Lipomas in Dogs

Lili Duda, VMD
Last Modified: November 1, 2001

Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts,"
Our German Short-haired Pointer, Sherbet, has a lipoma affecting her left shoulder. It is invasive and has been operated on twice now. I was looking for a bit more information on her condition. I want to know if continued operations are the only way to help her, or if there are other procedures.

Lili Duda, VMD, Editor of the OncoLink Veterinary Oncology Section, responds:

Infiltrative lipomas are benign tumors, but can be difficult to completely remove. Multiple "small" surgeries are unlikely to provide long term control, because repeated surgeries at the same location tend to become increasingly difficult.

If you have not done so already, consultation with a specialist in veterinary surgery might be useful. A "larger" surgery might work where "smaller" surgeries have failed. Radiation therapy has been utilized successfully in a limited number of cases. A repeat biopsy might be indicated to confirm that this tumor is actually a benign infiltrative lipoma and not a cancerous tumor such as a liposarcoma.