Fatty Tumors In Dogs

What are Fatty Tumors In Dogs?

Fatty Tumors In Dogs are a type of skin tumor, resultant of gradual fatty cells compilation and formation of lumps. Fatty tumors are a different form of fatty layers of the skin. Fatty tumors are developed beneath the skin layer. Alternatively, Fatty tumors are also known as lipoma1,2.

Fatty tumors in Dogs Pictures


Risk factors

The development of Fatty tumors is a very common health issue in dogs. Mostly two key factors increase the risk of development of Fatty tumors:

  • Older age
  • Overweight
  • Hypothyroidism1,3

Clinical Presentation

The classic clinical presentation of fatty tumors include:

  • The tumors are palpable inflammatory condition
  • Fatty tumors are benign in nature
  • The progression of the tumor is gradual
  • Usually, Fatty tumors are smaller in size, but they can create serious health issues

The location of the Fatty tumors usually separated from normal surrounding tissues, because they sit in the fibrous case or tiny pocket-like structures.

Fatty tumors can rarely turn to infiltrative fatty tumors. Infiltrative fatty tumors develop at the multiple sites in the dog body and have the ability to penetrate into the surrounding muscular tissue. But benign nature of these tumors limits their metastatic expansion to distant parts of the body.

Fatty tumors are usually painless, but infiltrative fatty tumors can be painful. Because infiltrative fatty tumors hamper the normal muscle contraction process.

The nature of the tumor is soft, but infiltrative fatty tumors are produced firm bumps under skin1,4,5.


Dog have the prevalence to develop Fatty tumors. Almost one-third of the dog has fatty tumors growth under their skin. Most common dog breeds, who are prone to develop Fatty skin tumors are Labrador Retrievers, Doberman Pinschers, and Shetland Sheepdogs.

However, other breeds can also develop Fatty tumors. It is estimated that almost 1.7 millions of dog in the United States detected with Fatty tumors every year. Cats and horses rarely have Fatty tumors1,3.


Fatty tumors growth is the resultant of the accumulation of the toxic substances in the body tissues. Skin is one of the largest excretory organs.

The dysfunction of the endocrine system and immune system impairment interfere the toxic substance excretion from the body and that accumulates in the skin.

It is expected that the following are the contributory factors for the development of the Fatty Tumors.

Poor Diet

carbohydrate-rich diet, a chemical preservative added to dog foods and toxic substances present in processed foods are responsible for an overload of toxins in the physiological system of the dog body.

It is also noticed that chlorinated water damage the thyroid gland and cause imbalance thyroid gland secretion.

Drugs and synthetic products

Heartworms, ticks, fleas, and other worms grow in a dog’s body. Several drugs require to administer or synthetic products need to apply for avoiding these worms growth. These drugs are not only harmful to these parasites but also increase the toxic accumulation in the dog’s body.

Environmental factors

Pesticides and pest control application in the environment can also cause environmental toxicity. The exposure to the toxic environment also increases the overload of the toxin in the physiology of the human body3.


The detail clinical presentation is an important factor for diagnosing the Fatty tumors. Veterinary doctors are very careful about the location of the Fatty tumors. It is essential to regular follow-up of the affected dog.

The nature of the Fatty tumors needs to check through biopsy or fine needle aspiration method. This test is performed to check the metastasize nature of the tumor3,4,5.


The following are some treatment options available for Fatty tumors:

Surgical Intervention

It has been very obvious that surgical removal of the fatty tumors. But most of the veterinary doctors do not prefer this option due to the risk associated with anesthesia and other postoperative complications.

In the case of the increasing number of tumors also not prefer to opt the surgery, as multiple incision requires to made in the body.

Veterinary surgeons only choose to perform surgery if the location of the tumor hampers physical activity like walking or it increases the risk of other health problems like the frequent onset of infection. In the case of infiltrative fatty tumors, surgery may require checking the interference of muscle contraction.

Natural Treatment Approaches

There are different natural treatment options for Fatty tumors like homeopathy, aromatherapy, gemmotherapy, bovine colostrum, glandular therapy and supplementation of fatty acid etc.

Instead of using synthetic and chemical containing drugs, various veterinary clinicians prefer to use natural treatment options to avoid toxic accumulation3,4,5.


Fatty tumors are non-malignant in nature, means it cannot invade other surrounding tissue and unable to spread to distant organs. But Fatty tumors can cause a serious health problem, as increased size tumor can cause adjoin internal organ compression.

Depending upon the place where the tumor develops in the body is also interfere with physical activity. The tumor formation in between front leg and axilla can cause walking and movement difficulty of the affected dog, even during the walking the friction on the tumor skin can cause infection1,2,3.


  1. What Causes Fatty Skin Tumors in Dogs? http://www.1800petmeds.com/education/fatty-tumors-lipomas-dogs-48.htm
  2. Lipomas in Dogs: Benign Fatty Growths. http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+2111&aid=455
  3. Dr. Stephen Blake. Lipomas And Other Canine Lumps And Bumps. http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/lipoma-dog-lumps/
  4. Why I Don’t Remove Lipomas – Unless They Do This. http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2014/10/01/dog-lipoma.aspx
  5. Fatty Skin Tumors in Dogs. http://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/skin/c_multi_lipoma

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