Anal Gland Cancer | Daily News


Anal Gland Cancer

There are two types of cancers in the dogs’ backside; near the anus. They are called;

1.Apocrine gland cancer

2.Hepatoid Gland cancer

What is apocrine gland? (Sub head)

Apocrine glands located mainly in the skin; are scent glands, and their secretions usually have an odor. In dogs apocrine glands are present in anal sacs.

What is Hepatoid gland?

These common cancers arise from modified sweat glands that are most abundant in the cutaneous tissues around the anus but may also be present along the ventral midline from the perineum to the base of the skull, the dorsal and ventral tail, and in the skin of the lumbar and sacral regions.

1.Apocrine gland cancer

Apocrine gland cancer of anal sac origin has been definitively identified only in. The apocrine gland tumors have no sex predilection. They most commonly appear as deep, firm, nodular masses near the anal sac.

These cancers are often highly infiltrative into the other organs.

Is this breed specific?

Older English Cocker and Springer Spaniels, Dachshunds, German Shepherds, and mixed-breed dogs are most at risk.


As these lesions grow, they may compress the rectum and induce constipation. Some of these cancers cause anorexia, weight loss, polyuria and polydipsia, and mineralization of renal tissue.


When you carefully examine the anal area of your dog you can see a enlarge mass of growth at the anal opening.

Your vet may take a biopsy to identify the cancer cells and perform blood tests also. Scanning may help to identify the level of spread to other internal organs


Wide surgical excision, including involved lymph nodes, is the treatment of choice and chemotherapy along with radiation therapy may also be of benefit to increase time to progression

2. Hepatoid Gland cancer

Because sex hormones stimulate the development of hepatoid glands, the incidence of in intact, male dogs is three times that in females. Also are most common in aged dogs.

Is this breed specific?

Siberian Huskies, Samoyeds, Pekingese, and Cocker Spaniels are most commonly affected.


This type of cancers may develop at any site where hepatoid glands are present, but 90 per cent are found in the perianal region.

Grossly, they appear as one or (more commonly) multiple intradermal nodules 0.5–10 cm in diameter. Larger lesions commonly wounded. Large tumors can compress the anal canal and make defecation difficult.


Up to 95 per cent of male dogs respond completely to castration; and excision may be used concurrently to remove extremely large or ulcerated tumors that have become secondarily infected.

Surgery is the treatment of choice for females with hepatoid gland cancer but may need to be repeated, because recurrence is common. Radiation therapy is also an option.

(The writer is a Veterinary Surgeon and holds BVSc; MSC in Poultry Science and Technology, Master in Public Administration and Management)

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