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As our beloved pets grow older they will often develop lumps and bumps of all shapes and sizes. These are not always of concern and are often just benign fatty tumours called Lipomas. Regardless, it is always a good idea to get the lump checked by your veterinarian who can give you a clear idea of what exactly you are dealing with.
If diagnosed as non cancerous, many owners choose not to pursue any further treatment. This is a great option for the lumps that remain small. Many lumps however, slowly grow in size until they are a substantial weight and burden on the animal, causing great discomfort.
The common misconception with older dogs is that the lumps have to be left alone due to their age. This is not necessarily the case and we have numerous examples of older dogs getting a whole new lease on life with very large lumps removed from their bodies.
Teddy the 13 year old Border Collie is one such example. Teddy developed a lipoma back in 2011 on his abdomen. This slowly grew in size to the stage where in late 2016 it was huge and affecting his quality of life. After consultation with their veterinarian about the risks and benefits involved, Teddy’s owners decided to go ahead with removal of the lump. The veterinarians were astounded that once the lump was removed it weighed a whopping 4.3kg!!! As you can imagine Teddy has a new lease on life and is one much happier canine!
Boss the 12 year old Labrador is another interesting case not dissimilar to Teddy. Boss’s lipoma became an issue because of its size and its location. Situated in the middle of his back, the lump grew to a point where it flopped from left to right, causing him to lose his balance and affecting his ability to enjoy life!
Boss’s owner decided it was time to go ahead with surgery and again we removed a rather substantial sized lump. Boss has since found the puppy within and is enjoying his later years feeling much happier and lighter!
Both cases are a nice reminder that’s it’s never too late! There are slightly increased risks to surgery in older dogs but the benefits of their new lump-free life often outweigh these. If you notice a new lump on your pet that you are concerned about we recommend you seek veterinary advice.