Lipomas are greasy cell tumors which are very common in dogs. They generally show up in mature dogs but we view them in puppies as young as 5 or 6 months on occasion. One of many young dogs we saw did have the malignant form of this tumor that is unusual. For the most part they are benign tumors that do not cause problems. We usually aspirate (draw up some of the lump through a needle) and examine the cells from these tumors to verify that they are just lipomas. We remove them as long as they are causing troubles with movement or the owners feel the need to remove them for cosmetic reasons.
# Your veterinarian may recommend the following diagnostic tests:
# Fine needle aspirate. This easy analysis test involves placing needle attached to a syringe into the mass and withdrawing a sample of cells. The contents of the needle and syringe are expelled onto a glass slide for analysis.
# Cytology. The slides are evaluated microscopically for evidence of adipose (fat) cells.
# Biopsy. If there is no conclusive evidence on aspiration, a biopsy (tissue sample) might be taken. If the mass is small, an excisional biopsy, which is a biopsy where the entire mass is removed, might be done. Biopsies usually require sedation with local anesthesia or general anesthesia.