Testicular cancer remains easily preventable disease
May 01, 2004
Signalment: Canine, Labrador Retriever, 12 years old, male, 73 pounds.
Clinical history: The dog presented for ear infection. Therapy has included ketoconazole and Otomax.
Thorough abdominal ultrasonography was performed with the dog positioned in dorsal recumbency.
The prostate gland shows a symmetrical shape and a mixed echogenicity in its parenchyma. The left testicle is enlarged and some cavitations noted in the parenchyma. A mixed echogenic irregular-shaped mass-like structure is seen attached to the cranial aspect of the left testicle. The right testicle is normal in shape and echotexture. The left and right adrenal glands are similar in size and shape. The stomach, small intestine and pancreas are normal. The pancreas is prominent and shows a decreased inhomogeneous texture in its parenchyma.
Review on testicular tumors Testicular tumors are common tumors in older intact male dogs. The incidence in dogs is not very high because of the large number of dogs that are castrated.
There are three common types of testicular tumors: Sertoli cell tumors, seminomas and interstitial cell tumors. While there are differences in the types of tumors, they are often treated similarly and are, therefore, commonly lumped together as testicular tumors. Sertoli cell tumors show signs of swelling of the testicular and scrotal area.
If the dog is cryptorchid, the swelling will occur in the inguinal or abdominal area depending on the location of the testicle. Up to 50 percent of the Sertoli cell tumors will produce estrogen, and the dog will suffer signs of hyperestrogenism.
Seminomas produce estrogen or metastasize in less than 5 percent of the cases. Interstitial cell tumors show very few signs and do not produce estrogen or metastasize. They are usually incidental findings and not considered to be much of a problem.
Diagnosis is based on history, clinical presentation and pathological identification through a biopsy or microscopic examination of the removed tumor. Dogs suspected of a testicular tumor should also have abdominal and thoracic radiography to check for metastasis as well as a serum chemistry profile and a CBC.
Treatment Treatment usually consists of surgical neutering. Because of the success of testicular removal and the low rate of metastasis, neutering is often the only treatment needed. Some dogs have been treated successfully with chemotherapy and in dogs that have metastasis chemotherapy is sometimes recommended.