination of the lump. When a lipoma is suspected, the size and location is recorded and your vet will ask you to watch it closely for a few weeks. Dog owners need to be concerned about these fat deposits only when they start to grow rapidly or if they become very large and cause problems with mobility or other bodily functions.

In some cases, your veterinarian will need to do a fine needle aspiration or biopsy to confirm a lipoma. Even though lipomas are technically tumors, they are not life threatening. Treating these fat deposits in dogs may involve removal, but usually only for cosmetic reasons. Moreover, many veterinarians will advise against removal because it is a surgery with anesthetic and other complications could be an issue. In fact, fat deposits in dogs are so common that it isn’t feasible for veterinarians to remove them in all dogs.

Nevertheless, never immediately dismiss a lump on your dog as a harmless fat deposit. Always have lumps inspected by a veterinarian in case it is a malignant tumor rather than a lipoma. When it comes to our pets’ health, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

About Dr. Amber Reed

has written 281 posts in this blog.


  1. What causes fatty deposits in a dog’s (golden retriever) abdomen?


    Comment by Chris Friel — January 7, 2011 @ 6:57 am

  2. Dear Chris,

    Fat deposits are caused from aging. It is very common for dogs to have fat deposits. Bring your dog in to see a vet if you noticed any new lumps so they can examine it to see if it is cancerous.

    Comment by Janine — March 8, 2011 @ 11:37 am

  3. What if a fat deposit is pierced while furminating and the substance oozes out. Is it harmful for the dog? And will the fatty deposit come back?

    Also what if my Golden Retriever has many of these deposits?

    Comment by Julie — June 26, 2012 @ 4:11 am

  4. I’d be more concerned that you are applying too much pressure with the furminator if it causes a puncture. Go easy with those things. They dig deep into the fur and are painful to the skin if used too harshly.

    Comment by Dino — July 14, 2012 @ 6:28 am

  5. my dog has a few fatty deposits-for years. Today I noticed a new one on her leg..she is 14 yrs old (chihuahua/daschaund) and she keeps licking at it. I never noticed her licking them before-should I be worried? It does not hurt her and she does not limp.

    Comment by Wendy — November 30, 2012 @ 1:31 pm

  6. Aw, this was an incredibly nice post. Thanks for taking the time
    and actual effort to generate a really good article!

    Comment by Corina — April 23, 2013 @ 1:00 pm

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