Sep 13, 2009
Bailey is a 10 year old Lab. His owner brought him to a local colleague. At her practice, a yearly exam rightfully includes full blood work. This means a CBC (Complete Blood Count) which looks at red and white blood cell counts, and a chemistry, which analyzes the levels of kidney values, liver values and some minerals.
Bailey’s calcium level was high (aka hypercalcemia). That prompted his vet to perform a rectal exam. This is the wonderful test where a gloved finger is introduced you-know-where.
And guess what, a walnut-sized mass was found in place of the right anal sac. It probably should be about the size of a sweet pea in a Lab. Bailey was referred to us to have surgery to remove the mass (this is called anal sacculectomy), which we of course sent to the lab to be analyzed.
One week later, the biopsy confirmed anal sac carcinoma, the most common type of cancer in that area.
Phil Zeltzman, DVM, DACVS
Pet surgeon and author of a free, weekly newsletter for true pet lovers, available at DrPhilZeltzman.com