Understanding Lipoma

By Kaytie Grant

A lipoma is a fatty lump commonly found under a dog’s skin. Although they are a type of tumour, they are benign (non-cancerous). They often appear on the body or upper limbs and develop from fat cells.

Lipoma Diagnosis

Lipomas are fairly common, particularly in older dogs or dogs who are overweight. If you notice a lump appear on your dog, you should seek veterinary advice to confirm it is non malignant. An experienced vet should be able to diagnose a lipoma just from feeling it but in some cases they may need to collect some cells from the lump to confirm it’s nothing more serious. 

Treating Lipoma

Generally, lipomas do not cause pain. However, they can grow in size and so need to be monitored. Sometimes, they can get in the way of movement or become uncomfortable for the dog. In these instances, surgical removal may be required. Surgery is fairly straightforward, performed under a general anaesthetic. Depending on the size and location of the mass, surgery usually takes between 15 minutes to one hour. 

lipoma surgery


Once the lipoma is removed and the wound from the incision has been stitched, the dog will be able to go home. Full recovery normally takes between 10-14 days. The dog should not be allowed to lick or rub the wound as it might tear the stitches or cause an infection. Movement should be restricted to lead walking during this time until the lipoma site has healed completely. 

Seen at the Treatment Centre

Head vet Doc Roland recently removed a lipoma from a dog at our Treatment Centre. The dog came with it’s owner to one of our free consultation clinics for a check up. Because of the location of the tumour (on the right hand side of the dog’s abdomen) and it’s considerable size, it was best to remove it.
You can see it below:

before lipoma surgery

Doc scheduled the surgery and with our team of vet assistants and volunteers successfully removed the lump. The dog was able to return home with his owner the same day.

after lipoma surgery

We are very fortunate to have Doc Roland and the extended vet, volunteer and student team, as well as the facilities at the Treatment Centre, which enables us to treat these cases. Had this surgery been performed at a private veterinary practice in the Philippines, the cost would likely have been around PHP20,000 or just shy of £300. 

Please help us treat more cases like this by making a donation towards our Treatment Centre. 


Thank you.  


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