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Perianal Adenoma in Dogs

What Is Perianal Adenoma in Dogs?

Perianal adenomas are a common type of tumor found in the perianal region of dogs, which refers to the area surrounding the anus. These tumors typically originate in the sebaceous glands located in this region but can also manifest on the prepuce, the base of the tail, and in the groin. They are alternatively known as hepatoid or circumanal adenomas.

While perianal adenomas are relatively uncommon and generally non-cancerous, they pose a higher risk to male dogs that have not been neutered. Surgical removal of the male dog’s testicles (castration) is typically recommended, as this eliminates the influence of testosterone, which often halts the progression of these tumors.

Though most perianal bumps are benign, indicating they are non-cancerous, there are instances of perianal adenocarcinomas, which are cancerous. Therefore, if a mass is detected in this area, it is crucial to promptly schedule an appointment with a veterinarian for a formal diagnosis.

Causes

The precise cause of perianal adenomas remains unclear, but it is believed that testosterone plays a role in promoting the excessive growth of these cells. Male dogs that have not been neutered are at the highest risk of developing perianal tumors, although spayed females can also be affected. In females, estrogen, produced in non-spayed individuals, is thought to hinder the growth of these tumors.

Perianal adenomas have also been linked to conditions such as hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing’s Disease), adrenal tumors producing testosterone, and testicular tumors. These tumors are most commonly observed in breeds such as the Cocker Spaniel, Fox Terrier, and Siberian Husky.

Symptoms

Symptoms of perianal adenoma in dogs typically include the presence of pink, hairless, slow-growing tumors situated around the anus, prepuce, or beneath the tail. These tumors are generally smaller than one inch in diameter and may develop ulcers or infections. While perianal adenomas may resemble cancerous tumors upon visual inspection, they are benign in nature.

Certain types of perianal adenomas can exhibit local invasiveness. It is advisable to undergo a surgical biopsy to accurately determine the tumor type and establish the most appropriate treatment plan.

Diagnosis

For diagnosing perianal adenoma in dogs, veterinarians commonly opt for a biopsy and histopathology. Biopsy entails the collection of a tissue sample from the affected area, while histopathology involves analyzing the collected sample to identify the tumor type and establish a formal diagnosis.

Treatment

For small, non-ulcerated perianal adenomas (tumors where the skin is intact), the preferred treatment involves castration or surgical removal of the male dog’s testicles to halt progression.

Perianal Adenoma in Dogs FAQs

What is the life expectancy of dogs with perianal adenoma?

Tumor removal and castration typically result in a favorable prognosis. Recurrence of tumors happens in fewer than 10% of cases. Perianal adenomas are benign tumors, so life expectancy is generally not influenced by their presence or absence.

How does perianal adenoma differ from a malignant tumor in appearance?

Perianal adenocarcinomas are malignant tumors originating from the same cell type as perianal adenomas and are found in the same area of the body. To distinguish between these two tumor types, it is recommended to undergo biopsy and histopathology. Perianal adenocarcinomas typically exhibit faster growth compared to perianal adenomas.

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