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New Treatment For Canine Lipomas

Looking for treatment for canine lipomas? Finding a lump on your dog can be a very upsetting experience; as someone whose dog has had more lumps than an unmixed batch of mashed potatoes, I can attest firsthand to this feeling.

When those lumps appear “a watch and wait” demeanor does not occur. I’ve learned that any lump can be concerning, as even something as simple as a “pimple-like” growth can be a mast cell (cancerous) tumor. Always see a veterinarian if you find a new lump or growth on your dog.

My first Cocker Spaniel had an innocent-appearing bump on her back at the site of vaccination that turned out to be a stage II mast cell growth. Since then, I am not anti-vaccine, but I am over anti-vaccine, particularly since it is believed the vaccine caused the reaction (aka cancer).

Dogs, with their faster than ours pace in aging, may develop more lumps in their lifetime than one could count. Some of those lumps might be of concern, others not so much. A vet visit is always in order if your dog has any new growth, lesion, or lump. At the very least, a veterinarian will most likely aspirate and determine the next feasible step.

Note: Since this was posted, there has been an update. Please check out our dog with lipoma treatments and lipomas post.

One of the more commonly seen lumps is called a lipoma, a fatty tumor that occurs in dogs and cats. Lipomas are benign, but rarely there can be a form called liposarcoma, which is rare but malignant. Lipomas are generally found on a dog'[s belly (my dog presently has one near his rib cage) and should be checked and confirmed for accurate diagnosis. If the lump grows or starts interfering with the dog’s daily life/are bothersome they are generally removed. Never squeeze or attempt to burst the lump.

lipoma on a dog's skin
Lipoma on my Cocker Spaniel.

The biopharmaceutical company, BioSpecifics Technologies Corporation, announced recently a collagenase-based product marketed as XIAFLEX for pets affected by a lipoma. A placebo-controlled phase II clinical trials are underway, with the study expected to complete in the first part of 2013. According to the company, close to two million dogs in the United States are affected by lipomas.

According to Thomas Wegman, President of BioSpecifics, “We are happy to report the initiation of Chien-804 as we believe there is strong potential for injectable collagenase in the treatment of lipomas in canines and a high interest among veterinarians in the product to treat this condition.”

In a previous clinical trial, the efficacy of the injectable collagenase was tested in healthy dogs that had a subcutaneous (under the skin) lipoma. The lipomas treated were benign, superficial, and easy to measure. At the end of the study, the treated lipomas showed a reduction of 97 percent. We wonder if this will become a treatment for canine lipomas someday.

It will be interesting to see where this study leads and if they are helpful in the treatment of the growths.

UPDATE: Please check out our dog with lipoma treatments and lipomas updated post.

Has your dog been affected by any lumps or bumps in his or her lifetime? Would this benefit you if approved and found to be as safe as possible?

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  1. Thanks for this… I just this evening felt a lump on my rescue Maltese’s forehead. Mercedes is around fifteen years old and a sudden lump strikes terror in the heart. Of course I don’t yet know what it is but I will ask the vet about this treatment when we get her checked out.

  2. Curious how collagen is involved in development of lipomas? Otherwise I’d assume that carefully injected collagenase could be quite safe, as long as it won’t effect other tissues.

    Our late rescue had a massive lipoma, it was benign in spite of its size so we didn’t take any actions removing it, since it was not interfering with his mobility too much either.

    1. Basically, there is a mutation in the adipose (fat) cells (a lipoma is a benign tumor). The amount of fibrin formed from the collagen increases & encapsulates normal fat cells, forming a lipoma. Collagenase actually works to disassociate the fat (break it up). The results from the trial are now published and they look amazing (only side effect was bruising & pain at injection site).

  3. Buddy our English Cocker has about 6 or 7 lumps on his chest we watch them for changes and the vet says they are fatty tumors….

    1. Good to hear your vet watches them, Tom. Spaniels have more sebaceous oil I am told than other breeds, and our last and current cocker get those, too.

  4. My beautiful Weimaraner, WeeJay, has a LOT of lipomas. Unbelievably, even though he is 12-1/2, I think he would still be out running in the woods were it not for an acl injury, too. I’m going to change his food to Taste of the Wild in an attempt to do anything to help him. I also see various supplements, etc., marketed to dissolve the lipomas. I have my doubts that these things work, mainly because I have never had a vet recommend these treatments (WeeJay is my third Weim, so I’ve dealt with lipomas before as Weims have a predisposition to lipomas). I would like to know if anyone out there has had any success with these various supplements as well as the dog food I’m going to purchase. Thanks from me and Wee.

    1. My ten year old female terrier mix is on day 5 of milk thistle tincture and pau d’arco tincture
      8 drops each with food once a day. Lipomas softening and shrinking. I will
      Jump for joy if they go away entirely. She eats a raw diet. I make her grass fed beef, green smoothie, kelp powder, nutritional
      yeast, probiotics and enzymes, bee pollen, and Barleymax berry flavor.
      I also feed her knuckle bones ……new one each week.

      1. Where did you purchase the drops? My 12.5 year old Weim is riddled with lipomas. He is too old to have them surgically removed (he already had two huge ones removed from his chest cavity years ago.).

        1. I would check with your vet, Nancy, as that would be the starting point. I don’t know how far along they are in the trials….I know how you feel with lipomas – my last Cocker had so many. Many tummy rubs to your Weim.

      2. Hello….it’s 2016 now 🙂 My Lab dog has a large limpoma on her shoulder. Aside from surgery, I am looking into alternative suggestions. Where would I get milk thistle tincture and pau d’arco tincture? I see some places but it is for humans. Please help. Thanks. Glen B

      3. Kathy – please share or direct me to website with your dog food recipe, quantity of ingredients, etc. Thank you for the information on tinctures as well. Joan

  5. She also LOVES cucumbers, broccoli, zucchini,
    And many other veggies. Treats are raw nori sheets and dehydrated liver.

  6. My 10 yr old chow mix has a huge lipoma on his left front armpit, growing around his leg. I have gone through the Turmeric for 4 months with absolutely NO results. Then we tried cluster dissolving, i should have known with a name like that, it was useless. The worst news i need to inform you about is Bio Medics, the Xiaflex maker. I have never spoken to a ruder bunch in my life! They completely deny any info pertaining to canine treatments. They put a doctor on the phone to tell me unless you have Duyprenes syndrome( incorrect spelling) bent fingers, you cannot get the med. The dr. wouldn’t answer questions, fearing a leak of info?? I told her what i read and she denied hearing anything about it. I now have Kenacort steroid injectable vials, online pharmacy, syringes and needles from the tractor supply store, and it’s been 2 weeks with no positive results yet. I used a 22g needle and gave him 1mL. in the center of the lipoma. It’s completely pain free, my Buddy didn’t flinch. $44 for 5 vials delivered, i will keep this forum posted on updates. 1-800-XIAFLEX if you want to try and get more info.

    1. Thanks for the heads up. I am glad that you found something for Buddy. Keep us posted. To date, I have not found anything in my research that can stop lipomas nor dissolve them. Run it by your vet, if you haven’t already, Fritz, and please give your dog a tummy rub from us. Thanks so much for writing.

    2. Did the steroids work well after a longer period of time? I was just about to try Kan’s cluster dissolving. Glad I read your post first! Thank you

  7. Hey all, Thought i’d post my results so far, the side effects of the Kenacort are thirst and hunger, poor Bud, he cant get enough to eat and drink. The lipoma is no smaller yet no bigger than before treatment, i am stopping the steroids and am back to adding Turmeric to his food. There has to be something out there besides surgery, and i’m on the hunt. If and/or when i find it, i will post it here. Sincerely, Fritz

    1. Hello,
      Do you have any updates on the Xiaflex? I asked a pharmacist friend of mine and she looked up the prices and they were around $3000 us dollars!! Did you say you got some from the UK? Please advise. Best to you and yours 🙂

  8. Hi Carol,

    My 4 yr old min-pin/ poodle mix just had a lipoma tumor removed 2 weeks ago from her back leg i found out today it is Stage 2. Can this be used to help with spreading of cancer. I don’t have a treatment yet from vet. Are there options

    Kindest Regards

    1. That I do not know. I have had a dog with mast cell cancer stage II. Was this a lipoma that was cancerous or a mast cell tumor? How were the margins? Were they clean?

  9. Hello all, Thought I would post an update, my Buddy dog is doing well and his lipoma has grown a little since I last posted, we are still doing 1 mile walks and he recently started a slight limp when it’s cold out. No progress on Xiaflex but I see you can get it through England pharmacy online, 600 pounds I think was the cost.

    1. Just tried that with my Lab. The vet said even though it was soft to the touch (feels like a water balloon to me) she said it was like “Chicken Fat” which is why it wouldn’t drain. Good luck.

  10. I had 3 on my body and I simply cut them out … Get a scalpel from your local apothecary and cut the skin and squeze the lipoma out using tweazers remove or pick out if you will the tissue… Do I need to point out how important it is that all of this is sterilized ? Also you will need stiches… Or at least some skin adhezive.

    1. Oh gosh never would we recommend that to our readers. That is dangerous. Always have a vet do it.

  11. I have an almost 8 year old Yorkshire terrier. I took her to the vet today and he says se has a Lipoma (fatty mass) on her chest. The vet said it will be a cosmetic surgery that I can either decide to do or not to do. Has anyone found anything other than surgery to shrink the fatty mass?

    1. Emmi, my 8 yr. Yorkie has one on his shoulder area. It’s pretty big and grew fast. 1st vet wanted to remove it asap. Getting a second opinion next week. Finding a lot of good info from Vets on the Internet. All of them are saying no need to remove them unless it’s interfering with movement or location is causing pain from rubbing plus. Search dog lipomas. I found one site mentioning essential oils shrinking them. Even disappearing. ( Skim down to Essential oils. I am going to try the Frankensence. I use a couple mixed with water for fleas. No flea bites since.
      I will come back after a few days to a week to update any progress.
      If it’s not rubbing on, say a joint, wait and watch. Kisses to your baby.

  12. Are they allowing the use of Xiaflex? I am very interested in this for my Corgi. He has an infiltrative lipoma which was diagnosed with CT and biopsy. He is 10 years old and since surgery is not really a solution as will probably grow back I was looking for an alternative

  13. I also heard about ginger being good one small piece blended in warm water with a bit of sugar ( ale not carbonated)added to food I’m going to start asap

  14. I also give spoon of turmeric everyday..and I’m also constantly on look out for getting rid of these Lumpy fatty tumors.

  15. my mini-schnauzer who is only 4 1/2 years old has developed a lipoma on her back right leg, in the joint between the leg and abdomen. I had it needle aspirated to confirm it was a lipoma, then began researching. First off, it is important to know why people and dogs get lipomas. it usually occurs with a soft tissue injury, it can be just a small tear. Now fat cells called lipocytes gravitate to the area, and due to inflammation, the mass starts to form. Key to this is the dog’s inability to metabalize fat properly, and this can be linked to liver function and the lymph systems roll on eliminting waste (fat is one of those wastes). So treatments that get rid of inflammation, stimulate the lymph system and support liver are key. I’ve read many of. the posts and most don’t seem to know why they are using products like curcurmin or milk thistle, etc. Both of those aid in detoxification. I am utilizing a multi-prong approach: curcurmin (Mercola) digestive enzymes (Wobenzym) for inflammation, krill oil (Mercola) regular walks which support the lymph, a diet with no grains and carbs (Acana and two pucks of freez dried raw Stella & chewie). And Manual Lympahic Drainage massage by hand and dry brushing. You can watch videos on youtube how to move fluid on a dog. This is key because you are aiding in moving waste products and fat out of the body. We fear lumps and stop touching that area because we unconsciously think cancer and don’t want to cause pain. the worse thing we can do is not lightly massage the lipoma. Breaking down the fat and keeping it from getting hard is key. Dry brushing In the direction towards the heart and gently pumping lymphs like you see in the videos will help break down the fat and prevent new lumps from forming. My dogs orange size lump is now the size of a plum after six weeks.

    1. I am trying the acupressure recommendation for dogs. Would you happen to have any links to post for the videos you mentioned? I’d greatly appreciate it!

  16. also in response to woman who said ginger and sugar, I would not recommend either based on all the research i’ve done. sugar is a carb and will lead to more fat.

  17. wobenzym you can get from vitacost. I am giving my 20 lb dog 4 to 6 a day. it is definitely working on the lipoma. one last note i forgot to mention is she is also on a probiotic due to the importance of the gut in immunity. after adding the probiotics, she now has firm stool, which aids in keeping her anal glands from having to be drained. yay.

  18. Thank you for the very helpful and timely article.

    I had lipoma for 20 years and my life was a wreck, so I can definitely sympathize with those who are still suffering.

    The good news is that you don’t have to let lipoma control your life, there ARE things you can do.

    I tried different treatments and remedies, but nothing helped me like this did:

    Now the unsightly lumps have disappeared and I can wear whatever I want. My stress is radically reduced and I can now lead a normal life.

    Life seems so exciting and full of potential now!

  19. My 12 1/2 year old Lil’Grl’ mix has a history of lipoma since she turned 9 years. Have been researching for years and read blogs and also reviews by “miracle supplements” that have not worked. Had one Lipoma removed less than 3 years ago and another returned on her chest a year later. Lipoma Surgery is not the answer as it only escalates more growth.
    She has a natural diet, takes Denamarin and a custom blend by of their Lipoma “Dissolve”. We tried their “Dissolve” with no positive results and are trying a custom blend of Chinese herbs to hopefully reduce the Lipoma.
    Spoke to a vet of over 30 years who does a holistic treatment and again was not positive of reducing these tumors.
    Would appreciate any positive news or success from owners trying the alternative to avoid surgery.
    Also adding tumeric and milk thistle as I for one am a believer as Milk Thistle made a huge difference in my own liver enzyme elevation. I am a poster child for Milk Thistle as it works and I am not paid to promote Milk Thistle.
    I am also tired of reading “advertised” reviews as they need to be verified versus trying to sell you on a product. It is tough to get info that is not promoted!!
    Look forward to comments, feedback and suggestions.

  20. Do you know of any vets who are giving those XIAFLEX injections?

    I’ve rescued lots of dogs over time (even had a rescue cocker), but at the moment have a that I got a few months ago after her owners died, and she is 9-10 years of age. The previous owners had a lipoma removed from her leg, but it was already growing back when I got her. She is eating natural food (no grains) and is on PawHealers “Dissolve” (Chinese herbs). Before the herbs, I tried turmeric and milk thistle. She’s been taking the Dissolve for about 4-5 weeks, and so far, if anything, it’s gotten a little bigger.

    I sure would like to find something that works.

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