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Clinical signs, treatments, and outcome in cats with transitional cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder: 20 cases (1990–2004)

Heather M. Wilson DVM1, Ruthanne Chun DVM, DACVIM2, Victoria S. Larson DVM, MS, DACVIM3, Ilene D. Kurzman MS, EdD, MS4, and David M. Vail DVM, DACVIM5
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  • 1 Department of Medical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706
  • | 2 Department of Medical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706
  • | 3 Veterinary Medical Center, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN 55455.
  • | 4 Department of Medical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706
  • | 5 Department of Medical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706

Abstract

Objective—To characterize demographics and clinical signs and evaluate outcomes of treatments in cats with transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) of the urinary bladder.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—20 cats with TCC.

Procedures—Medical records of 20 cats with a bladder mass identified as a TCC that were examined at 2 veterinary institutions between 1990 and 2004 were evaluated. Signalment, treatments, and outcome were assessed.

Results—Breeds included domestic short hair (n = 14), long hair (2), and medium hair (2) cats, Siamese (1), and Abyssinian (1). All cats had been neutered at an early age (< 1 year old; 13 neutered males and 7 spayed females). The median age at diagnosis of TCC was 15.2 years. The trigone region was affected in 9 cats. Treatments included piroxicam administration, chemotherapy, or surgery as single interventions or in combination; 6 cats were not treated. At the time of diagnosis, 3 cats had pulmonary metastasis and 1 cat had metastasis to local lymph nodes. Median survival time for all 20 cats was 261 days. Nearly all deaths were attributable to progressive disease in the urinary tract. Five cats were lost to follow-up.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In cats, TCC of the urinary bladder appears to be a rare and aggressive disease that is more prevalent in male cats and frequently develops at sites distant from the trigone (unlike TCC in dogs). Nevertheless, initial clinical signs of TCC in cats in this study were similar to those reported for affected dogs.

Contributor Notes

Presented in part as an abstract at the Veterinary Cancer Society Meeting, Kansas City, Mo, October 2004.

Address correspondence to Dr. Wilson.