OBJECTIVE To evaluate colonoscopic and histologic features of rectal masses in dogs.
DESIGN Retrospective case series.
ANIMALS 82 client-owned dogs with rectal masses that underwent colonoscopy.
PROCEDURES Medical records of dogs with rectal masses that underwent colonoscopy were reviewed. History, signalment, clinical signs, results of physical examination, diagnostic imaging findings, and results of colonoscopy (including complications) were recorded. When available, tissue samples obtained during colonoscopy and by means of surgical biopsy were reviewed by a single board-certified pathologist. Histologic features and tumor grade (when applicable) of tissue samples obtained during colonoscopy versus surgical biopsy were compared.
RESULTS Multiple rectal masses were observed during colonoscopy in 6 of the 82 dogs, but no lesions were visualized orad to the colorectal junction. Results of histologic evaluation of surgical biopsy specimens were consistent with a diagnosis of epithelial neoplasia in 58 of 64 dogs, of which 71% were classified as benign adenoma or polyp and 29% were classified as adenocarcinoma in situ or adenocarcinoma. Complications of colonoscopy occurred in 3 of 82 dogs but were considered minor. A discrepancy in diagnosis occurred in 5 of 16 dogs for which both colonoscopic and surgical biopsy samples were available for histologic review.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results suggested that multiple rectal masses are uncommon in dogs, and secondary lesions orad to the colorectal junction were not found in this study. Colonoscopy was associated with few complications, but the need for colonoscopic assessment of the entire colon in this patient population may merit reevaluation.