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Dog Transitional Cell Carcinoma

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Dog Transitional Cell Carcinoma

What is transitional cell carcinoma? This is an especially aggressive tumor of the bladder. The lower bladder neck is the usual location in dogs. It will cause an obstruction of the bladder which can be partial or complete. The tube that carries the urine from the bladder is involved in more than half the patients that are diagnosed.

The cells that line the parts of the body that are exposed to the outside are also usually involved with this type of Dog Cancer. The skin is a primary place that consists of squamous cells. They have a scaly appearance and are very strong cells. Those in the lungs and the rest of the respiratory tract secrete lubrication to the areas and have little cilia that push them out of the lower tract and up to the area that they need to be in to be coughed out of the dog’s body.

The bladder is lined with transitional cells. Their job is to protect the bladder from the caustic urine that is inside the bladder. They are also necessary to protect as the bladder enlarges and contracts with the presence of urine. A transitional cell carcinoma is one that is in the urinary bladder.

Signs and Symptoms

The most common sign is witnessing your dog straining whenever they attempt to urinate. A common symptom that may possibly occur is bloody urine.


Causes of transitional cell carcinoma’s are not known. There is some research that indicates that some Dog Cancer Chemotherapy can cause Dog Bladder Cancer. Dog Obesity and city dwelling pets seem to get it more frequently. It is more common in male dogs. There are also some dog breeds that seem to be more predisposed to transitional cell carcinoma.

The West Highland White Terrier, Scottish Terrier, Shetland Sheepdog and Beagle dogs are more prone to transitional cell carcinoma. In Scotties the exposure to certain herbicides such as phenoxy herbicide, seem to increase the risk of this type of tumor. It is felt that feeding your Scottie green leafy vegetables or yellow/orange vegetables three times each week may decrease the risk.

The average age for diagnosis in dogs is eleven years.

Diagnosis and Treatment Options

Urinalysis and culture are the first steps in diagnosis. Since these may indicate both bladder infections as well as transitional cell carcinoma, treatment for infection with antibiotics may be the first step taken. If no infection is present or if there is a palpable growth, x-rays and/or ultrasound as well as cystoscopy are in order.

Prognosis depends on the stage of this disease. If it has not invaded other organs the prognosis is much better. Prognosis is never very good for long term.

There have been studies that have shown that dogs with metastasis have a median prognosis of 118 days. This can be extended by 100 days if no metastasis is present.

Without involvement of the lymphatic system survival can be over two hundred days, while with lymphatic involvement the span is decreased to 70 days.

If it has progressed to distant organs, survival is in the area of 100 days with an increase of 100 days without this involvement. Early diagnosis is vital with this and all other types of cancer in canines. Observe your dog for changes in behavior, whether they are emotional or physical and report those changes to your vet.

Suggested Products

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Additional Dog Cancer Pages

Dog Cancer | Dog Skin Cancer | Dog Bladder Cancer | Dog Pancreatic Cancer | Dog Bone Cancer | Dog Cancer Prevention | Dog Cancer Diagnosis | Dog Lymphoma Cancer | Dog Gastric Cancer | Dog Mast Cell Tumors

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