Canine Cutaneous Mast Cell Tumors: Associations with Sex, Neuter Status, and Breed
ACVIM 2008
C.R. White1; E. Procter-Gray2; A.E. Hohenhaus1; J. Kelsey2
1The Animal Medical Center, NY, NY, USA; 2University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, USA

This study evaluated dogs with cutaneous mast cell tumors (MCT) seen at the Animal Medical Center (AMC with regard to signalment and American Kennel Club (AKC) breed group.

This was a case-control study of dogs with grade 2 or 3 MCT (cases) diagnosed histologically at the AMC in 1997-1998 and 2005-2006. Cases (N=252) were identified by searching the AMC Pathology Department database. Controls (N=1608) were randomly selected from all dogs seen at the AMC during the 2 time periods.


Odds ratio

95% confidence














Golden Retriever




Intact female (FI) dogs had a significantly lower relative risk for developing MCT when compared to spayed females (FS) (OR=6.36, 95%C.I [3.46-11.72]], p<.001), castrated males (MC) (OR=4.23, 95%C.I. [2.26-7.92], p<.001), and intact males (MI) (OR=2.22, 95%C.I. [1.14-4.32], p=.02). Pairwise comparisons using the Scheffe adjustment for multiple comparisons showed that the 4 categories fell into 3 groups with respect to odds of MCT: FS> MC > intact dogs of both sexes. The odds ratio (OR) of having a MCT according to breed was examined for the 25 most popular breeds at the AMC relative to mixed breed dogs. Adjusting for age, sex, and year, boxers had the highest OR of MCT. Yorkshire Terriers (OR=0.28, 95% C.I. [0.08-0.92], p=.04) had significantly lower odds of MCT than mixed breeds. When odds ratios for MCT were examined according to AKC grouping of breeds, the sporting (OR=2.50, 95% C.I. [1.64-3.79], p<.001) and working (OR=1.89, 95% C.I. [1.15-3.11], p=.01) groups were found to have a significantly increased OR for developing MCT. Logistic regression showed that within the AMC canine population the odds of MCT in dogs 6-10 years of age (OR=5.16, 95% C.I. [3.57-7.45], p<.001) and dogs >10 years old (OR=3.34, 95% C.I. [2.24-4.97], p<.001) were significantly higher than among dogs 0-5 years of age.

This study identifies a previously unreported association between neuter status and MCT. It also confirms previously reported breed predilections for the development of MCT and identifies specific AKC breed groups with higher odds of this tumor.

Speaker Information
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Carrie White

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