Perianal Gland Tumor in Dogs

Perianal Gland Tumor in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Most common symptoms

Bleeding / Frequent Urination / Increased Urination / Increased thirst / Lethargy / Licking

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Rated as moderate conditon

21 Veterinary Answers

Most common symptoms

Bleeding / Frequent Urination / Increased Urination / Increased thirst / Lethargy / Licking

Perianal Gland Tumor in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

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What is Perianal Gland Tumor?

The perianal glands are sebaceous-like structures in the perianal skin of dogs, located close to the anus. Perianal gland tumors originate from these glands, and most commonly develop in intact, older dogs and spayed females. While benign tumors are generally harmless and can be easily treated, the malignant variety can create life-threatening conditions for your dog, and will need to be treated aggressively.

Perianal gland tumors develop close to, or directly on, the anus in dogs, and originate from the perianal glands.  These tumors can be single or multiple nodules in the skin that can be benign or malignant, and can cause symptoms that involve elimination. If hypercalcemia is also present, your dog can also suffer from kidney issues that can lead to failure.

Symptoms of Perianal Gland Tumor in Dogs

The presence of a perianal gland tumor is usually not painful for your dog, but it can cause your dog to pay a lot of attention to that area. While these nodules can grow without any symptoms for months or years, they can eventually rupture and bleed, leaving your dog susceptible to infections. Tumors may appear as single or multiple masses in the anal area, and can create a thickened ring around the anus. Signs include:

  • Round, nodules in the skin near anus
  • Thickened ring of tissue surrounding anus
  • Bleeding nodules
  • Excessive licking of the anal area
  • Scooting rear end on ground
  • Colorectal obstruction 
  • Rectal pain
  • Protruding rectal mucous membrane 
  • Straining to defecate 
  • Bloody feces 
  • Vomiting blood
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination 
  • Decreased appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Reduced exercise tolerance 
  • Growth on the testes
  • Hypercalcemia, or elevated blood calcium levels

Types

  • Perianal gland tumors are categorized as benign adenomas and malignant carcinomas
  • Benign adenomas are masses of the perianal glands that are not classified as cancerous and do not spread

Malignant carcinomas, or adenocarcinomas, are also masses of the perianal glands. These are uncommon cancerous masses that are hard to distinguish from benign adenomas, but can spread to other locations in the body and cause hypercalcemia, or increased blood calcium levels that can lead to kidney failure. Malignant carcinomas require more intensive diagnostic testing and treatments, therefore it is necessary to determine if your dog’s tumors are malignant.

Causes of Perianal Gland Tumor in Dogs

While the definitive cause of perianal gland tumors is still unknown, testosterone is believed to influence cell proliferation in the glands. Male dogs have an increased risk compared to females in developing these tumors. For females, adrenocortical hormones may play an important role in tumor growth. 

Additionally, genetic factors may also influence the possible progression of this type of tumor. Breeds who seem to be at a higher risk include:

  • Beagles
  • Cocker Spaniels
  • English Bulldogs
  • Samoyed breeds 

Diagnosis of Perianal Gland Tumor in Dogs

A physical exam can help your veterinarian determine if the masses or nodules on your dog’s anal area may be tumors. Often a urinalysis is performed, as well as blood work that can reveal an elevated blood calcium level, a sign of these types of growths. 

Many perianal gland tumors will be benign, but a small percentage of these growths can be malignant. A tissue sample by a fine-needle aspirate or by a surgical biopsy will be examined under the microscope to determine what kind of tumor your dog has. Chest and abdominal X-rays and ultrasounds can also help to determine of the tumors have spread, such as to the lymph nodes or prostate gland.

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Treatment of Perianal Gland Tumor in Dogs

Treatment for these tumors can vary, and can be more difficult if they have spread. Treatment for tumors that are diagnosed as malignant aims to improve your dog’s quality of life, while benign masses can be completely resolved. 

For intact, male dogs, the primary treatment is the removal of one or both testes. This eliminates much of the testosterone, which can result in regression of small and benign tumors. Your dog is monitored after castration to assess if further removal is necessary. 

In both male and female dogs, small tumors can also be removed with cryotherapy, which freezes off the masses. For larger or malignant tumors, surgical removal may be necessary. Fecal incontinence can result from surgery due to damage to the sphincter muscle which is next to the perianal gland. 

Chemotherapy and radiation therapy may also be prescribed in addition to castration, and are generally given over several weeks. Estrogen therapy can be administered to shrink tumors, and is used especially in cases where castration is not an option in male dogs. A side effect of estrogen therapy is a life threatening condition of bone marrow suppression.

Supportive treatments can include soothing creams for irritated anal skin, and medications to reduce blood calcium levels, improve kidney function, and alleviate pain and nausea.

Recovery of Perianal Gland Tumor in Dogs

For benign perianal gland tumors, recovery is very good. Neutering leads to a complete regression in 95% of these cases. Your dog may need post-operative care, and should be seen by your veterinarian in 1 to 3 months to monitor tumor regression. In a small percentage of cases, tumors may recur, but can be treated. 

If your dog has a malignant tumor, post-operative care may be longer and more intense. You may need to monitor your dog for complications, such as infections and fecal incontinence. Your dog may need frequent veterinary visits for treatments. Recovery is poor, as many dogs can die from the effects of the tumors within a year from diagnosis, or are euthanized.

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Perianal Gland Tumor Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Poodle

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Sixteen Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Lump

Has a soft lump over his right rear thigh. It’s to the point that he takes a minute to get up and stand. Once he is up he’s going full force.

yesterday

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Hello, This could be a fatty mass but could be something more. If it continues to get bigger, it would be best for your dog to see a vet. They can take a sample with a needle and look at it under the microscope. They can tell you if this is fat or cancerous. I hope your dog starts to feel better soon.

today

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spud

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Shih Tzu

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Sixteen Years

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Mild severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Growth Near Anal And Bleeding

Hello, My dog name spud (shih tzu) 16 years old has been diagnosed with perianal adenoma tumour. When I went to see the emergency Vet, he recommended to have a surgery. My concerns are; 1. will he have any side effects being 16 years of age. 2. is there a possibility of tumour coming back? What are your recommendation if any? I want him to live a long and happy life but if the surgery is going to make him unhappy by hurting or tumour coming back, is there another option till he lives? (with happiness and less pain? by the way, he is eating well and it seems that the tumour does not bother him. Please help!!!!!!

Sept. 10, 2018

spud's Owner

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Buddy

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Rat Terrier

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18 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

I have a 18yr old Rat terrier, we were told over the past years he had a tumor by the anus, it has now recently grown, leaking, blood and what ever, he also has seizures that are controlled by drugs, do we spend thousands of dollars on the removal, no one knows if he can make it thru or is there something I can do to make him more comfortable, would cbd oil help, and what dose?

July 28, 2018

Buddy's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

At the age of 18, I don’t think the risk:benefit balance is in Buddy’s favour as it isn’t just the surgery but also the prolonged recovery and possible complications from the surgery; any decision on surgery would need to be discuss with your Veterinarian. I do think that palliative therapy would be best for Buddy given his age which would include seizure control, pain relief and ensuring that his stool is soft; CBD oil is something which I don’t recommend as all information is anecdotal with very little reputable information on its use, plus dosing is not consistent across literature and with Buddy’s history of seizures you should discuss with your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 29, 2018

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Benny

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Beagle

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12 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting
Blood In Stool
Irregular Round Lump

I have a 12 year old neutered male who seems to have a perianal tumor. He has always had a sensitive stomach and about a month ago he started having a lot of loose stools occasionally with blood in them. We saw the vet and he didn't seem too concerned at the time, (the lump was maybe 2/3 inch in diameter) and suggested we have it removed, but we are just about to sell our home and don't have a ton of money at the moment so we had to delay for a bit. The lump is now about 1 inch in diameter and irregular. Yesterday it was very slightly bleeding. Today we came home and he had pooped and puked in several places around the house, and there was blood present in the stool. I am worried that this is an indication that the lump is malignant. We will be going to our vet again shortly, but I would like as much info ahead of time to talk to him about as possible. As a side note, he is still acting pretty normally, and eating as he always has.

June 20, 2018

Benny's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Dogs do get tumors as they get older, and some are benign, but some can be malignant. Some tumors need to be taken off just based on the location, and tumors around the anus can be a problem whether they are benign or malignant. Depending on the location of the tumor, your veterinarian may recommend removal, or may want to biopsy the tumor first. Once you have seen your veterinarian, you will have more information on how best to proceed. I hope that all goes well for Benny.

June 21, 2018

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Rudi

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neutered rescue dog - x breed labrador,

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11 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

My 11 year old lab cross rescue dog has had a perianal gland tumor (benign) removed 12 months ago and unfortunately it has grown back. The removal was done by our local vet but he said it was unlikely that they get all the tumor as they didn't want to get clear margins because they were anxious about causing future problems. To have it removed by a specialist has been suggested but it is an enormous expense - they feel they have the best chance of removing it completely. I would welcome your opinion. The cost would be approx 4 times the original cost. Thank you

June 14, 2018

Rudi's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

That is a tricky area to do surgery on, and the possibility of damaging the nerves around the anus exists. If your veterinarian feels that a specialist is the best route to go, they are probably right. What you might want to to is to have a consultation with the specialist to have them assess Rudi's situation, and they can give you a better idea as to what you might expect, what the prognosis is for removal, and what your options are.

June 14, 2018

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Sam

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Pit bull

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11 Years

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea

My 11 year old male pit bull has been having issues with defecating recently, and often will have diarrhea, his anus will sometimes bleed because of it. We clean it whenever that happens, and today when cleaning it i noticed there was a large red bump about the size of a dime protruding from the left side of his anal cavity. He is a healthy dog, but he is getting older. From what I’ve seen online I think it could be a tumor but I haven’t found an exact match to what I saw on him so I am not sure.

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Eunice

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India Street Dog

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9 Years

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Serious severity

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1 found helpful

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Peri-Anal Tumor

My spayed female dog had a peri-anal mass removed and the lab report state" benign adnexal tumor, peri anal tumor upper margin, lower margin and deep resection margin are not free. Lateral margins are free" Does this mean she has an adenocarcinoma? We live in Myanmar now and don't have access to very modern veterinary care. Can you recommend our best way to move forward? She seems completely fine and pain-free. Thank you.

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Rusty

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Retriever cross

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11 Years

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Critical severity

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0 found helpful

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Critical severity

Has Symptoms

Drops Of Blood After Bowel Movement

Took my 11 year old fur baby (retriever cross) to vet last night because of drops of bright red blood while defecating. Was told perianal tumour is the size of a grapefruit, he is not expected to live 6 months. Blood work was done and all is normal, including calcium levels. He is happy dog, still eating, enjoying his walks, smiling, urinating as before and normal stools, except for the drops of blood. He is not bothered by the tumour, doesn't lick the area and is not drinking any more than normal. He weighs 65lbs. Is surgery a good option? Any experience re: life expectancy if nothing further (besides comfort care) is done? Thank you.

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Toby

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Paperanian

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12 Years

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Limping

Hi. While washing my dog, I noticed a small lump at the 12 o’clock position of his anus, with the size of a pin needle. It was covered in hard feces, so that may have caused the condition?! Doesn’t seem to create any discomfort for him while squeezing it. However, prior to that and within a month from his last monthly wash, I noticed weakness in his rear legs when he first starting to get up from a longer (say, 30 to 60min) rest. It only last a few seconds/steps, before he can walk and run as usual. I have inspected/squeezed his legs and checked his paws, there doesn’t to be any discomfort. Q: Would that small lump have anything to do with his slight weaknesses in his legs? As it appeared around the same time with his leg Symptoms? Thank you Doctor

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vegas

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American cocker spaniel

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12 Years

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Moderate severity

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3 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Large Bump On His Anus

Hi i have a 12years old American cocker who has a very large lump on his anus it has got alot bigger in the last few months we did take him to the vets but they said if they did operate he would be incontinence which would not be very nice.It does bleed sometimes but i have not got any money to have this done they would not let me pay money every month so should i have him put down he does not seem to be in pain just it does not look very nice as its so big.Help

Cannanine