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Bladder cancer in cats and dogs

Bladder cancer in cats and dogs usually is transitional cell carcinoma (TCC), which arises from the epithelial cells that line the bladder. Less often in these animals, cancer of the urinary bladder is squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, or rhabdomyosarcoma.

Signs and symptoms

The most frequent symptoms of TCC are blood in the urine, painful urination, frequent urination and/or straining to urinate. This can look very similar to an infection of the urinary system.


Diagnostic tests typically include complete blood tests, urinalysis, urine culture, X-rays of the abdomen and chest, and bladder imaging. The definitive diagnosis of bladder cancer will require a tissue biopsy and subsequent examination of the cells under the microscope. [1]


Because most bladder cancers are invasive into the bladder wall, surgical removal is usually not possible. The majority of transitional cell carcinomas are treated with 2 types of medications, either traditional chemotherapy or nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID).


  1. ^ Withrow SJ, MacEwen EG, eds (2001). Small Animal Clinical Oncology (3rd ed. ed.). W.B. Saunders Company. 

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