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.

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Disclaimer: CritterCures is an educational resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure diseases, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet are taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.