Clinical and pathologic features of thyroid tumors in 26 dogs

Harari J, Patterson JS, Rosenthal RC.

J Am Vet Med Assoc 1986;188:1160-1164.

Thyroid tumors were diagnosed in 26 dogs between 1977 and 1984. A total of 23 of the 26 tumors were carcinomas, and 3, detected as incidental findings at necropsy, were adenomas. The median patient age was 9.5 years. Dogs of the Beagle breed were affected most commonly (5 dogs). The most common physical abnormalities in carcinoma patients were cervical swelling, dyspnea, and coughing. A total of 25 of 26 dogs were clinically euthyroid. Aspiration cytology provided diagnostic information in 8 of 17 cases. In dogs with thyroid carcinoma, a cervical soft tissue lesion was identified consistently by use of radiography and scintigraphy with sodium pertechnetate. Pulmonary metastases were detected radiographically in 8 of 21 dogs with thyroid carcinoma. Thoracic nuclear imaging confirmed the radiographic findings in 11 of 14 dogs. Surgical excision of the thyroid mass was the primary treatment for 17 dogs with carcinoma. Eight dogs died within 2 years (median, 7 months) of surgery because of primary tumor regrowth or metastases. Four dogs were alive at a range of 3 to 48 months after surgery, and 4 dogs died from unrelated causes. Necropsy of 7 dogs with thyroid carcinoma revealed neoplastic infiltration of the cervical blood vessels and pulmonary metastases in each dog. The most common histologic patterns of thyroid carcinoma were solid or compact cellular (11 dogs) and mixed solid-follicular tumors (8 dogs). Dogs with a solid carcinoma had a median survival time of 10.5 months (6 dogs), and dogs with a mixed solid-follicular tumor had a median survival time of 8 months (3 dogs).