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Cost to remove rectal polyps in dogs

Customer Question
JACustomer: I am just...

JACustomer:

I am just wondering the cost to remove a rectal polyp, also, how often are they malignant? My father is a physician and he looked at my dog who is 5 years old, female English Staffordshire Bull Ter and "diagnosed" it as a polyp.

I haven’t tried anything. Just wondering if a regular vet can remove it. Do I need to take her to a university vet clinic? Also, are they usually benign?

Submitted: 9 years ago.Category: Dog
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Answered in 6 minutes by:
1/11/2009
Dog Specialist: Dr. Andy, Medical Director replied 9 years ago
Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 30,113
Experience: UC Davis Graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
Verified

Expert:

First, we cannot assume that a rectal tumor is a polyp. Especially, if your dog is older, a very costly mistake and I am sure your father knows this. Why?
When the surgery is performed, if it is assumed to be benign and the doctor does not get good margins (borders of the growth), it will grow back if it was cancerous.
So, regardless if a biopsy is done beforehand or if the growth after removal is sent for histopathology, it definitely needs to go to the laboratory for a definitive analysis. Rectal tumors are very common in many breeds of dogs.
Cost will be highly dependent on how large the growth is, if you have it sent to the laboratory afterwards for analysis, and demographics. Certainly, a surgical procedure in the midwest will likely not cost the same as surgery on the west or east coast. Cost of living, etc, no different than any other business. I can say with certainty it is not likely $500. I can also say it shouldn't be over $1500. That's about the best I can do.
I wish I can be more exact, but very difficult without being able to see it and palpate it.

It will depend on how much rectal tissue is involved and how it palpates. If your general vet wants to remove it. Generally, many rectal growths can be removed by general vets.

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Customer reply replied 9 years ago

JACustomer:

Ok, so one more question that wasn’t answered. I know you can’t see it so you don’t know, but how often are they cancerous? This dog is my heart and soul. She's a finished champion and I would hate to lose her at such a young age. If it is cancerous, what is the usual life span? Is colon cancer treatable with chemotherapy and if so is it usually successful?

Dog Specialist: Dr. Andy, Medical Director replied 9 years ago

Expert:
The most common rectal tumor we run into is a rectal adenocarcinoma.
Here are some excerpts from veterinary conferences you may find helpful. I can't give the links since they are protected.

The most common tumor’s of the perianal region are perianal adenomas and apocrine adenocarcinomas of the anal sacs. Perianal adenomas are the most common canine perianal tumor. Most occur in intact male dogs, and many are hormone dependent, so they usually diminish in size after castration. These tumors may be single or multiple, and are usually well circumscribed. Occasionally, these tumors ulcerate and become secondarily infected. Many of these tumors require conservative surgical excision. Perianal adenocarcinomas appear similarly to their benign counterparts, but are more infiltrative and often recur after incomplete excision. Interestingly, these masses metastasize slowly to regional lymph nodes and eventually appear in the liver, bone, and lungs. Anal sac apocrine gland adenocarcinomas occur mostly in intact female dogs. The tumors can have parathyroid hormone-like activity causing hypercalcemia. Wide excision can be locally curative, but metastasis is common to lymph nodes and viscera.

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Dog Specialist: Dr. Andy, Medical Director replied 9 years ago

Excerpt: (as you can see you can't really predict these things)
Rectal polyps are also easy to find once they are far advanced, but in the early stages they are very easy to miss on physical examination because they are soft and feel like a fold of mucosa. It is impossible to distinguish a benign polyp from a malignant mucosal growth on physical examination or at endoscopy, histopathology is necessary. It is valuable to biopsy such lesions using a rigid biopsy forceps (as opposed to a flexible biopsy forceps) as this type allows a larger sample that can easily include copious amounts of submucosa. Being able to examine the submucosa can really help the pathologist decide if the mass is benign or malignant in difficult cases. Finding epithelial cells in the submucosa is prima facia evidence of malignancy. Fortunately, it is extremely rare that benign polyps undergo malignant transformation. If the polyp is removed entirely, it should not recur. Surgical removal after everting the rectal mucosa is the preferred way to remove such polyps. One may try electrocautery loops through a flexible endoscope, but this is probably not to be recommended unless the polyp is far enough inside the rectum that it cannot be everted during surgery.

Let me know if there is anything else I can do. Good Luck

Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 30,113
Experience: UC Davis Graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
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