Bladder carcinoma in dogs and cats are rare, and is more common for dogs. Cats rarely suffer from this type of cancer. For bladder cancer, the majority are transitional epithelial cell carcinoma, which then transformed from epithelial cell carcinoma to cancer, a type of malignant tumor. The cause of this tumor is mainly presumed to be caused by factors such as age, breed, chemicals in the environment, etc.
Transitional epithelial cell carcinoma usually occurs in middle-aged and elderly pets. The initial symptoms are not evident and similar to those of bladder inflammation. It is often misdiagnosed as bladder inflammation, hence causes delay of treatment. The common symptoms include dysuria, urinary incontinence, frequent urination, hematuria, and when a tumor gets larger and its position compresses on the excretory tract, occasionally there might be incidents of obstructed defecation and genital swelling. This type of cancer is very malignant, with a high probability of local metastasis and invasiveness. After it invades into bladder muscle layers, it is not easy to be completely removed and the recurrence rate is high. Or it may cause impaired organ function for pets after removal, resulting in poor prognosis.
Surgical resection of bladder cancer can easily lead to sequelae such as tumor metastasis and impaired organ function, and mostly occur for elderly dogs with poor physical strength. Therefore, currently, surgical resection is seldom used. Instead, supportive therapies such as drugs and medical treatment are used to improve pets’ urinary function, control tumor growth, inhibit inflammation responses, etc., to reduce discomfort and improve quality of life for pets.
For the treatment of pet bladder tumors, attention should be focuses on early detection and control to effectively extend pets’ life. The symptoms of pet bladder tumors are very similar to those of bladder inflammation, and there exist also the possibility of bladder/kidney stones. If middle-aged and elderly dogs suffer from the above symptoms, it is recommended to do further examinations, such as X-ray, ultrasound, to check whether there is foreign body growth in the bladder, and to take samples for cytological analysis to confirm the actual cause, so as not to make the pet's condition worse.