Liposuction For Pets: Procedure Becoming Increasingly Popular

Liposuction is being used in pets to remove benign fatty masses called lipomas.

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Our society is a bit obsessed with appearance. Countless ads pop up on radio, television and in magazines promoting breast augmentations, anti-aging creams and countless ways to lose weight (through exercise, weight-loss programs, special diets, medications and surgeries). One such option is liposuction. The ad may show a woman with a not-so-flat belly next to a picture of one with a toned stomach, telling people that liposuction was the answer.

So when I saw in the news that liposuction was now available for pets, I thought our society had gone too far.

But, like everything else, you have to read the fine print.

Although referred to as liposuction, when the procedure is performed on pets it is not cosmetic (even if your client’s pet is hoping for a svelte figure). It’s actually used to improve the health of the pet. The non-invasive procedure removes the fat from lipomas in overweight and senior dogs. If gone untreated, they can grow quite large and impede the dog’s movement.

“They can be really big,” Rebecca Pentecost, DVM, told Fox 8 Cleveland. “I had one that we took almost three and a half liters of fat out of it.”

Dr. Pentecost, a veterinarian at Animal Clinic Northview in North Ridgeville, Ohio, has performed the procedure on patients from several states and countries.

The procedure is a safer alternative to major surgery, which could leave senior dogs with a long recovery time and up to 30 stitches. Liposuction requires only a small incision and up to two days of recovery. The procedure can be done with less anesthesia as well – another benefit for older dogs.

The downside? Since the entire lipoma is not removed, there is a 23 percent likelihood that the fat will come back.

What do you think of pet liposuction? Is it a procedure you’d perform in your practice? Tell us in the comments.

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24 thoughts on “Liposuction For Pets: Procedure Becoming Increasingly Popular

  1. Please help me! My pet Charlie is 10 and his fat tumor has grown into the size of a soccer ball very rapidly. Now he has one growing on his other side.

    I live in Mesa, AZ 2 doctors already said he is a heathly dog….

  2. We live in penn valley ca.and have a 23 lb cat. Our vet sold us a very expensive dry cat food to control his weight. That did not work. He’s 12 yrs old.and pretty healthy. He eats one 3oz can and a small handfull of dry per day. He wobbles when he walks and jumps on our bed and off. We’re afriad he’s going to break a leg,paw,etc. He really doesn’t eat a lot of food. I’m thinking if liposuction could be possible and at a cost we could afford? I’ve been reading that this procedure is getting popular with pets. Especially for dogs. We want to learn more about this procedure for our cats health. Not a cosmetic reason. We live near Sacramento and wonder if there’s a vetinarian who would be interested?

  3. I have a 13 and a half year old dog. He is in good health but had a lipoma on one side of his stomach that has to be close to 10 lbs and is causing mobility issues. I live un Hollis. NH. Who in my area does this?

  4. We have an 11 1/2 yr. old Weim with a very large lipoma on his rear leg that is growing rapidly and will definitely impair his ability to get around very soon. We are in The San Fernando Valley outside of L.A., Ca.and are desperate to discuss this option with a practitioner of same. Can you direct us to finding a Vet who can help?

    1. I need this service as well for my aging pit mix. Large mass under armpit affecting his mobility. I also live in los Los Angeles atea. Did you ever find a source? If so who where and how much? Desperate to help my dog!

  5. It would be helpful if you let people know aside from OH where owners can get this procedure done. Aside from the article there seems to be no other info. Your asking for comments yet not giving any answers.

  6. I have an 11 yr old cocker spaniel, he is needs to lose about 10 lbs. He has a large lipoma on his belly…just to the side of his manhood. My vet has consistently said not to worry about it, but it’s now the size of a tennis ball. I think it’s affecting his gait as well as lying down. How do we go about finding facility that will perform the liposuction. Either in Tampa FL area or Charlotte NC area.

  7. Our Golden Retriever has a large lipoma lump on his right side and it came back since surgery of one in 2016 – if he can be helped please, do not hesitate to call us, thanks in advance

  8. Please tell me where to take my dog for liposuction. My old dog has a huge fat tumor and cannot stand the weight of it anymore. I live in Greenwich, CT, close to westchester, NY.
    Thank you very much!

  9. Has anybody out there found any veterinarian that will reduce a fatty tumor on a dog using liposuction? Haven’t found any in San Diego California Wouldn’t it be nice to add a list of veterinarians that I actually use this procedure within the article?

  10. I have a large Rat Terrier that’s 14 years old with a fatty lipoma on his neck that is crushing his windpipe. I’m desperately looking for *anyone* near Sacramento CA who could perform liposuction to reduce the pressure. Without it, he’s going to die an unpleasant death because he can no longer pant when he needs air causing him to black-out momentarily.

  11. “Since the entire lipoma is not removed, there is a 23 percent likelihood that the fat will come back.”
    This is acceptable because my vet told me that even when they ‘surgically’ remove a lipoma mass, there is a good chance it can grow back. I see liposuction as a much less invasive way to remove a lipoma mass, from a pet.
    You would think by now that this procedure would be a LOT more popular and very widely available across USA and Canada!

  12. I have written the following to the editorial department:

    In your online news, July 31, 2014, you published an article by Cari Jorgensen, headlined: Liposuction For Pets: Procedure Becoming Increasingly Popular. 17 people wrote in between then and Oct 2018, asking where this procedure is available. Except for the vet quoted in the article, it gives no clue as to where this is offered. Ms. Jorgensen never replied to any of these inquiries. How can we find out where the procedure is offered? We live in Montana and Oregon. Is there anywhere in the NW to get this help?

  13. I am quite excited to hear of liposuction for fatty tumors as I am very much opposed to putting my pets under general anesthesia unless absolutely unavoidable. The option of using liposuction and possibly a local anesthesia is much more appealing.