The anal glands in dogs secrete a strong-smelling substance that dogs use to mark their territory when they eliminate. Unfortunately, anal glands can develop all sorts of problems—they can get blocked, infected, or even develop cancer.
The most common anal gland tumor in dogs is known as “adenocarcinoma”. It is a very aggressive type of cancer which has the ability to spread to lymph nodes and other major organs of the body. A dog that is found to have a tumor in the anal gland will benefit from immediate surgical removal of the mass. But there are instances when the cancer may return after the procedure especially when surgery is not done properly and the tumor is not removed entirely.
Your vet may also recommend “chemo beads” to complement surgery and help decrease the cancer’s chances of returning. Chemo beads actually look like tiny pearls that contain cisplatin, a type of drug that is used for chemotherapy.
Treating cancer is not without its side effects, so make sure to talk to your vet about questions and/or concerns that you may have about your pet’s case.