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Treatment of subcutaneous lipomas in the horse: A case series
  • Molly T. Kearney,
  • J. Lacy Kamm
Molly T. Kearney
Oregon State University Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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J. Lacy Kamm
Oregon State University Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine
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Abstract

Background: Subcutaneous lipomas are relatively rare and affect horses of ≤2 years of age. They are typically benign although their presence can be deleterious due to invasion of local structures or the impact on locomotion. Thus far the literature has described the approach to several cases, but has not suggested protocol for the treatment of subcutaneous lipomas. Objectives: To describe the treatment of subcutaneous lipomas in horses. Study design: Case series. Methods: Three cases of subcutaneous lipomas were referred for resection over a three-year period. The horses were aged 1 to 2 years old with lipoma of the thorax, prepuce, and tarsus. A physical exam and ultrasonography were conducted prior to surgery. Resection was performed under general anaesthesia. Surgical drains and local chemotherapy were utilised in cases as detailed. Results: Recurrence of a thoracic lipoma occurred in case 1 after the initial resection at the exit site of a passive drain. The recurrence was treated unsuccessfully with injectable cisplatin, and a second revision surgery with the use of an active drain resulted in resolution. In case 2, complete resection of an encapsulated lipoma of the prepuce was successful with no recurrence. In case 3, incomplete resection of a tarsal lipoma resulted in a sound horse without further growth. Histopathologic analysis stated all masses were composed of well differentiated adipocytes with no evidence of malignancy. Main limitations: Small number of cases in the series, limited literature available. Conclusions: Subcutaneous lipomas should be resected as completely as possible, with 3cm margins where available. Margins are hard to determine grossly even with the aid of histopathology. Imaging, particularly computed tomography (CT), should be utilised to aid in pre-operative planning if available. When the creation of dead space cannot be avoided, active suction should be utilised instead of passive drainage. Local chemotherapy is ineffective.