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petdrz., Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 7350
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience in caring for dogs and cats.
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Just found out my dog (12 yr old, male) has a sac tumor.

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Just found out my dog (12 yr old, male) has a anal sac tumor. We went to a specialist yesterday. The specialist said the tumor is the smallest he'd ever seen. He wanted to do the following test:

Ultrasound Abdomen
Radiograph 3 view chest
Superchem, CBC, T4, UA, HWAG
Calcium, Ionized.

My questions are:

1. are all these necessary
2. why won't he do a "biopcy" to determine whether that tumor is benign or maligment?
Hello and thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I'm a veterinarian with over 25 years experience and would be happy to work with you but need a bit more information in order to better assist you, if you don't mind.

How was the tumor diagnosed? Did he just look at it and tell you it's a tumor?

How large is it?

Is he talking about removing it? If so, does he feel that all of it can be removed?

Is it causing any symptoms for him?

Thanks and I will respond further after you reply. There may be a slight delay while I formulate and type a thorough response.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We took him in for a routine check up, our vet tech found it when she expressed him. I didn't see the tumor, but the specialist said it's the smallest he'd ever seen.


Yes, he is talking about removing it and he's talking about removing both anal sacs


There is no symptom we can tell. He's a healthy 12 year old, good epetite and loves to chase frisbee.

Thank you for the prompt reply.

If they are planning on doing surgery, the bloodwork is most likely part of the pre-anesthetic work up to make sure that a dog of his age is able to handle the anesthesia without a problem. As far as the xrays and ultrasound, it is part of screening him to see if the cancer has spread to the vital organs as some cancers do, even if the primary mass is small. Common places for cancers to metastasize include the lungs and the liver or spleen. It is often recommend that before a surgery to remove the primary mass is performed, that we screen the other organs first to make sure there is not already evidence of spread of cancer. If there is, it dramatically changes the prognosis and one may decide not to put the pet through a surgery. In his case, since it is small, hopefully all will be negative, but some tumors spread pretty quickly.

When determining if a mass is benign or malignant, a piece of the tissue must be submitted for histopathologic diagnosis, which is best obtained by removing all or a piece of the mass. A needle aspirate can give an idea, but is not definitive enough in most cases to state for certain. When the surgery is not a major event, it is acceptable to wait until the diagnosis of benign or malignant to screen the other organs, but depending on how involved the surgery is or based on the certainty of the veterinarian, they may feel it better to screen the other organs before proceeding with the surgical procedure. If you are uncertain if you want to proceed with the pre-surgical screening, you can discuss this with the specialist and weigh out the pros and cons. It is not impossible that the mass is benign or even that it is not cancer at all, but they would have a much better idea based on appearance and would be better able to advise you.

It sounds as if you are working with someone who is on top of things. Good luck as you proceed and please keep me posted as to how things progress.

I hope this is helpful. My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have received anything less, please reply back with additional questions or concerns and I will be happy to continue. Kindly rate me when you are done. Thank you for allowing me to assist you.

Dr Z

petdrz. and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you kindly for the positive rating. It is truly appreciated.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My vet specialist says my dog has a tumor on anal glant and most of them are malignant? do you know the percentage of those tumors that turned out to be malignant?

There are two type of tumors that commonly affect the tissue in that area of the body. Perianal tumors (around the anus) tend to be more benign in their behavior but can become rather large. If the tumor is actually involving the anal gland itself, it is more commonly malignant cancer called an anal gland adenocarcinoma. I cannot find a reference to the exact percentage, but I would estimate it to be high (80-90%) as is it rare to see a benign anal gland tumor. These can metastasize rapidly so even if it is small, I would suggest having it removed sooner versus later.

I hope that helps. Please reply back if you still have questions.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you very much for the advice.

You are welcome. Good luck.