Noticing a strange lump or bump on your dog can be alarming, but not all lumps are cancerous. Lipomas are benign fatty tumors commonly found in middle-aged and older dogs. Today, we will be discussing information about lipomas in dogs.

What are fatty tumors (Lipomas) in dogs?

Fatty tumors, medically known as lipomas, are common benign masses composed of fat cells. These tumors are often found in dogs, particularly as they age. While the presence of a lump on your pet can be alarming, it's important to understand that not all lumps are harmful.

When should I worry about fatty tumors in Dogs?

Though lipomas are usually harmless, there are instances when you should consult your veterinarian:

  • Rapid growth: If a fatty tumor on a dog starts getting bigger quickly, it may need to be evaluated to rule out malignancy.
  • Discomfort or pain: If the tumor causes discomfort or restricts movement, it could necessitate removal.
  • Changes in appearance: Any sudden changes in the color or texture of the tumor could indicate an underlying issue.
  • Multiple lumps: While one or two lipomas are often benign, multiple lumps warrant a vet's assessment to ensure they are not a symptom of a more serious condition.

Are there different kinds of lipomas?

There are three types of lipomas seen in dogs:

Simple Lipomas

Lipomas are benign growths that develop in the fatty tissue layer under a dog's skin. They tend to grow slowly and are movable. They typically do not cause discomfort or pain to the dog. These growths are commonly found on a dog's tummy, chest, or abdomen.

Infiltrative Lipomas

Types of lipomas can vary in texture - they can be either firm and immobile or soft and moveable. They are considered "locally aggressive," meaning they have the potential to spread to surrounding tissues. Sometimes, these lipomas can grow between muscle layers, leading to discomfort.


Myelolipomas are benign tumors composed of fat cells and hematopoietic cells. They usually develop on a dog's adrenal glands, liver, or spleen.

What does a fatty tumor on a dog feel like?

A fatty tumor on a dog typically feels soft and can be moved slightly under the skin. When touched, these lumps are usually not painful and tend to have a smooth, round shape. They can vary in size, from as small as a pea to several inches in diameter. Additionally, you can always go to your favorite search engine and type "fatty tumor on dogs pictures" to view images of different forms of fatty tumors in dogs.

What causes lipomas in dogs?

Lipomas can develop due to various factors such as diet, genetics, environmental chemicals, and drug interactions. While it may be challenging for your vet to pinpoint the exact cause of your dog's lipoma, maintaining a healthy weight may reduce the risk of developing lipomas.

Can fatty tumors in dogs get cancerous?

Lipomas themselves are benign and non-cancerous. However, in rare cases, a similar type of tumor called a liposarcoma can develop, which is malignant. Liposarcomas are less common and require different treatment compared to benign lipomas. Regular veterinary check-ups can help monitor these lumps and distinguish between benign and malignant growths.

Will my dog's lipoma continue to grow?

While these fatty tumors are not malignant and will not spread to other parts of your dog's body, depending on their location, they may continue to grow and start causing discomfort. Each dog is unique, and lipomas can grow at varying rates. While many grow very slowly and may never become a real concern, others will grow rapidly and may become problematic.

Can fatty tumor on dog rapture? 

While rare, if a fatty tumor on a dog ruptures, it can lead to infection and should be treated by a veterinarian immediately.

How do you get rid of fatty tumors in dogs?

Dog fatty tumor removal is not always necessary unless the tumor is causing problems. If removal is recommended, the common methods include:

  • Surgical removal: This is the most effective way to remove a fatty tumor. Dog fatty tumor removal costs can vary based on the size and location of the tumor, as well as the dog's overall health.
  • Liposuction: In some cases, liposuction can be used to reduce the size of the tumor, though it is less commonly performed than surgery.
  • Holistic treatments: Some dog owners opt for natural or holistic treatments, though these should be discussed with a vet to ensure they are safe and effective.

How much does it cost to have a fatty tumor removed from a dog?

The cost of removing a fatty tumor (lipoma) in dogs can vary significantly due to several factors, such as the size and location of the tumor, veterinary clinic fees, pre-surgery diagnostics, anesthesia, and post-surgery care, such as medication. For a more accurate estimate, it is best to contact our oncologist veterinarians directly.

Fatty Tumors in dogs

While discovering a fatty tumor on your dog can be worrisome, understanding these growths can help you make informed decisions about their care. Regular veterinary check-ups are crucial for monitoring your pet's health and promptly addressing any changes in its condition. If you're concerned about a fatty tumor on your dog, consult your veterinarian to discuss potential treatment options and ensure the well-being of your furry friend.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Have you discovered a concerning lump on your dog? Contact our Oncologist vets at Enterprise to book an appointment.