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Perianal Adenocarcinoma in Dogs… Symptoms, expectations and costs!

Perianal Adenocarcinoma in dogs is thankfully a fairly rare condition.  However, if your dog has it they are in for a painful time of things. Now as hinted by the title, this is a type of cancerous tumor that happens in the perianal region and affects your dog’s anal sac.

And as…

Unpleasant as it may be to talk about, the good news is that anal sac adenocarcinoma is actually a treatable condition that is usually solved with surgery so it’s important not to “shy” away from the topic simply because it may not be the most “pleasant” of topics to dwell about.

This is especially true because…

While perianal adenocarcinoma certainly is a treatable type of cancer, the menial survival rates do fall off dramatically from the moment of diagnosis meaning that the sooner you can diagnosis and begin treating your dog’s adenocarcinoma, the better chances your dog will survive having developed adenocarcinoma!


You never know, even if you think your dog may have developed perianal adenocarcinoma, there is always the chance that they may actually only have the “benign version” which is much more common and is referred to as Perianal Adenoma.


If your dog has been diagnosed with the aggressive form of Perianal Adenocarcinoma then you can expect your vet to send your dog to surgery as soon as is possible. The good news is that with combinations of treatments your dog is likely to survive!

But before we…

Get too far ahead of ourselves let’s back up for a moment and discuss exactly what perianal adenocarcinoma is so that we can have a better understanding of why it’s so important to get it checked out right away if we think our pet may have it.

So, what is perianal adenocarcinoma and what does it do?

Perianal Adenocarcinoma is a cancerous tumor that develops around the anal sacs of male dogs. The problem is that while these tumors may start off around the perianal region, they tend to spread out around the “anal” region and will often metastasis into the regional lymph nodes quickly complicating matters.

This is typically…

When you’ll find that both the Apocrine Glands (that’s the scent producing bit back there) and the perianal glands become affected by this disease which will usually present as lumps that don’t seem to bother the dog but look infected and painful. These monastic growths can also be found throughout the pubic regions towards the anus and under the tail.

In fact…

The whole Perianal area can be affected, including the anal sphincter. The lumps, or adenomas, will aggressively spread into the lymph nodes.  This is why this disease can be so deadly when not treated right away and why your vet will likely want to perform a rectal examination at the first sign of any perianal lumps.

We should point out that…

There is a non-aggressive and benign version of this disease that your vet will want to ensure your dog doesn’t have before they move onto extreme treatments such as chemotherapy or surgical removal. A biopsy will likely be performed before treatment begins properly.

Symptoms of perianal adenocarcinoma

Clinical signs or symptoms that may indicate that your dog suffers from a perianal adenocarcinoma may include:

  • lumps,
  • lesions,
  • blistering or pustules around your pup’s anal region.

It should also be pointed out that…

This condition only affects the male of the species but is extremely dangerous, and despite where it is situated, if the cancer spreads into the lymph nodes it will quickly start appearing in the lungs too, eventually resulting in death. This condition needs to be treated quickly to prevent this from happening.

Affected Breeds

Remember that this only affects male dogs. That being said, here are the known breeds associated with being at risk:

  • The Beagle
  • The Bulldog
  • The Cocker Spaniel
  • The German Shepherd Dog
  • The Samoyed
  • The Siberian Husky

Treatment Options

Your vet will first want to do a rectal examination to look for all of the above-mentioned clinical signs. Once verified they will then want to do a biopsy of the tumor A blood test to look at blood calcium levels may also be completed as low blood calcium levels can be an indicator of this condition.

The calcium levels are…

A particularly good clue as they do not differ in the benign version of this disease and a blood test is much quicker than a biopsy.  Now if it turns out that you dog suffers from the more aggressive “cancerous” version of this disorder, your vet will opt for surgical removal wherever possible.


If your dog is particularly old or otherwise unwell it’s possible that your vet may counsel you not to distress them further. In this event you must take their quality of life into consideration before you opt for the surgical option.


Should you elect to have surgery performed on your pet, various treatments may then be employed such as chemotherapy and a number of medications, all of which are designed to keep the cancer away.

The main takeaway…

One should consider about what if any treatment should be provided is that when a dog does undergo surgery to have their perianal adenocarcinoma have a 70% chance of living for another 2 years vs those who do nothing which tend to die right away1

Which brings us to…

Were we like to remind folks that we here at IndulgeYourPet are not doctors, veterinarians or medical professionals.  All we are is a bunch of folks who just happen to be passionate about animals and only want what’s best for them.

This is why…

If you feel like your pet may have perianal adenocarcinoma (or any other health issue for that matter) the first thing that you’re going to want to do is have him or her check out by a vet ASAP!


The truth is, an early diagnosis will often lead to the “best” medical outcome for your pet regardless of what is bothering him or her, but beyond that diagnosing a medical condition early could save you a bundle in medical costs!

This is why…

We here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.

Now will a pet insurance policy be right for everyone?

No, probably not.  But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?

For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.

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