Lipoma is a benign fatty tumor usually composed of mature fat cells. They are usually soft, well defined, and under the skin. Lipomas are variable in size and shape and may occur anywhere, although they are commonly found on the under surfaces of the chest and abdomen.
All breeds may be affected, but they are most common in older animals, especially older female dogs. Lipomas are very common in dogs, and less common in cats.
Infiltrative lipomas are those that develop in deeper tissue and between muscle layers. These lipomas tend to be firmer and more broad-based than typical lipomas. These tumors also grow slowly, but are more invasive and less well defined. They grow by expanding into the tissue and may cause pain. Infiltrative lipomas are much less common than typical lipomas.
Diagnosis and Treatment Notes:
- Lipoma is generally diagnosed by fine needle aspirate and microscopic examination of the cells. In some cases, biopsy is recommended.
- Treatment depends on the severity of the disease, your individual pet, and your veterinarian. In most cases, lipomas are left alone and monitored. If the lipoma is growing rapidly, causing discomfort, or interfering with mobility, surgical removal may be recommended. Discuss treatment details when your pet is diagnosed with this condition.
What to Watch for*:
- Skin lumps or bumps
- Non painful skin swellings
- Difficulty walking
*Please notify us if you notice any of the above signs or if you have any questions!