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Extensive Cutaneous Metastases in a Dog with Duodenal Adenocarcinoma


Corresponding author: Dr Tarja Juopperi, Department of Microbiology, Pathology and Parasitology, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, 4700 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27606 (


Abstract: A 6-year-old Rottweiler was presented to the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine for evaluation of multiple cutaneous nodules. The dog had a history of anorexia, vomiting, and hind-limb paraplegia. Results of cytologic examination of the cutaneous nodules were consistent with a round cell tumor. At necropsy, primary tumors were found coalescing in the duodenum and the pancreas and extending into the associated mesentery. Numerous masses also were found throughout the skin, abdominal and thoracic viscera, and lumbar spinal cord. Histologically, the duodenal tumor had variable morphology, with some areas resembling adenocarcinoma and others resembling anaplastic round cell neoplasia; the skin and other metastatic lesions resembled round cell neoplasia. Immunohistochemistry of the cutaneous, duodenal, and pancreatic masses showed the neoplastic cells were positive for pancytokeratin, supporting an epithelial origin. In addition, low numbers of neoplastic cells were positive for periodic acid-Schiff and Alcian blue, consistent with acid mucin production by duodenal epithelium. These findings confirmed that the cutaneous nodules were metastatic lesions originating from the duodenal adenocarcinoma. Cutaneous metastasis of intestinal carcinoma is rare in domestic animals. This case demonstrates the potential difficulty in diagnosing metastatic lesions based on cytologic and histologic morphology alone, because the cutaneous metastases may not resemble the primary neoplasm morphologically.