It’s easy to hear about liposuction and dogs and think “Wow, people have gone too far”. But it’s not what we first think it is.
While human liposuction focuses on weight loss for cosmetic reasons. When the procedure is performed on a dog it’s actually used to improve the health of the dog. The non-invasive procedure removes the fat from lipomas in senior dogs.
Lipomas are harmless tumors of fat cells that can be large and/or numerous on some dogs. If gone untreated, they can grow quite large and interfere with the dog’s movement if they are in a bad place.
“They can be really big,” stated Rebecca Pentecost, DVM. “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. which is another benefit for older dogs.
The downside? Since the entire lipoma is not removed, there is a 23 % likelihood that the fat will come back. But it is worth the risk as the older a dog gets the less they tolerate lengthy operations.