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Dogs - Anal Gland Cancer - and how long?

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Our beagle girl was having some pain while pooping in February of 2016. We took her in to the vet. She determine with a physical exam, x-ray, and blood test, that our dog has anal cancer. We opted not to treat it with surgery (taking out the anal glands can make the anus too loose and cause leaks, we also opted not to do chemo) and instead got a prescription for doggie pain meds so we could help Flap manage with any discomfort. Our vet instructed us that it would be "pretty quick." So, tearfully we told the kids.


All that never came.


Fast forward to February of 2017 and Flap now has a bulge under the fur to one side of her pooper. Since we moved, we had to find a new vet. He redid all the exams, because he was shocked Flap was still living a year later and doing quite well for an 11-year-old geriatric canine. The cancer has not spread to the lungs, which usually happens. We still have the stand-by pain meds. He is on board with our treatment plan, which is comfort care.


Now here we are in July, nearly a year and a half after diagnosis. Two vets have confirmed her disease. But she is still running, playing, and acting very healthy.


Have any of you faced this with your dog? How long did your pup last before you had to make that tough decision to put him/her to sleep?




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If it hasn't spread at all, is it possible it is a benign growth?  


That would be my guess, too.


Unless a biopsy was done . . .?

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My beloved shepherd mix had bladder cancer and lasted about two years, but when the pain meds stopped working, we had to act very quickly to get her euthanized so that she didn't suffer. Luckily our vet was right down the road because she very suddenly was in a lot of pain. So, my advice is to have an action plan with the vet for when the pain gets intolerable.

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