• ultrasound;
  • neck mass;
  • cervical mass;
  • dog;
  • cat

The ultrasonographic appearance of clinically undifferentiated neck masses for which a definitive diagnosis was eventually obtained in nineteen dogs and one cat is presented in this report. Multiple lesions were seen ultrasonographically in 4 dogs and no cervical abnormalities were seen in 2 dogs resulting in 22 lesions in 20 annuals. Of 7 benign lesions, there were 2 patients with reactive lymph nodes from a regional inflammatory process, and 1 patient each with primary pyogranulomatous lymphadenitis, arteriovenous malformation, foreign body granuloma, cellulitis, and hematoma. Of 15 malignant lesions, 7 were thyroid carcinomas, 3 were lymphomas with submandibular and cervical lymph node enlargement, 3 were lymph node enlargements associated with regional metastasis of malignant tumors, one was a leiomyosarcoma and one was a carotid body tumor. One dog with a diffuse soft tissue swelling of the ventral cervical region had only slight asymmetry of the thyroid lobes on ultrasound examination and no abnormalities of the neck at post mortem. A second dog examined with ultrasound 4 months after surgical removal of a carotid body tumor had no evidence of tumor recurrence. Ultrasonographic examination provided information regarding the character of the lesions, the tissue or organ of origin, and invasion into other anatomic structures. Ultrasound examination in conjunction with fine needle or tissue biopsy provided a definitive diagnosis in those animals in which biopsies were performed.