Anal Gland Adenocarcinoma
Dogs, like skunks, have paired glands along the opening of their anus that release a rather smelly substance during defecation. Tumors of the anal glands occur rarely, but they can be aggressive, therefore a rectal exam is an exceptionally important part of every physical exam.
Anal sac adenocarcinoma tumors can secrete a hormone that tricks an affected patient’s body into thinking their blood calcium level is low, causing massive absorption of calcium from their diet, bones, and kidneys. This can raise the blood calcium levels out of range, leading to nausea, weakness, and cardiovascular complications.
When possible, surgical removal of the anal sac tumor is the recommendation of choice. Anal sac tumors can spread to distant location in the body, first to lymph nodes in the pelvic region, then lungs, liver, spleen, and even bone. Small tumors carry a more favorable outcome than larger ones.