What is your diagnosis? Shoulder mass in a dog with lameness

Katie Boes, Kurt Zimmerman, Geoffrey Saunders, Laurie O'Rourke, Natalie Crawford, Christopher Ober, Nicolaas Lambrechts, Jonathan Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


An adult castrated male Golden Retriever of unknown age was presented with a history of weight loss and progressive left thoracic limb lameness. On physical examination, a solid mass was palpated on the left scapula that had areas of lysis on radiographs and an area of cortical bone loss on ultrasound. Hepatomegaly, abdominal distension, and numerous intra-abdominal soft tissue masses were also found. Fine-needle aspirates of the scapula and several abdominal masses contained numerous free nuclei mixed with fewer individualized, intact cells that were round in shape and rarely formed small sheets. The cells had high nuclear to cytoplasmic ratios, central nuclei, coarsely stippled chromatin, 1-2 prominent nucleoli, and basophilic cytoplasm with indistinct cell borders. The cytopathologic interpretation was neuroendocrine neoplasia, either metastatic or multicentric. The dog was subsequently euthanized and based on gross and histologic findings at necropsy, a diagnosis of pheochromocytoma with multiple metastases was made. The neoplastic cells stained positive with Grimelius stain and were immunoreactive for synaptophysin and chromogranin A. Pheochromocytomas are rare tumors in dogs and uncommonly undergo distant metastasis, especially to bone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)511-515
Number of pages5
JournalVeterinary Clinical Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2009


  • Bone
  • Dog
  • Metastasis
  • Pheochromocytoma
  • Scapula


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