Fatty tumors, or lipomas, frequently occur in dogs eight years and older. While the tumors are benign, they often look like malignant mast cell tumors so should be diagnosed by a vet. Surgical removal is an option if a fatty tumor is either interfering with your dog's movement or is in danger of becoming infected because your dog chews it. Many pet owners, however, spare their dogs the risk of surgery with fatty tumor home remedies including dietary changes, vitamin and mineral supplementation or homeopathic and herbal treatments.
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Dr. Martin Goldstein, DVM, considers fatty tumors in dogs a result of the same faulty fat metabolism that can produce obesity. He makes specific recommendations on treating fatty tumors with diet and dietary supplements. According to Dr. Goldstein, many dogs are incapable of properly metabolizing fats because their systems have been compromised by the high-carbohydrate commercial diets they eat. He recommends feeding dogs a diet as similar as possible to what their wild ancestors ate, taking into account the fact that the digestive tracts of our domesticated dogs have adapted to commercial foods.
Dr. Goldstein advises using the mineral chromium picolinate and the amino acid L-carnitine. A 30-pound dog with fatty tumors gets 100 mcg of chromium and 250 mg of l-carnitine daily to improve fat metabolism. If the dog doesn't respond to those, add B6 at a daily dose of 50 mg for a 30 to 50 pound dog. Dr. Shawn Messonier, DVM, suggests several nutritional supplements for treating fatty tumors in his book "Eight Weeks to a Healthy Dog." They include DMG, or dimethylglycine; CoEnzymeQ10; glycoproteins to help cells flush out toxins; proanthocyanidins (grape seed extract is an example) and bioflavonoids (plant pigments).
Homeopathy views the symptoms of disease as signs of an underlying imbalance that must be corrected if your dog is to recover. Because they treat underlying conditions and not just the fatty tumor, homeopathic remedies take time to work. A homeopathic vet will choose which remedies to apply to your dog based on the dog's individual symptoms.
Dr. Jill Elliot, DVM, recommends treating your dog's fatty tumor with the homeopathic remedy Thuja 30C, administered at least once as an oral dose of three tablets. If your pet's overall condition appears to improve in the three weeks to month after the first dose, she advises a second dose and further observation to notice if the tumors are shrinking. Dr. Elliott mentions that many holistic vets believe fatty tumors may result from over-vaccination. Thuja is commonly used to treat dogs that react badly to vaccines. Dr. Messonier adds Viscum Album and Arsenicum Album to the list of homeopathic remedies.
Dr. Messonier also suggests a variety of immune system-strengthening herbs to treat dog tumors of all types. Among them are alfalfa, burdock, dandelion root, garlic, goldenseal and milk thistle. He also recommends using immune-strengthening mushrooms, including reishi.
Get guidance from a homeopathic vet before attempting to treat your dog's fatty tumors with homeopathic or herbal remedies. Locate a certified homeopathic vet in your area at the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy website (see References).
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.