Anal Gland Cancer In Dogs | Pet Quest
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Also known as adenocarcinoma.

Adenocarcinoma (anal gland/sac cancer) is not a common disease. However, this disease is a very invasive disease that does not usually have a positive outcome for the patient.

Anal gland cancer is usually seen as a rectal growth or mass on or near the rectum of the animal. It is also common to find this disease in the lymph nodes. This disease is typically malignant and spreads quickly into other areas of the animal's body. Treatment options are available for anal gland cancer and normally involves surgery which can help to improve the animal's chances of survival.

This is a disease which can affect not only dogs but cats and other animals as well.

Symptoms of Anal Gland Cancer

The sign that is most commonly associated with anal gland cancer is a rectal mass or tumor. The masses themselves are often quite small.

In addition to any visual signs of a tumor, animals that suffer from anal gland cancer are often constipated or have problems defecating. They may also show signs of anorexia, polydipsia, and lethargy.

Causes of Anal Gland Cancer

This disease is quite common in dogs and is often associated with a hormonal imbalance of the parathyroid gland. Also, this disease is often found in the anal area and is also linked with hypercalcemia in the animal's body.

Diagnosing Anal Gland Cancer

In diagnosing anal gland cancer the veterinarian will insert a needle into the anal mass (needle biopsy) and examine the cells. This technique is used to rule out any other possible conditions. In difficult cases the veterinarian may have to perform a full biopsy which usually involves cutting the mass open and taking samples for further examination.

Imaging analysis, X-rays and/or ultrasounds, are also used in conjunction with biopsy examinations to further diagnose the cancer.

Treating Anal Gland Cancer in Dogs

The usual course of action for treating this disease is to surgically remove the tumor and any infected lymph nodes. As this is not a cure this procedure may prolong the animal's life.

In addition to the removal of the tumor the veterinarian may also prescribe radiation therapy to help with any locally recurring tumors.

Living and Management of the Disease

Once the tumor has been removed the animal will require constant monitoring through X-rays, ultrasounds, blood works, and physical examinations. The animal will also have to undergo calcium and kidney tests to detect any recurrence of the disease.

Animals that suffer from anal gland cancer have a poor prognosis. Surgery is used as a method to help improve the chances of lengthening the dog's life span.

Preventing Anal Gland Cancer

Because of the nature of this disease there is currently no way to prevent it.

Anal Gland Cancer In Dogs | Pet Quest
A tumor of the anal gland in a dog.

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