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I am not a veterinarian or an animal nutritionist. This blog post about removing fatty tumors naturally reflects my personal experience with our dogs and what I'm learning as I research their health and nutrition. Do not use this blog to diagnose your dog. If you have a medical concern, please contact your veterinarian.
I remember my first cancer scare. I was petting Sydney and felt a lump on her side and was convinced that she had cancer. I called her veterinarian to make an appointment along with three of my friends. In the end, I learned that it was a fatty tumor. My vet was kind enough to do an x-ray and show me that she was cancer-free. Sadly, two years later, my girl passed away from hemangiosarcoma. These experiences and others taught me a lot about cancer, including how to identify a fatty tumor, how to treat a fatty tumor, and when to call our veterinarian.
Today, three of our dogs are sporting fatty tumors. Scout has two, one on each back leg. Rodrigo has two on his tummy. And Zoey has a teeny on her tummy too.
What is a Fatty Tumor?
A fatty tumor, or lipoma, is a collection of fatty cells formed into a mass that is beneath the skin and is common in senior dogs and some breeds:
- Dobermann Pinscher
- German Pointer
- Springer Spaniel
- Labrador Retriever
By the way, there are eleven breeds that have a lowered risk of developing fatty tumors, including Yorkshire Terrier, Lhasa Apso, German Shepherd Dog, and Shih-Tzu.
Fatty tumors are usually soft (fatty), you can get your fingers around them (sometimes not completely depending on location), and they have limited mobility. There are no sores, rashes, or irritations on the skin over the lump, fatty tumors do not cause pain, and while they can grow larger, they are not cancerous. I’ve spoken to many people and have been advised that it’s not necessary to remove the tumor unless it is causing my dog discomfort or making it difficult for them to walk.
A dog may have developed a fatty tumor if they have a low metabolism and aren't very active (i.e. overweight). Fatty tumors may develop because the system isn't efficiently eliminating toxins. And, according to Chinese medicine, a fatty tumor is a sign that a dog is blocked and this stagnant Qi is a sign that a dog has too much phlegm in the system. I've also read that fatty tumors are common in senior dogs.
Removing Fatty Tumors Naturally
Will these steps remove fatty tumors? I hope so because this is what my reading has told me. But, at the very least, I think these steps will keep the fatty tumor soft (or make it softer), keep them from growing, and stop the development of new lipomas.
Given what I've read about fatty tumors, I now doubly make sure my dogs get plenty of daily exercise and I add the following to their diet to help the system naturally detox:
- milk thistle
- golden paste
- raw honey (I love Colorado Hemp Company's honey with turmeric and black pepper)
And one of our former veterinarians, who practices Chinese medicine, suggested that I follow the food energetics chart for transforming phlegm and the following foods can help prevent or decrease fatty tumors:
- bell peppers
- shiitake mushrooms
- lemon peel
- orange peel
I add kelp and bell peppers to my dogs' veggie mix. I'll have to add basil, ginger, rosemary (the plant is not toxic to dogs), and thyme to my recipe. And we have apple trees, so I can add those as well.
Other Ways to Reduce or Get Rid of Fatty Tumors
Fatty tumors can grow in size, which is disconcerting to me, so I switched my focus to learning how I can either reduce the size or make them go away altogether. There are a few simple changes, other than what I shared above, that may accomplish my goals.
Exercise – I have to keep the dogs moving. Two of my dogs have a dog walker twice weekly and I walk our property two to three times daily with all of the dogs.
Golden Paste – my dogs get golden paste daily so I make a large batch every few months. Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory that also supports digestive health and protects the liver. The golden paste recipe I follow is quick and easy to mix up.
Natural Detox – Fatty tumors are said to be a result of the system not eliminating toxins efficiently (or at all), which is why milk thistle, golden paste, and raw honey are a part of my dogs' diet.
Keto Diet – my dogs eat a raw food diet, but it's not a keto diet. Although I have a friend who can formulate this diet for me and I purchased the equipment I need to test for ketosis and glucose levels, I still don't know enough about the diet to give it a shot. So, instead, I fast my dogs twice a week. Yeah, it's not the same, but I'd like to think that it's close.
CBD Oil – while some say that the jury is still out about whether or not CBD oil can prevent cancer. I did read that CBD oil helps reduce inflammation, can change cancer cells, and can reduce the reproduction of some cancer cells. I give my dogs CBD oil two to three times daily for anxiety, joint pain, and cancer. I believe CBD oil repairs the system while supporting good health in our dogs.
Essential Oils – Dump-a-Lump by animalEO is said to help reduce lumps and bumps on our dogs. But will it work for fatty tumors? Some have reported positive results, which is why I want to give it a try. This essential oil is NEAT and needs to be diluted before applying it to a dog's skin. I mix 25-30 drops with coconut oil in a travel-sized container for salve.
Should I Have My Dog's Fatty Tumor Removed?
I have spoken to several people, including four veterinarians, and the consensus was a little all over the place. Before any tests were done, I was told not to aspirate because we could get false-positive or false-negative results. Instead, my vet suggested that we start with x-rays and bloodwork when I found Sydney's first fatty tumor.
Depending on the location and size, a veterinarian may recommend removal or to leave it alone and continue to monitor. In the end, I learned that the small fatty tumors found on my dogs are harmless. I still track when and where I find them and monitor them for changes/growth. If a fatty tumor impedes my dog's mobility or comfort, then we'll speak with the veterinarian about removal.
Sources for This Blog Post
Cancer is a serious topic, and if you’re coming across this blog post because you’ve discovered a fatty tumor on your dog, I highly encourage you to get in touch with your holistic veterinarian. Once you have a game plan, here are some additional resources that have helped me learn what’s going on with my dog.
- Why I Don't Remove Lipomas – Unless They Do This, Dr. Karen Becker
- 6 Herbs To Get Rid Of Fatty Tumors In Dogs
- Food Energetics Charts by Herbsmith, Inc.
- Understanding How to Feed a Keto Diet to Dogs
Read More About Dog Health
- Can a Dog's Leg Fall Asleep?
- 18 Top Pet Safe Cleaning Products
- How a Fatty Tumor Quickly Helped Me Improve My Dog's Diet
- What to Do If Your Healthy Dog Won't Eat
- How Do I Stop My Dog from Itching?