Lipomas are benign tumors or masses that develop beneath the skin in both dogs and cats. Over time, they can grow quite large and can even impede your pet's normal movement if they develop between the legs or on the chest. These growths often occur along with other forms of tumors; however, it does not mean that the lipoma is malignant.
How it Affects your pet
In most cases, lipomas are not painful and do not pose any threat to pets. However, if the growth becomes excessively large, you do have the option of having it removed. Additionally, if this disease develops between your dog or cat's legs or in the middle of its chest and impedes normal movement, it should be removed.
It is essential to note that pet owners often mistake lipomas for malignant tumor growths. However, unlike malignant tumors, which are usually hard and solid, lipomas are soft and jelly-like. This is because they are comprised of fat cells. Listed below are some of the symptoms that pets may display if it has a lipoma. Symptoms of a Lipoma in Dogs and Cats: Soft and/or Jelly-Like Lumps Just Beneath the Skin's Surface; Soft Lumps of Varying Sizes That Can Occur Anywhere on the Body; Cluster of Soft and/or Hard Lumps on the Body; Small Swellings on the Skin and Oval-Shaped, Soft and/or Jelly-Like Lumps.
As stated previously, lipomas do not typically pose any health threats to your pet. As such, most of them do not need to be removed. However, your veterinarian will want to evaluate the growth to ensure that it is, indeed, a lipoma and not an aggressive type of tumor. Furthermore, if the lipoma is restricting your dog or cat's movement, surgical removal will be recommended. Additionally, if the growth seems to be growing out of control, you may wish to have it removed as well. Surgical removal is typically quite simple unless the growth has been determined to be an infiltrative lipoma. Infiltrative lipomas are also benign but they are growths that develop within your pet's muscle tissues, rather than simply beneath the skin. As such, they require a bit more complex surgical procedure to remove them. In many of these cases, radiation therapy is often advised, with or without surgical excision in your pet.
Any breed of dog or cat can develop lipomas; however, they occur most often in older pets. In fact, it is quite common for seniors to develop them as they age. While they are very common in canines, they occur less often in felines. Furthermore, they seem to develop in females more often than in males.
- In most cases, lipomas are not painful and do not pose any threat to pets. However, if the growth becomes excessively large, you do have the option of having it removed. Additionally, if this disease develops between your dog or cat's legs or in the middle of its chest and impedes normal movement, it should be removed.