Frequently Asked Questions
Transitional cell carcinoma (TCC), also known as urothelial carcinoma (UC), is the most common cancer of the canine urinary tract. TCC/UC accounts for an estimated 1-2% of all cancer cases diagnosed in dogs, with an anticipated 80,000+ diagnosed cases this year.
TCC/UC affects the bladder, urethra, and kidneys of male and female dogs and also the prostate of males. It is most often detected in the trigone of the bladder, a triangular region of smooth mucosa inside the dorsal wall of the neck of the bladder. Advancing TCC/UC often results in straining to urinate, repeated frequent attempts to urinate, blood in the urine, and bacterial infection. Thickening of the bladder wall can lead to partial or complete obstruction of urine entering the bladder from the ureters, which may lead to kidney failure.
While any breed is susceptible to developing TCC/UC, these breeds have higher than average incidence rates: American Eskimo Dog, Australian Cattle Dog, Australian Shepherd, Beagle, Bichon Frise, Border Collie, Parson Russell Terrier, Lhasa Apso, Rat Terrier, Russell Terrier, Scottish Terrier, Shetland Sheepdog, West Highland White Terrier, and Wire Fox Terrier. When combined, these breeds account for over a third of all diagnosed TCC/UC cases in purebred dogs.
Canine bladder cancer (TCC/UC) is generally a disease of mid-to- late life, with 95% of cases occurring in dogs age 6 years and older. Canine bladder cancer is rarely diagnosed until the disease is at an advanced stage. Detecting bladder cancer sooner gives dog owners and veterinarians more time to develop a treatment plan.