12Aug23: It’s a lipoma.

Once Andy had his grooming session, the lipoma on his right side became more obvious. I know you will see it in photos and be concerned.

I did take Andy to the veterinarian’s when I noticed it a few months ago. Dr. Y., Andy’s veterinarian, examined it and took a sample to determine that it is a lipoma, not cancer. Dr. Y. assured me the lump isn’t likely to become cancer. It is soft and loose feeling to the touch, doesn’t cause Andy pain.

Originally, Dr. Y. said he wasn’t able to deal with it immediately but told me to check again last April.

I asked him about the removal risks to Andy since he was almost 12 years old at the time, and he assured me there always is a risk, though there would be an evaluation of his overall health (probably a blood test, blood pressure check) before any surgery. When I asked him for a rough “cost to do” since I am retired, he was vague. “We can set up a payment plan.” (That is, a lot!)

I ran into some heavy expenses in April. I had, among other things coming due: the $300 renewal cost of this blog; car tax and plates since this was the 6th year for the old ones; the annual routine maintenance on my car; car insurance; not to forget the Chewy screw-ups on auto-shipments of Greenies and Andy’s dry food that is specially shaped for “scrunched’ Persian faces by Royal Canin – a bag lasts a long time but is very expensive; and other things like a huge credit card bill that was outside of my budget because of things like the Chewy screw-ups and purchases made before other expenses I hadn’t expected till months later popped up.

I had to use my tax return money, money from a bank account I had left over from my parents’ days but that I rarely used, a chunk out of my credit union account, and a big amount out of a retirement account to stay solvent after everything was paid off, but I managed not to have to carry any expenses over to a second billing cycle, with the added penalties that entails. I make a point of never having to pay late fees!

When will Andy get the lipoma removed? When I can pay for it. If it caused him pain, I’d have it removed immediately. I still have concerns about his safety under anesthesia, though I’ve been reassured by Dr. Y. about that. I’d appreciate any comments from people who’ve had pets develop lipomas and the costs and their pets’ experiences with having them removed. 

For those who haven’t seen television’s Dr. Pimple Popper pop a lipoma (ugh! – not again!), here’s a link to the Wikipedia article on this tumor.

Lipoma – Wikipedia

37 thoughts on “12Aug23: It’s a lipoma.

  1. While Elsa is a dog, she has a fairly good sized one on her right shoulder and with her epilepsy (not to mention the expense) I too have decided to let this go. The vet said it’s not a problem for her as much as going under anesthesia (she’s at least 9, perhaps older). Lipomas are common in standard poodles and aren’t a health problem. I’ve even learned how to groom around it so it isn’t as visually noticeable. You’re a good cat Dad and Andy is in very good hands. 💙

  2. Oh dear Doug, but it is not cancer, and lipoma doesn’t make any problem to Andy, this is good. On the other hand yes, I do agree you ask an advice from other vets too… My best wished for you both to find the best way without any risk. Love and Hugs, nia

  3. I am glad it is just a lipoma. You should start a GoFund me, I would donate and I know many others would to help you out with Andy.

    • Thanks for the suggestion and offer. I have pretty much decided not to have it removed because of concerns for Andy’s safety. He doesn’t have issues with it, doesn’t have pain, and it isn’t cancer or harmful, just “lumpy”.

  4. So sorry to hear of this, Doug. We had a kitty who had a benign mast cell tumor on the surface of her skin. It was successfully removed when she was about 9 – 12 (former stray, didn’t really know her age). But it was much smaller than the apparent size of the one Andy has. It was about three fourths of an inch in diameter. As others have said, maybe a second vet opinion on this would be a good idea.

  5. Dear Doug and Andy – so sorry to learn that Andy has this lipoma. BUT he seems to live with it.
    Could you find the advice of another vet ? Anesthesia is always a risk for cats, and you must be sure of the vet.
    My kitten -she is always a kitten for me – is 11 since last june, and looks like Andy with their summer body 🙂
    To say the truth, every thing is expensive. I just bought the same food than you – and another pack for the Miss Tricolore indoor : 60 Euros at the petshore, with 6 euros less for ” fidelity “.
    Toutes mes amitiés et pensées positives from France

    • Andy is a Persian and that makes anesthesia more problematic, I think, because of the structure of their faces. My friend Deborah told me that Persians can’t fly because of this reason. They have breathing problems on flights. Anyway, I can live with the lump since Andy doesn’t having pain or a threat to his life. A second opinion sounds like a good idea.

      Yes, that special food is pricey! Sixty euros is more than I pay by a bit.

    • In Nebraska, you pay a tax on cars to fund county government functions like airports, schools, police, county government services, etc. You also pay a fee for license plates and the little stickers showing you’ve paid your taxes for the year. It comes due in the month you bought and registered the car in the first place. I bought mine in May, so I get a notice in April reminding me. I can pay early, of course, or in the actual month it’s due. If I were to have a vanity plate with some inane statement like “KAT BOY”, I’d also pay an extra fee for that. There are also specialty plates that the fees are partially used for wildlife management – one has a cougar on it that is tempting except for the extra fee! – or support of the Nebraska Cornhusker team of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a popular one in this state.

      I’m pretty much convinced I would have the lipoma removed since Andy is 12 and I have concerns about his ability to survive even a minor surgery alive. I’d hate myself if he died because of the complications his face structure. (Persian’s “smooshed” faces cause breathing issues…)

      • I don’t think I could go through with the surgery, Doug. If it’s not causing him any discomfort, leave it as is. I have a vanity plate on my truck but it was a one time fee. I don’t like the way your state taxes people. Wow! Nevada has no state tax.

    • I haven’t committed to having it removed yet, John. I have concern that anesthesia is problematic for a Persian kitty, and I would never forgive myself if he died having this removed. I had one kitty die after surgery, and I never forget that.

  6. One of our dogs had three or four lipomas in older age. Only one was removed because it was in a place that he could scratch with gusto if he chose to. The rest never caused any problems. I don’t remember the cost of the removal.

    • I guess Andy is the first kitty I’ve had long enough to qualify as “elder cat”, and that lipomas are more likely to happen in older cats and dogs. I appreciate you experience with the condition. Andy hasn’t messed with it, doesn’t have issues with pain, so I’m more and more thinking I won’t have it removed. I am concerned, too, that the Persian face structure causes breathing issues for kitties like Andy, and that that could be an issue for putting him under.

      • I have never had a cat with a lipoma, but have known people with dogs that had one. I also lean toward leaving things like a lipoma alone unless they start growing fast. I also try to avoid anesthesia for them (and myself) unless it is necessary.

  7. If it’s not bothering Andy I’d be tempted to just leave it. We have a similar scenario with Louis Catorze’s bald spot; we could go through all manner of testing to find out what’s causing it (the vet doesn’t know) but since it’s not bothering him, we’ve just left it. It disappears, it comes back, it disappears again, and we just accept it as one of those mysteries of life.

    • I have concerns that Andy could die because Persian faces cause them to have breathing issues. I would never forgive myself if he died having this fairly straight forward procedure done. (I’m sure, too, if he did, the veterinarian would still expect his fee!)

  8. I’m sorry to hear that Andy has a lipoma, but it could have been so much worse. Indeed, “do nothing” actually seems to be a viable plan, and it will be interesting for you to hear your readers’ experiences of the condition witrh their own pets..

    • I’m still thinking leaving it alone is my best bet. Andy is Andy even with the lump. If it were cancer or causing Andy issues and pain, I’d have it removed.

  9. As you know, Sunny has a lipoma on her right side. It hasn’t grown since it was first diagnosed, and I don’t entirely trust her vet since he’s always suggesting these “premium” treatments for things I don’t see as a problem, like selling us specialized cat food because Sunny was losing weight. (They ran six tests on her already, then wanted to slice open the lipoma to biopsy it, which had me screaming OMG in the exam room.) If memory serves our vet wanted $6000 for removing the lipoma, though this was pre-pandemic in California, possibly the most expensive state to do anything. I decided if Sunny didn’t appear to be in pain and the lump was’t preventing her from moving in her normal fashion, there was no need to put her through that. Plus I didn’t have the money lying around, and like you I’ve had several large expenses put on the credit card. Anyway I would proceed carefully with an older cat: I lost one to what was supposed to be a basic surgical procedure, and the vet tried to make me feel like it had been my fault my cat died on the table. The anesthesia was what killed my old cat, so I am very cautious now about putting my cats under. Good luck to Andy! He’s a handsome boy, lipoma or not!

    • I forgot that Sunny has one, too. Frankly, I am concerned Andy, a Persian, would be more vulnerable to complications of death under anesthesia because of the structure of Persian faces. Interesting, too, that her veterinarian wanted to cut into the tumor to establish what it was. Andy’s simply inserted a syringe needle into it, sucked out a sample, examined it under a microscope, established that the tumor was fatty material, with no signs of cancer, and completed this in the same time I was there having him in for a routine (expensive, of course!) follow-up. My first kitty, Freckles the grey tabby laap kitten, died after being spayed. She had problems coming out of it, was kept overnight, and found dead the next morning. (I paid for the surgery, of course, but the cremation was free.) They did a postmortem but could find any reason to explain her death. I’ve been wary of having my pets in for any surgery since, especially if they are not in pain or suffering from cancer or other serious problem.Thanks for reminding me about Sunny!

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