Anal Sac Tumor with Lymph Node Enlargement
Two weeks ago, Laydebug, my rescue foxhound of 10 years, started drinking excessively. No other symptoms present. I had ordered her senior blood panel in June but decided to repeat it with this onset of drinking so much. It showed her calcium levels were high (14).
My vet told me she could drop dead of a heart attack at any minute and told me to get a test for pituitary gland problems.
A personal friend, also a vet, asked me if anyone checked her anal sacs as he said 20 to 30% of high calcium is due to a tumor in the anal sac that can be as small as a grain of rice.
I took her immediately to a specialist 3 hours away and had a full diagnostic evaluation done. Indeed, it is a tumor in the anal sac and the ultrasound showed enlarged lymph nodes in the sublumbar.
No treatment options have been provided yet as the results will take a day from the aspirate of the tumor site. The "specialist" told me she would get recommendatons from an oncologist and I'd likely be facing radiation and chemotherapy. And if I couldn't afford those options, there likely was medicine to pull the calcium levels down.
I have googled a lot and it appears this is not a good prognosis at all. Many sites say the tumor should be removed because that type of tumor/cancer is quite aggressive. I also was told that often owners have to put their dogs down because the tumor grows to a size that the dog cannot defecate.
ANY advice is appreciated. Ladyebug's a true gem. My lesson learned, sadly too late, is everyone should demand that their vet examines their anal sacs upon each and every visit, especially in older dogs. Should this have been done, in hindsight, the tumor could have been removed, possibly with a full recovery. My former vet always did it; my current vet doesn't do it unless asked. I didn't know anal sacs could get tumors. A hard lesson to learn so I want to share this information with others.