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Perianal Adenoma in Dogs… Symptoms, expectations and costs!

Perianal Adenoma in dogs presents as lumps around the rear end.

These lumps are benign tumors that occur in male dogs that are still considered to be ‘intact males’… if you catch our drift.

You see…

Perianal tumors are tumors that grow around the dog’s anal sac and are relatively harmless, if inconvenient and unsightly. The dangerous part of this condition comes in its similarity to its cancerous sister – Perianal anal sac Adenocarcinoma.

This variant is…

Much, much more serious and almost always deadly particularly if left untreated.  This is why you’re definitely going to want to have your vet check out your pet anytime you suspect that he or she may be suffering from a perianal adenoma so that they can make the determination on whether or not you need to be worried.

In the meantime…

However, we did want to take a moment and discuss exactly what a perianal adenoma is so that if you do have the “misfortune” of having to deal with this issue, you’ll be better prepared to know what to expect.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!

Perianal Adenoma’s, what are they and what do they do?

Perianal Adenoma affects the perianal gland and presents itself as perianal tumor, which can also be commonly referred to as a:

  • Perianal mass,
  • Or as a Hepatoid Gland Adenomal.

The good news is…

That regardless of what you call these things, basically what you have on your hands is a non-cancerous lump around your dog’s behind located right below their tail.


Your vet should be able to make a clinical diagnosis of your dog’s condition without too much effort other than a routine rectal examination.  That said however, they will want to do fine needle aspiration on each new growth to ensure that it is not the cancerous variant of this disease.

You see…

Unlike their evil sister disease, perianal Adenomas can also occur in the occasional spayed female, too, though it is most common in male dogs. Now at first, diagnosing a perianal adenoma can be difficult because it will begin in the sebaceous regions of the anal glands and clinical signs may not be noticeable at first.


As the adenoma grows, you may begin to notice lumps and/or bumps around your dog’s anal sac and anal region.


There is a second variant of this condition which is known as Invasive Perianal Adenoma. This basically means that the tumors are spreading around the localized area. This is much less common than the usual disease, which will often only have one lump per location.


If it turns out that the tumors become malignant then this disease has turned into Perianal Adenocarcinoma. In this event surgical removal is the only option – whether the lumps are bothering your dog or not. This variation only happens in male dogs and can quickly spread to the lymph nodes and lungs, ultimately ending in death if left unchecked.

Malignant Tumors…

In the regional lymph nodes can be fatal. Surgery and chemotherapy must be performed immediately to prevent death. It is for those reasons that the vet will perform the aspiration test. They may also check your dog’s blood calcium levels with a simple blood test. If the levels are normal it is a strong indication that any tumors are benign.

In any case…

Get your vet to check things out immediately should you notice any lumps and bumps around your dog’s perianal regions.

Affected Breeds

It is important to remember that, while females can catch Perianal Adenoma, they cannot catch the cancerous variant. Males can, so technically every male dog is at risk. Luckily, around 80% of all anal tumors turn out to be benign, so your dog has excellent chances!

It is thought to be inherited in certain breeds but not in all. That being said, the known breeds susceptible to this condition are:

  • The Alaskan Malamute
  • The Beagle
  • The Bulldog
  • The Cocker Spaniel
  • The Samoyed
  • The Siberian Husky

Please also remember that this is a fairly common condition so this list is by no means exhaustive. Also, any mixed breed dog may have these breeds in their ancestry and therefore could be prone to Perianal Adenoma without you even realizing it!

Treatment Options

Treatments for this condition are fairly limited and are more focused towards managing and monitoring the tumors to ensure they don’t develop into cancerous ones. Whether or not the surgical option is taken depends upon where the tumor is. If it is too close to the anal sphincter then surgery may be impossible and managing the tumor down to a smaller size might be the better option.


If your dog is seriously affected by the tumors then your vet may opt for radiation therapy. Estrogen or testosterone may also be used depending on the nature of the condition, but these are all fairly extreme measures.

It can take several…

Months for the tumor to come back down to a manageable size and, if surgery is undertaken, it can take even longer for things to heal up down there. Either way, you are in for some hefty vet bills and a very sore doggy indeed.

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 adenoma (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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