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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Rectal Polyps and Growths




Condition Overview

Polyps are benign, grape-like growths that occur in the rectum and may protrude from the anus. They are not common, but when present, they should be removed.


Adenocarcinoma is the most common malignant colorectal growth, followed by lymphoma. Adenocarcinomas are slow-growing gastrointestinal tumors found predominantly in older dogs, usually in the lower colon and the rectum. These Tumors can obstruct, ulcerate, and bleed.


Cancers can also arise from the anal sacs. This occurs primarily in older females. Anal sac adenocarcinomas have the unique property of producing parathyroid hormone, and thus may be associated with a severe form of hypercalcemia. These tumors vary in size from small lumps that are barely palpable to large masses protruding from the rectum.


The diagnosis is made by colonoscopy and biopsy of the tumor.


Surgical resection is the treatment of choice for colon and rectal cancers. Lymphomas can be treated with chemotherapy. Anal sac adenocarcinomas are best treated by surgical excision. Chemotherapy is a consideration for large tumors. Radiation may also be part of the treatment regimen.


There is no prevention for this condition.


Please contact your veterinarian if you suspect your pet may have this condition.

Show Sources & Contributors +


Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook

Publisher: Wiley Publishing, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Authors: Debra M. Eldredge, Liisa D. Carlson, Delbert G. Carlson, James M. Giffen MD

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