Fatty Tumors in Dogs

Fatty tumors in dogs are quite common. They are benign and a lot of dogs, especially older dogs and overweight dogs, have them.

Fatty Tumors in Dogs Fatty tumors, or lipomas, are one of the most common soft skin benign tumors found in dogs, especially amount older or overweight dogs. For some reason, overweight female dogs are especially prone to developing fatty tumors.

All dog breeds can develop fatty tumors, but certain breeds seem to be at higher risk, such as:

  • Doberman Pinschers
  • Miniature Schnauzers
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Mixed breed dogs

Many holistic vets believe that fatty tumors are the result of a dog body's way to expel toxins or other imbalances.

In Traditional Chinese medicine, lipomas are considered as stagnation of body fluids. This may explain why older dogs are more prone to the development of lipomas since their body systems are slowing down and are not as effective in "moving" toxins, wastes and fluids out of the body.

As a matter of fact, the younger the dog, the more quickly fatty tumors can be resolved. If you have a young dog, at the first sign of a fatty tumor developing, try to improve the dog's health holistically, through natural whole foods, supplements, exercise, etc., and you may be able to resolve the growth.

The longer you wait, or the older the dog, the less responsive the growth is to any treatment.

Fatty tumors can be found anywhere on the body, but they are most frequently located on the belly (mid-chest and down) and upper legs. Most tumors grow slowly and do not usually spread to other parts of the body.


Benign and Malignant Tumors

A benign tumor is one that usually grows slowly and does not spread to other parts of the body. If it can be surgically removed in its entirety, the tumor will not grow back.

A malignant tumor, on the other hand, is usually fast-growing and more aggressive. Even if the tumor is surgically removed, it tends to grow back in the same location, or has the ability to metastasize (spread) to other locations or vital organs.

Characteristics of Fatty Tumors in Dogs

Fatty tumors are soft masses under the skin. They have certain characteristics, such as:

  • They are freely movable under the skin
  • They are not painful
  • There is no hair loss
  • They do not cause redness or irritation to the skin

Monitoring the Growth of a Fatty Tumor

It is important to monitor the growth of a fatty tumor to make sure that there is no sudden change in size. You can document the size of the tumor by using some simple tools such as a piece of wax paper and a marker. Here is what you can do:

  • Put a piece of wax paper over the lump.
  • Using a marker (with a thin tip), trace the outer edges of the lump.
  • Date and file away the wax paper.
  • Repeat every two weeks.

Diagnosis and Treatment

If you suddenly find a lump under the skin of your dog, it is important to ask a vet to examine the lump to see if it is a benign fatty tumor, or something malignant.

Never assume that any growth under the skin is just a fatty tumor. There are malignant tumors such as mast cell tumors whose appearance mimics fatty tumors and only tests such as a fine needle aspirate or biopsy can give an accurate diagnosis.

Once it is confirmed that the growth is indeed a fatty tumor, the vet will document the size and location of the growth and then recommend a watch-and-wait approach. The lump will then be monitored at regular intervals, to make sure there have not been any cellular changes.

Surgery is usually not recommended to remove fatty tumors in dogs. In fact, some vets believe that removing one lump usually results in multiple lumps appearing later in the dog's life.

However, sometimes surgical removal of a fatty tumor is necessary. For example:

  • The tumor is too large or interferes with the dog's normal functioning, e.g. the dog has difficulty walking or eating because of the tumor's location (eg, over a joint, on the jaw).
  • There is sudden change in the tumor's appearance, e.g. the tumor suddenly hardens, or begins to grow nodular and lumpy.
  • The tumor has started to bleed.

Natural Remedies for Dogs with Fatty Tumors

Natural Remedies for Fatty Tumors in Dogs When some cells in the body stop their normal functioning, these cells serve no useful purpose in the body, but they continue to reproduce themselves in a haphazard manner, eventually forming tumors.

The body produces it's own immune system cells, including B- and T- cells ("natural killer cells").

These killer cells seek and destroy those cells that have stopped functioning properly. However, when the immune system is not working 100% well, extra support in the form of supplements is needed.

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An Excellent Product to Boost A Dog's Immune System

Integrative Therapeutics Cellular Forte Max3 for Dogs and Cats

This supplement contains three very powerful ingredients to fortify healthy cells and strengthen the immune system:

  • Maitake: This mushroom has been clinically shown to support health cell growth and maintain a healthy and balanced immune system.
  • Cat's Claw: This herb is well known for its anti-tumor properties. It benefits the natural and acquired immune systems and enhances the protective power of B- and T-cells.
  • IP-6 and Inositol: Inositol is a naturally occurring nutrient. The most common form of inositol is sometimes referred to as myo-inositol, which is the parent form of IP-6. Inositol and IP-6 have been found to possess anti-cancer properties by dramatically increasing natural killer-cell activity and enhancing normal cell division.

Dogs with growths such as fatty tumors can benefit from this supplement. Many dog parents have seen their dogs' tumors shrink within a short period of time after giving this supplement to their dogs.