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October 2005

Dog Skin: Anaplastic mammary carcinoma

Animal: Dog, female, 7 years, Dalmatian.

Organ: Skin

History: The dog developed a firm, elongated swelling in the left mammary gland row. Over time the swelling spread to the right side, and the skin became inflamed. There was a secretion of discoloured milk and the dog was treated for mastitis without improvement. On the contrary the condition deteriorated over the following weeks, with pronounced skin inflammation including crust formation and increased pain on palpation of the swollen glands. The dog developed bouts of vomiting and diarrhoea and serious dyspnoea. A biopsy was performed, and the carcinoma diagnosis was made. Because of its rapidly worsening condition, the animal was euthanized shortly afterwards, 6 weeks after the first clinical signs appeared.

Description: Only a partial autopsy was performed: The mammary glands were found to contain highly pleomorphic epithelial tumour cells that infiltrated the surrounding skin. Tumour cells were observed in the lumen of lymphatic vessels, and a moderate, mononuclear inflammation was noted (see submitted photo). Also, the lungs were diffusely infiltrated by the aggressive carcinoma cells.

Diagnosis: Anaplastic mammary carcinoma, metastases to skin and lungs.

Necropsy performed by : Dr. G. Gunnes.

Photo by: Dr. G. Gunnes.