Objective—To evaluate the clinical and pathologic characteristics of mammary duct ectasia in dogs.
Animals—51 dogs with mammary duct ectasia.
Procedure—Information regarding body condition, history, number and location of affected mammary glands, appearance of lesions, surgical treatment, nonsurgical treatment, and evidence of recurrence or development of mammary neoplasia was obtained from surveys sent to referring veterinarians. Results of information from examination of histologic sections and referring veterinarians were evaluated for all mammary duct ectasia biopsies performed between 1992 and 1999.
Results—Duct ectasia was the primary diagnosis in 51 of 1,825 (2.8%) mammary biopsy specimens and comprised 48% of nonneoplastic mammary diseases. Affected dogs were evenly distributed over a range of 1 to 13 years of age, with a mean age at the time of diagnosis of 6.1 ± 3.1 years. All dogs were female (31 sexually intact, 20 spayed); 10 of 26 had whelped. Duct ectasia was described as nodular (26 dogs), cystic (13), and multiglandular (11) and located in caudal (31) more often than cranial (14) or middle glands (10). Ectasia recurred in 3 dogs. One dog had a history of previously excised mammary adenocarcinoma; another subsequently developed mammary carcinoma.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Duct ectasia affected mature, sexually intact and spayed female dogs over a wide age range. Certain breeds were affected more commonly than expected. Increased risk for mammary neoplasia was not evident. Duct ectasia should be considered as a cause for mammary enlargement, especially in young dogs or when its cystic nature is evident. Mastectomy is usually curative, and neoplasia should be ruled out in dogs with ectasia. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;218:1303–1307)