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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 in male dogs that are still considered ‘intact males’… if you catch our drift.  You see, perianal tumors 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 severe and almost always deadly, mainly if left untreated.  This is why you will want to have your vet check out your pet anytime you suspect that they may be suffering from a perianal adenoma so that they can determine 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 have the “misfortune” of dealing 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 Defined

Perianal Adenoma affects the perianal gland and presents itself as a 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, what you have on your hands is a non-cancerous lump around your dog’s behind located right below their tail.  And your vet should be able to clinically diagnose your dog’s condition without much effort other than a routine rectal examination.  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, though it is most common in male dogs. 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 notice lumps and bumps around your dog’s anal sac and anal region.  Unfortunately, a second variant of this condition is Invasive Perianal Adenoma. This means that the tumors are spreading around the localized area. This is much less common than the usual disease, which often only has 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. 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 calcium levels with a simple blood test. If the levels are normal, it strongly indicates that the tumors are benign.  If you notice any lumps and bumps around your dog’s perianal regions, get your vet to check things out immediately.

Most Commonly Affected Breeds

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

It is thought to be inherited in certain breeds but only in some. That being said, the known species susceptible to this condition are:

This is a reasonably common condition, so this list is only partial. 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 pretty limited and are more focused on 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 cancer is. If it is too close to the anal sphincter, surgery may be impossible, and managing the tumor to a smaller size might be the better option.


Your vet may opt for radiation therapy if your dog is seriously affected by the tumors. Estrogen or testosterone may also be used depending on the nature of the condition, but these are all pretty extreme measures.  It can take several months for the tumor to return to a manageable size, and if surgery is undertaken, things can take even longer to heal up there. Either way, you are in for some hefty vet bills and a sore doggy.

This brings us to…

Were we like to remind folks that we here at IndulgeYourPet are not doctors, veterinarians, or medical professionals.  We are all a bunch of folks passionate about animals and only want what’s best for them.  If you feel your pet may have perianal adenoma (or any other health issue), you will want to have them checked out by a vet ASAP!


An early diagnosis will often lead to the “best” medical outcome for your pet regardless of what is bothering them, but beyond that, diagnosing a medical condition early could save you a bundle in medical costs!  This is also 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 suitable 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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