Fatty Tumors


My Maggie is going to be 9 this summer and just had a fatty tumor removed from under her arm. She seems to have a number of these spread around her body. The vet has indicated that unless they are in a sensitive or awkward spot (should they grow larger) just to leave them be.

Has anyone else's sheepie been plagued by these?


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This is very common! Just keep an eye on them and as long as they don't grow larger (quickly) they are usually harmless. If you feel some that are "different" then just get them checked to be on the safe side - the Vet will decide if removing them is recommended.

Not only have my oldies gotten fatty tumors but Brittney has gotten warts all over too! Oh, the joys of aging! :lol:
I have not experienced these with my sheepie yet, but I have two Australian Shepherds that have fatty tumors. The vet told me the same thing that your told you. She recommended that we just let them be, especially since both of them are older (13 and 12). They both have one in the exact same spot on the side of their neck. The oldest Aussie has had hers for about 5 years now and does not seem to be getting much larger. Good luck.
Hi all,
Just an update on fatty tumors. My brother-in-law has a shepherd mix who is 15 and had a HUGE tumor on her side. His vet had always assured him that it was a fatty type of tumor and that at her age (11 when she first formed it) it would be best to leave it. Well, it grew and she started to develop a sore under it that they could not get to heal. Long story short, he took the dog to a different vet. THis vet said that the tumor would have to go (now she is 15). The dog came thru the surgery OK and when the tumor (all 13 pounds of it) was biopsied it was found to be a slow growing cancer. Considering the age of the dog, that issue is being left alone as the specialist indicated that Liz would probably pass to old age before this type of cancer caused any additional problems.

Just a warning to keep a close eye on these things and if you are not confident in what you hear, get a second opinion.

Lorraine wrote:
[...] the tumor (all 13 pounds of it) was biopsied it was found to be a slow growing cancer.

My Oscar just turned 9 and I just popped/squeezed out a pea size,
waxy-bloody-puss-ball (cyst?) on his back. It started out as a rubbery, wart-type bump a few weeks ago but recently grew larger. Now there's a hole in his back. Off to the vet tomorrow to have em look at him.

He had one on his neck last month that I was able to drain out but it'll probably come back.

Magggie had a number of these lumps when she was younger. The vet would aspirate some of them and indicated that they were cysts and that she would probably be bothered by them her whole life.

I changed her food to an all natural one and the lumps disappeared. I came to wonder if they might be an allergic reaction to something in the food.

Are these fatty tumors just a lump under the skin? My Zoe has one on her back, and it hasn`t gone away. We are taking her to the vet in a couple weeks.

I couldn`t imagine squeezing/popping it!!!! EEWWW!!!

Just wanted to mention one thing ...be careful when grooming these aged Sheepies as their bodies may have warts as they get older. If they get nicked they bleed like crazy! Discovered this the last time Shaggy was shaved by the groomer, which ironically was done very short so the vet could have a better look at all the lumps, bumps and warts. You never really see them with long hair. As a result of the shaving she would scrap the wart as it was no longer cushioned by the hair as was the case with the one on her elbow and gave her fur that pinkish discolored look as of course she always licked there.
Shaggy was covered with them and Blue at 14 also has lots of fatty tumors. I have these aspirated every so often at the vets to make sure they are only liquid filled. ..just takes but a few mins to do at the vets office.

My pug (now 13 and a half) has also developed fatty tumors under her arms and elsewhere. One of them is growing at a substantial clip. The vet told us to leave them alone, unless they got too large (surgery is dangerous, all other things being equal). She also has warts, one of which developed a lump underneath it that we did not really notice, but the vet did. He removed it, and had it biopsied. It was a mast cell tumor. She is fine now, but I would definitely recommend keeping an eye on any lump developing under the surface of a wart. The tumors and warts should be on the surface only.

And, I certainly wouldn't be squeezing anything out of my dog on my own. Not only does that involve injury to the dog, but you are in no position to biopsy what you squeeze out, nor are you qualified to remove all of what are potentially cancerous cells. If there is a hard lump underneath the skin, I would cough up the cash for the vet rather than maiming the pet and having no tests done on the tumor I dug out of her flesh-- you've created a serious potential for infection, let the dog suffer, and thrown away valuable informatiton to boot.
This is what I've experienced or learned along the way...

There are Lipomas that are benign tumors made up of fatty cells. These are usually movable lumps under the skin that can grow quite large. My BC-mix has 4 of these fatty tumors which we will leave alone unless they begin to grow rapidly or cause discomfort because of the location. She has a rather large one on her side, just in font of her left leg. She has had them aspirated to be sure.

There are sebaceous cysts with that have a fatty (sebum-type?) substance which can break and have a tendency to refill. Some breeds of dogs have a very big problem with these... I don't know that sheepies are one but my sister's Norweigen Elk Hound was plagued with them. My sheepie-mix (she's waiting for me at the bridge) had a subaceous cyst that finally healed. It was there for a few years then burst. She was put on antibiotics to help it heal and I cleaned it daily with peroxide and I also applied an ointment to keep the opening soft. I think the thought on these is that you drain them daily by expressing them so they will heal from the inside out. Or they can be surgically removed so that it will heal properly. Always best to get a diagnosis first then go from there.
Hi Lorraine,

My dog has for the second time required surgery to remove these cysts.
She is a shepard-collie mix. read that you switched to an all natural dog food. Could you please tell me what you are using now. Thanks, Elizabeth
We have an Old Girl Chelese{10} that her owner just didn't want her anymore that has 18 fatty tumors on her....One of them was on her chest right next to the leg..It was starting to cause her problems walking so we had it removed to help her walk better.. I am giving her 4- 1000 mg of fish oil daily that seems to really be helping........We won't remove anymore because of her age but do watch them closeley....... SHeepie Hugs, Kaye
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