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  • Author or Editor: Kristine E. Burgess x
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OBJECTIVE To describe signalment, clinicopathologic features, and outcomes of dogs with confirmed primary intestinal lymphoma and assess factors associated with survival times in these patients.

DESIGN Retrospective case series.

ANIMALS 84 client-owned dogs.

PROCEDURES Medical records from 7 veterinary institutions were retrospectively reviewed to identify dogs with primary intestinal lymphoma. Data collected included signalment, clinical signs, anatomic location of tumors, diagnostic procedures, treatment, outcome, and dates of diagnosis and death.

RESULTS Overall median survival time (MST) was 62 days (range, 1 to 537 days). Factors associated with shorter survival time on univariate analysis included anorexia or septic peritonitis at the time of diagnosis and tumor location (intestinal tract only, intestinal tract and abdominal lymph nodes, or intestinal tract and extraintestinal organs). The most commonly noted changes in the intestinal tract were altered wall thickening with loss of layering (41 dogs) and presence of ≥ 1 discrete mass (24 dogs). Protocols based on cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone with or without l-asparaginase (48 dogs) or 1-(2-chloroethyl)-3-cyclohexyl-1-nitrosourea (14 dogs) were most commonly used as first-line treatment; the MSTs of dogs receiving these treatments (60 and 144 days, respectively) did not differ significantly.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE The MST of dogs with primary intestinal lymphoma was poor, regardless of first-line treatment used. Anorexia and septic peritonitis were associated with poor prognosis.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine features of lymphoma of the tarsus in cats.

Design—Multi-institutional retrospective study.

Animals—23 cats with cutaneous lymphoma of the tarsus.

Procedures—Veterinary oncologists were requested to submit cases fitting the following criteria: histologically or cytologically confirmed lymphoma with a location at or near the tarsus and described as subcutaneous or mass-like. Data regarding breed, sex, age, FeLV and FIV status, and reason for evaluation were collected. Results of staging tests, location of the tumor, immunophenotype, and histopathologic description were recorded. Type of treatments, outcome, survival time, presence or absence of progressive disease, and cause of death or reason for euthanasia were also recorded.

Results—Most cats were older, with a median age of 12 years (range, 7 to 18 years). No association with positive retroviral status was found. Popliteal lymph node involvement at diagnosis was reported in 5 cats, and a suspicion of lymphoma at a different site on the basis of results of abdominal ultrasonography was reported in 4 cats. Treatments were variable and included corticosteroids alone (n = 2), chemotherapy (9), radiation and chemotherapy (7), or surgery with or without chemotherapy (5). Thirteen cats were reported to have lymphoma at a different site at the time of last follow-up, death, or euthanasia. Median survival time for all cats in the study was 190 days (range, 17 to 1,011 days).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that tarsal lymphoma is an uncommon manifestation of lymphoma in cats, and in this study was most commonly nonepitheliotropic and of high grade as determined on histologic evaluation. Systemic involvement was identified; therefore, thorough staging is recommended prior to initiating treatment. Future studies are warranted to evaluate effective treatment protocols.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine survival time for dogs with splenic hemangiosarcoma treated with splenectomy alone, identify potential prognostic factors, and evaluate the efficacy of adjuvant chemotherapy.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—208 dogs.

Procedures—Medical records were reviewed, long-term follow-up information was obtained, and survival data were analyzed statistically.

Results—154 dogs were treated with surgery alone, and 54 were treated with surgery and chemotherapy. Twenty-eight dogs received conventional chemotherapy, 13 received cyclophosphamide-based metronomic chemotherapy, and 13 received both conventional and metronomic chemotherapy. Median survival time of dogs treated with splenectomy alone was 1.6 months. Clinical stage was the only prognostic factor significantly associated with survival time. When the entire follow-up period was considered, there was no significant difference in survival time between dogs treated with surgery alone and dogs treated with surgery and chemotherapy. However, during the first 4 months of follow-up, after adjusting for the effects of clinical stage, survival time was significantly prolonged among dogs receiving any type of chemotherapy (hazard ratio, 0.6) and among dogs receiving both conventional and metronomic chemotherapy (hazard ratio, 0.4).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Clinical stage was strongly associated with prognosis for dogs with splenic hemangiosarcoma. Chemotherapy was effective in prolonging survival time during the early portion of the follow-up period. Combinations of doxorubicin-based conventional protocols and cyclophosphamide-based metronomic protocols appeared to be more effective than either type of chemotherapy alone, but prolongations in survival time resulting from current protocols were modest.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



A 25-year-old 4.4-kg male aquarium-hatched African penguin (Spheniscus demersus) was evaluated because of a raised 1.5 × 0.5-cm pigmented mass extending from within the right naris noted 2 days earlier.


The penguin had a raised pigmented mass extending out from the right naris and onto the upper beak. Histologic examination of excisional biopsy specimens confirmed a diagnosis of malignant melanoma. A treatment plan including administration of meloxicam, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy was initiated.


Treatment with meloxicam (0.2 mg/kg, PO, q 24 h) was initiated and continued for a total of 45 weeks; however, the medication was discontinued for a period of 6 weeks because of the risk of toxic effects in the chick that the penguin was feeding at that time. The penguin underwent local hypofractionated radiation therapy and received 4 once weekly 8-Gy fractions of radiation (total radiation dose, 32 Gy). The penguin was administered a canine melanoma vaccine transdermally every other week for 4 doses, with a booster injection given 7 months after the first dose. Treatment with the vaccine appeared to have no adverse effects. The penguin’s pre- and postvaccination tyrosinase-specific antibody titers were measured with an anti–human tyrosinase-specific ELISA, and a 3-fold titer increase indicated a positive humoral immune response to the canine melanoma vaccination. The penguin died of unrelated causes 54 weeks after initial diagnosis, and there was no evidence of metastasis on necropsy.


These case findings suggested that vaccination with a canine melanoma vaccine may be a safe and useful adjunct treatment for management of malignant melanoma in penguins.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To develop a multivariable model and online decision-support calculator to aid in preoperative discrimination of benign from malignant splenic masses in dogs.


522 dogs that underwent splenectomy because of splenic masses.


A multivariable model was developed with preoperative clinical data obtained retrospectively from the records of 422 dogs that underwent splenectomy. Inclusion criteria were the availability of complete abdominal ultrasonographic examination images and splenic histologic slides or histology reports for review. Variables considered potentially predictive of splenic malignancy were analyzed. A receiver operating characteristic curve was created for the final multivariable model, and area under the curve was calculated. The model was externally validated with data from 100 dogs that underwent splenectomy subsequent to model development and was used to create an online calculator to estimate probability of splenic malignancy in individual dogs.


The final multivariable model contained 8 clinical variables used to estimate splenic malignancy probability: serum total protein concentration, presence (vs absence) of ≥ 2 nRBCs/100 WBCs, ultrasonographically assessed splenic mass diameter, number of liver nodules (0, 1, or ≥ 2), presence (vs absence) of multiple splenic masses or nodules, moderate to marked splenic mass inhomogeneity, moderate to marked abdominal effusion, and mesenteric, omental, or peritoneal nodules. Areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves for the development and validation populations were 0.80 and 0.78, respectively.


The online calculator ( or developed in this study can be used as an aid to estimate the probability of malignancy in dogs with splenic masses and has potential to facilitate owners' decisions regarding splenectomy.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association