Anal Sac Adenocarcinoma

Posted October 24, 2013

Buddy is a 11 year old Border Collie with a zest for life and the physical health of a professional athlete. He has had several anal sac abscesses in his life, so when he was experiencing pain in the anal area, we expected another abscess.

On examination, Buddy’s anal sac was larger and harder than a typical abscess. It had many bumps on it like a tiny cauliflower and was dangerously close to his rectum. When we attempted to drain it, we found it contained a tiny amount of fluid and a lot of dense tumor tissue. We biopsied the tissue and submitted the sample to Idexx Laboratory. The laboratory reported an anal sac adenocarcinoma…a very rare type of cancer in male dogs, occurring in approximately 1/5000 dogs. When treated, dogs can live up to a year after diagnosis before the tumor comes back.

Our X-rays and blood work showed no sign of spread within Buddy, a credit to the quick action his family took when he first displayed signs.

A couple of weeks later we successfully removed the rest of the tumor from this area. He has since recovered very well and continues to play, explore and be a typical too-many-smells-too-little-time Border Collie.

A diagnosis of cancer puts a lot of pressure on us to do the best for our pets
without allowing them to suffer. It’s important to remember that they don’t understand the seriousness of the diagnosis like we do, and don’t feel the anxiety that people do. Like Buddy, after the initial diagnosis and treatment, many pets carry on unaffected until the day the tumor recurs, whenever that may be. I am confident that Buddy’s family will relish his remaining time and, together, we will make sure he doesn’t experience anything unpleasant when the cancer eventually returns.


Update from Buddy’s owners:

He is feeling like a million bucks and the whole family is reaping the benefits of our decision to make our time count!!

He might even run a few heats on an open team in November because…… Buddy gets to do what he wants 🙂

Thanks again to all of you at Ellwood, I can’t imagine going through our experience with any other veterinary office!

Colleen & Gary


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