Mast cell tumour (MCT) appears to be a frequent tumour type in dogs, though there is little published in relation to its frequency in dogs in the UK. The current study aimed to investigate prevalence and risk factors for MCTs in dogs attending English primary-care veterinary practices.Electronic patient records from practices participating in the VetCompass animal surveillance project between July 2007 and June 2013 were searched for MCT diagnosis.
Within a population of 168,636 dogs, 453 had MCT, yielding a prevalence of 0.27% (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.24% - 0.29%). The highest breed type specific prevalences were for the Boxer at 1.95% (95% CI 1.40% - 2.51%), Golden Retriever at 1.39% (0.98% - 1.81%) and Weimaraner at 0.85% (95% CI 0.17% to 1.53%). Age, insurance status, neuter status, weight and breed type were associated with MCT diagnosis. Of dogs of specific breed type, the Boxer, Pug and Staffordshire Bull Terrier showed greater odds of MCT diagnosis compared with crossbred dogs. Conversely, the German Shepherd Dog, Border Collie, West Highland White Terrier, Springer Spaniel and Cocker Spaniel had reduced odds of MCT diagnosis compared with crossbred dogs. No association was found between MCT diagnosis and sex.
This study highlights a clinically significant prevalence of MCT and identifies specific breed types with predisposition to MCT, potentially aiding veterinarian awareness and facilitating diagnosis.