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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 10440
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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My dog has a fatty bulge on right outside of ribcage, one vet

Resolved Question:

My dog has a fatty bulge on right outside of ribcage, one vet said ho its only fatty tissue & keep an eye on it, anouther said an xray won't show anything. But it does worry me?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 3 years ago.

Hello Sylvia, I'm Dr. Deb and will do my best to help you today.

I'm sorry for this concern for Suzie. I do have a few questions to ask about her first, if you don't mind:

1. How long has the mass/bulge been present?
2. Did your vet aspirate it (stick a needle in it) and evaluate the cells under a microscope)?

There may be a slight delay after I receive your answers since I have to type up a response to you. Thanks for your patience. Deb

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

1. I noticed bulge about ayear ago, and it has got bigger since then,but not really fast

2. No the one vet just said ho its a fatty mass keep an eye on it, doesnt seem to be bothering her, sometimes they get very big and can be removed. When i asked a new young lady vet she would an xray show what was there, she said no, only surgery will find out, and you don't really want to do unnessasary surgery, which i certainly don't want to do. But nobody suggested needle aspiration, would that be best and is it expensive.

Thank you

Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 3 years ago.

Thanks so much for the answers to my questions and the additional information.

As your vets probably told you, most of the lumps/bulges which dogs develop are benign and bother us more that the dogs. And, lipomas (or fatty masses/tissues) are probably the most common masses which develop in middle aged and older dogs.

They can enlarge over time, depending on their location; some can become almost as big as your head, in some cases!! This isn't common, of course, but just to make a point that even benign masses can become concerning large.

I always aspirate any questionable mass which develops on a dog's body. It's very easy to do and quite inexpensive. If this is only fat, the material will look greasy on a slide.
If there appears to be more solid cells, then the slide can be stained and evaluated or, if necessary, sent to a pathologist for review.

We charge $24 for a simple aspirate at my hospital; if we stain the slide, the cost is about $ very affordable, in my opinion.

When it comes to lumps and bumps, we do have limited options: either monitor them, freeze them off (if small enough) or surgically remove them.

In this case, Suzie probably does have a lipoma which will be nothing to worry about but I'd ask one of your vets to aspirate it to confirm.

I hope this helps. Deb

Dr. Deb and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 3 years ago.

Thanks so much for the rating; it's greatly appreciated. Regards, Deb

Kindly ignore the information request.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX has done aspirate and seems it is just fat.


Have a good, you were very helpful.

Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 3 years ago.

That's great news that your vet has confirmed with an aspirate that Suzie's lump is just a lipoma. I know how relieved you must be:) Deb