Friday, January 6, 2012

Veterinary Highlights: Liposuction For Dogs?

Don't get too excited, it's not a cosmetic procedure to make your dog thinner, sorry. That still has to be done the old-fashioned way, with good diet and exercise.

Veterinary liposuction is meant as a treatment for fatty tumors, lipomas.

Lipomas are usually benign, fatty masses, that usually don't cause any problems.

Of course first, you need to have your veterinarian make sure that that's really what it is. Your veterinarian will do a fine needle aspiration and examine the extracted cells.

One problem with that is, that they can only look at the cells that were extracted, which may or may not be truly representative of what is inside the mass.

While some veterinarians will tell you to leave the mass alone and just keep an eye on it if it started growing rapidly, some will recommend removal, to be on the safe side.

Some owners ask to have it removed because it simply bothers them how it looks and feels.

Until now, this had to be done surgically.

Clearly, there is always a risk with surgery and anesthesia.

But now you might have another option - liposuction.

While not risk-free, this method is safer and less invasive; certainly an interesting idea.

Note: this option is viable for lipomas below 15 centimeters in diameter. While large lipomas might affect your dogs mobility and quality of life, these need to be removed surgically.

Original article: A New Treatment for Pets With Lipomas: Liposuction


  1. Very cool! Would the pet still require GA or could this be done with sedation and a local anesthetic?

  2. Interestingly that's something neither the original article or the study link say directly. It is assumed from the context that GA would not be needed.

    1. Where can this procedure be done? Specifically not generally.

    2. According to one article, Animal Clinic Northview in North Ridgeville, Ohio is doing it. You'll need to probably ask at your nearest teaching or specialty hospital, though general vets might or might not be doing it.

      Since the article says that that particular clinic has done it for patients from several states and countries, I suspect it's quite rare.