Originally Posted by mizrachi
In all of my research, I have yet to hear that a lipoma could rupture. From what I've read, surgery should only be considered if the dog's movement is hindered, which it is not in our case, and that otherwise a dog is just fine with these kinds of bumps. Of course, her bump is quite big and it concerns us still.
In all my years of seeing lipomas and talking to other vets, I have yet to see or hear of one rupturing as well. Lipomas because they are made up primarily of fat, they have a minimal blood requirement and in their construction I have never seen one lose blood supply and necrose (die) inside. I have surgically taken off several that were 50-80% of the width of the pet! I have have one at eight pounds that I can remember - over a basketball size mass on a golden retriever.
My reasons for surgery on lipomas are 1) as you mentioned, if they interfere with movement, 2) if I am concerned about a aggressive tumor within or of the mass (for a large grapfruit sized mass there could be a malignancy lying within), 3) if it is rapidly growing. It is easier to undergo anesthesia at 14 then when it does
interfere with mobility and she is 16 and 4) the owners just want it off.
Surgically it is a straight forward procedure (although you might want a veterinarian who is a bit more familiar with lipomas) and a relatively non-painful surgery. I have taken several ancient pets to surgery that have done wonderfully (20 year old cat, 17 year old shepard for bloat and another 15 year old shepard for splenectomy). This is not to say that I am sure that your pet should have surgery. I just want to put our there that age itself is not a disease but a state of years. When talking to veterinary anesthesiologists, many think there is more risk on six month only spay and neuters because the pet has never been exposed to an anesthetic where as an older dog has been,and we know how he or she responds to the anesthetic. This is of course assuming all pre-anesthetic tests are within normal limits.
If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact me. Good luck with your decision.