Faecal Occult Blood Test

Case of the Month (Emma Scurrell March 2012)

Transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) in a dog 

The following are cytology smears prepared from a urethral catheter suction biopsy of a urinary bladder mass in a 12-year-old female Labrador Retriever with a clinical history of dysuria and haematuria.

 Fig 1. There is a cluster of pleomorphic neoplastic epithelial cells. The nuclei range from 2.0-3.5 RBCs in diameter and contain multiple prominent nucleoli (x1000).

Fig 2a & 2b .Some of neoplastic cells contain pink intracytoplasmic inclusion material (black arrows); this is something which is commonly seen in neoplastic epithelial cells of urothelial origin and most likely represents mucin (x1000).

Fig 2b.  

Fig 3. There is also evidence of secondary bacterial infection in this case – note the neutrophil and the extra- and intracellular bacteria (red arrows, x1000). 

Final Diagnosis

Carcinoma, consistent with a transitional cell carcinoma (TCC)


Transitional cell carcinomas are malignant and locally invasive neoplasms. They most commonly involve the urinary bladder, urethra, prostate (secondary to prostatic invasion by a prostatic urethral TCC) and kidney. Unfortunately, these tumours carry a high risk of metastasis, particularly to the regional sublumbar lymph nodes, lungs and bone (e.g. pelvic and lumbar). 

Previous Monthly Cases

Hypertensive Retinopathy January 2010
FIP in a cat - uncommon presentation February 2010
Phaeohyphomycosis    March 2010 
Scleral Rupture April 2010
Canine and feline epulides May 2010
Erythema multiforme in a labrador retreiver June 2010
Keloidal fibrosarcoma in a labrador retreiver July 2010
Cutaneous epitheliotropic lymphoma  August 2010 
Benign cutaneous histiocytoma  September 2010 
Iridociliary adenoma October 2010
Proliferative thrombovascular necrosis of the pinnae November 2010
Signet-ring cell carcinoma in the stomach of a dog December 2010
Cutaneous infiltrative lipoma in a labrador January 2011

Tonsillar squamous cell carcinoma February 2011
Canine orbital meningioma March 2011
"Lung-digit" syndrome in a cat April 2011
Hepatic amyloidosis in a cat May 2011
Haemophagocytic histiocytic sarcoma June 2011
Alternaria spp. infection in an immunocompromised dog July 2011
Ocular manifestation of lymphoma in a cat  August 2011
Kerion dermatophytosis in a Cocker spaniel September 2011
Subcuticular coenurus in a rabbit  October 2011
Optic nerve glioma in a dog November 2011
Malignant transformation of a viral papilloma in a dog  December 2011
Uveodermatological syndrome in an Akita
January 2012
Cutaneous angiostomatosis in a dog  February 2012

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Faecal Occult Blood Test