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Adipose Tumors in Labradors

Adipose tumors in Labradors are benign tumors of adipose tissues or fats. This usually occurs in dogs including Labradors. As your dog grows older, you may notice lumps on the body. Odds are high that these lumps are caused by these fatty tumors which can be removed through surgical procedures. However, lumps could also be common to overweight dogs. Most dog owners have noticed fatty tumors on their old and overweight dogs, and often times, these are disregarded because these may be normal lumps on their bodies. These fatty tumors should only be removed if it is causing problem.

Adipose tumors mass up under the skin and are characterized by soft lumps with little mobility. The skin that lies over this is unaffected so it is sometimes difficult to detect if you don’t constantly check or touch your dog. But when left unnoticed, these lumps may grow larger and can affect the dog’s movement especially when the tumors are in between the legs or on their lower chest. Dogs with adipose tumors may develop multiples of it.

Causes of Adipose Tumors in Labradors

There is still an ongoing debate of the causes of common lumps in dogs. However, some reasons are pointed out which may possibly be a contributing factor to the development of these lumps. One of these is your dog’s diet. These can occur in overweight Labradors. That is why you should void feeding your dog with foods that are full of carbohydrates as these may lead to the massing up of fats. In addition, your dog should also get regular exercise such as simple strolls in the neighborhood park. Other than your dog’s diet, hormonal balance and hereditary components may also play a role in the development of tumors. That is why taking your dog to the vet for regular check-ups is very important. Labrador retrievers, along with the Doberman pinschers are the common breeds that have high likelihood of developing fatty tumors.

Symptoms of Adipose Tumors in Labradors

The following are symptoms that may indicate adipose tumors in your Labrador. However, these symptoms may indicate presence of normal lumps so professional guidance is still needed when looking for symptoms:

  • Soft and slightly movable lumps under the skin
  • Lumps found anywhere in the body (lumps under the front leg, between the legs and on the lower chest may cause discomfort or disrupt movement)
  • Most lumps are located in the belly or legs
  • One mass of fatty tumors may develop to several masses
  • Size vary from tiny to large (large breeds are likely to develop larger sized tumors)


Diagnosis is determined by veterinarians. They administer a series of examinations on your Labrador. Information on your dog’s growth history is considered and the tumors are documented, indicating the size and location. This is monitored to see whether it would grow rapidly or affect mobility. Oftentimes, a biopsy or a needle aspirate is performed to see if it is adipose tumor.


Some tumors are benign that they could be painless or just fine. Some pet owners opt to have the tumors taken out for their Labradors to look better. However, there are some side effects to anesthesia and it may only cause other surgical complications that will not be worth your dog’s health benefit. Only when the tumors are interfering with the normal activities of you dog (such as eating and movement) should the tumors be removed.

However, as a loving pet owner, you should remain cautious especially in dismissing the growth of lumps because we cannot rule out the possibility of a serious tumor. There is a need to ask for professional help to distinguish between benign and malignant tumor.

Living with Labradors

Since Labradors are large breeds, pet owners may find lumps in their bodies. Bring your dog to the vet to see if these are just normal lumps or serious ones and have to be removed. But to avoid possible growth of malignant lumps, maintain a healthy diet in your Labradors. Avoid feeding your dog with foods high in cholesterol levels. To prevent overweight in Labradors, it is also important that you take the dog out for regular exercise. Also, provide a more comfortable home and a better living environment for your dog. Remember that surgical treatment is the last option when it comes to treating adipose tumor.

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