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Hi. My friend Larisa called me just now and she is really sad. It seems that there is some problem with her three – year old dog, Lucky. I really couldn’t understand her very well, because she was screaming and telling me that she needs to go to vet urgently. To cut long story short, she was telling something about anal glands. I think that she thinks that her dog has a cancer. I never had similar situation, so can you tell me more about anal gland cancer survival rate for dogs? This is not something that I can talk about, I need someone with more experience. 

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It is hard to tell because you haven’t told us almost anything. What about some symptoms? This disease is common for dogs, and there is currently no bread that is a most prone to this type of cancer. I think that the best option is to wait until she tells you the whole story. But you should tell her that this disease is often connected with a hormone imbalance. I don’t want to judge anyone, but maybe she didn’t saw her dog needs. It is also found in the anal area and it is connected with hypercalcemia in animal’s body! 

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I am so sorry to hear that. :(  

When I was young my mother had a dog, who was the most innocent and the most loving creature ever. He is probably the main reason I have a dog today. The vet told her he had this type of cancer and the chances for his survival were so poor that she needed to euthanize him. 

  It was very sad. I was a child so I’ve been told that my mother gave it to a friend. But I knew that something else happened. I really hope it will be different for your friend’s dog.

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It will be different for her friend’s dog! The veterinary science has improved a lot in the past years and things are not as they used to be before. Ok, it is true, the survival rate is not so promising, but I personally know a dog who went through all of that and he is now the healthiest and the happiest dog ever.  And he is not the only one. I really hope your friend’s dog will get out of that. Just don’t think about all the bad things that can happen. You must be optimistic – you should always have hope and think positive.

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I cannot give you experience from the first hand, but can only share with you what I have read online and in books about dogs.

Anal gland cancer is pretty invasive and prognosis is pretty dire. Of course, it all depends on the dog's breed, age and when cancer is detected. If you start therapy on time, then chances are above average. But, don't rush to the conclusions. Maybe your friend's dog doesn't have anal gland cancer. Wait to see what vet is going to tell her. 

Anyway, if dog's diagnosis is the worst one, give her support and tell her that combination of chemo and surgery can give her dog a few more years.

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I don’t want to scare you, but my sister’s dog died from this three years ago. We still suffer because of this, it was wonderful and smart creature: / Anal sac tumors can occur in male and female dogs as well, there is no difference. Ten years is the average age of affected dogs. My sister was with vets almost three months, but there was no cure, unfortunately. So, you need to be really careful with this things. You need to try notice every symptom that you dog has. It is the only way to save him. In this case, therapy is the only solution. 

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I agree that you shouldn’t rush to any conclusions. If anal gland cancer is already confirmed, the vet will now try to see if the tumor has spread to the regional sublumbar lymph nodes or lungs. She will need to test her dog’s blood chemistries and urine. Blood tests are done to check for high calcium, and urine is supposed to show evidence of kidney damage. High blood calcium and kidney failure are associated with poor survival rates in animals with this type of cancer.
Surgery is the best solution for these dogs. It includes the removal of the tumor. Vets usually recommend radiation and chemotherapy.
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