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Halas has 3 fatty lipomas. One of them (the 2nd one I found) has obviously grown much larger since the original diagnosis.  Another one seems a little bigger, but not by too much.  The original one I discovered seems to be about the same size, although it is hard to tell with his thick coat.  Since he was shaved on Saturday, I thought it would be a good time for the vet to take a close look at the three existing ones, and give Halas a good check for others.  

She didn't find anything new, which is good.  I hadn't noticed any, either, but I was happy to get the confirmation.  She did agree that the one near his groin is much bigger.  It was originally the size of a small marble, and it's now getting close to the size of a golf ball, maybe a little smaller.  All of them were still soft, not hard, which is a good sign.  And they were all moving around easily, so that's a good sign.

Because the one in his groin area is so large now, we talked about removing it.  It doesn't seem to be bothering him, and because of the things mentioned above, she doesn't feel like it HAS to be removed right now.  But, there's a good chance it will continue to grow, and will eventually have to be removed.  As they get larger, they can become much more invasive, which makes them harder to remove.  So in 2 years, there's a good chance that it will be a more difficult surgery than it would be now, because it will be larger and possibly more invasive.  She also said that as long as he was under, they'd remove the other 2, too.

I asked if the surgery would be hard on him, and she said most dogs respond very well to the surgery.  He'll be able to come home with me the same day, and he'll probably feel pretty good within a day or 2.  I would need to try to keep him calm for another couple of days, but the recovery is generally very fast.

So I guess I'm leaning towards doing it.  But I still have some reservations about putting him under and putting him through surgery that isn't absolutely necessary right now.  When I said that to the doctor, she said she wouldn't call it "unnecessary."   It probably is necessary, but could be put off until it starts to look like it's bothering him.  But by the time it's bothering him, it could be because it's wrapping around nerves or muscles.  The other, less important, reasons for doing it now are that his hair is already short, so the shaved spots from surgery wouldn't look much different than they do now. And I can't take him hiking or swimming for at least the next couple of weeks anyway, because I have some stitches, so we could be recovering together.  He wouldn't miss out on much now, and he should be good to go for our flyball tournament in September.

Has anyone else had them removed from their dogs?  Was it a big deal?  How was the recovery?  Are you glad you did it?

Thanks for your input.

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JD has several very large lipomas. Even though they have gotten larger since we first discovered them, I'm not removing them until/unless they are actually causing a problem, especially the ones in his axilla & groin. His dermatologist cautioned me years ago about that. She said that in those locations, there can be a problem with healing. I would be more inclined to remove the ones on the front of his chest or his side, where there is air circulation and nothing rubbing or chafing those areas. I would ask the vet about that. 

Thanks for the suggestion.  I'll ask her about that.  The other 2 are in areas that get plenty of air, but the one in his groin could be a little tricky.

The first one we found was in his axilla, and his regular vet said we'll watch it and if it gets too large, we'll remove it. Then his derm vet found it during an exam, and when i told her what the GP vet had sdaid, she said that it's a bad place for removal, and that she has seen cases where they never heal after surgery and the wounds even get infected due to the chafing when they walk/move and the lack of air circulation to the site. Of course, on the other side of that, if the ones in those areas get too large, they can actually interfere with his movement. :( 

Tough call, I know.

She did mention that as a spot where they seem to cause a problem over time, because of the size interfering with movement.  It figures that the spot where they can cause the most discomfort is the spot that's the most difficult one from which to remove one.

I just found a small one on Jack the size of a pea in his right hind leg...he is getting his dental done in September so I may ask about it then...

If they do put him under, does his teeth need to be cleaned?

She said he had a tiny bit of tartar, so I'll see what she thinks about a cleaning.

My last dog BJ had to have a couple of those removed because of the location. It wasn't a big deal but he did need the cone of shame for a little while.

I'm sure Halas will need the cone of shame, too.

Our Springers have had these.  We have had some removed and left some.  They are like icebergs - much larger than you think. I would have the large one removed before it gets larger, if it is in a place that could be bothersome.  The most recent removals were done when our current Springer had CCL repair so recovery was masked by the huge CCL recovery, but they healed well and quickly and didn't seem to bother him.  The same Springer has a couple of  others that we are leaving alone. All of them have been on their flanks.

One of Halas' is oddly shaped, so it might already be working its way around muscles and things.

I called the vet this morning with a few questions, but she's out today, so I'll talk to her tomorrow.  I'm leaning more and more towards doing it, provided she can put me at ease about my concerns.  When I look at the negatives, like putting him under, doing surgery in a tricky area, healing in an area that doesn't get much air circulation, those are never going to go away.  He is eventually going to need the one on his groin removed if it keeps growing, and it's been growing since I first discovered it, so it seems to me that it will keep growing.  Let's say I let it go for 2 more years.  All of those negatives will still be there, with the added negatives of it being even larger, possibly more invasive, and possibly having caused him some discomfort longer than it should have.

I have to agree. I think the recovery is probably easier the younger they are, too, so another reason to do it sooner than later.

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