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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 10923
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

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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?

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

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 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you

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.

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