Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Stomach: neoplasia

Synonym(s): Malignant gastric tumor, Benign gastric tumor

Contributor(s): James Simpson, Kenneth Simpson, Isabelle Desmas-Bazelle


  • Primary tumors of the stomach are uncommon in the dog and account for less than 1% of all tumors.
  • Carcinomas (50-90% of all canine gastric malignancies) - mainly adenocarcinoma Adenoma / adenocarcinoma (papillary, tubular, mucinous and signet ring cell types), but also squamous cell carcinoma Skin: squamous cell carcinoma, undifferentiated carcinomas, lymphoma Lymphoma, leiomyoma/leimyosarcoma Leiomyoma -leimyosarcoma, mast cell tumor Skin: mastocytoma, extramedullary plasmacytoma Skin: plasmacytoma, fibrosarcoma Fibrosarcoma, gastrointestinal stroma tumors (GISTs) observed.
  • Cause: unknown, but dietary factors have been implicated in man, eg uncooked fish, nitrosamine, nitrates and Helicobacter pylori. Long-term administration of nitrosamines and genetic predisposition may be related to development of gastric carcinomas in dogs.
  • Signs: usually mild and vague at outset → chronic vomiting, salivation, weight loss +/- melena +/- hematemesis.
  • Diagnosis: radiography, fluoroscopic contrast studies, gastroscopy, ultrasonography, CT scan.
  • Treatment: surgical resection and chemotherapy.
  • Prognosis: benign gastric lesions - good; malignant gastric tumors - extremely poor.



  • Long-term administration of nitrosamines may induce gastric carcinomas in dogs.
  • Genetic predisposition in Belgian Shepherds, Norwegian lundehunds, Dutch Tervueren shepherd dogs for gastric carcinomas.
  • C-kit mutation likely to play a role in tumorigenesis of GISTs.


  • Most frequent site of tumor, LSA or adenocarcinoma:
    • Pyloric antrum.
    • Angularis incisure region.
    • Fundus.
  • Gastric tumors → +/- metastases in gastric and pancreatic lymph nodes, liver and lungs (metastatic rate 70-80% for carcinomas, 29% for GISTs).
  • Secondary gastric tumors are unusual other than local extension from hepatic, pancreatic or duodenal tumors.
  • Cardia fundus - leiomyoma.


  • Weeks to months.


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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Amorim I, Taulescu M A, Day M J, Catoi C, Reis CA, Carneiro F, Gärtner F (2016) Canine Gastric Pathology: A Review. J Comp Pathol 154 (1), 9-37 PubMed.
  • Hugen S, Thomas R E, German A J, Burgener I A, Mandigers P J (2016) Gastric carcinoma in canines and humans, a review. Vet Comp Oncol 15 (3), 692-705 PubMed.
  • Marolf A J, Bachand A M, Sharber J, Twedt D C (2015) Comparison of endoscopy and sonography findings in dogs and cats with histologically confirmed gastric neoplasia. J Small Anim Pract 56 (5), 339-344 PubMed.
  • Seim-Wikse T, Kolbjørnsen O, Jörundsson E, Benestad S L, Bjornvad C R, Grotmol T, Kristensen A T, Skancke E (2014) Tumour gastrin expression and serum gastrin concentrations in dogs with gastric carcinoma are poor diagnostic indicators. J Comp Pathol 151 (2-3), 207-211 PubMed.
  • Seim-Wikse T, Jörundsson E, Nødtvedt A, Grotmol T, Bjornvad C R, Kristensen AT, Skancke E (2013) Breed predisposition to canine gastric carcinoma--a study based on the Norwegian canine cancer register. Acta Vet Scand 55, 25 PubMed.
  • Terragni R, Vignoli M, Rossi F, Laganga P, Leone V F, Graham J P, Russo M, Saunders J H (2012) Stomach wall evaluation using helical hydro-computed tomography. Vet Radiol Ultrasound 53 (4), 402-405 PubMed.
  • Eisele J, McClaran J K, Runge J J, Holt D E, Culp W T, Liu S, Long F, Bergman P J (2010) Evaluation of risk factors for morbidity and mortality after pylorectomy and gastroduodenostomy in dogs. Vet Surg 39 (2), 261-267 PubMed.
  • Coyle K A, Steinberg H (2004) Characterization of lymphocytes in canine gastrointestinal lymphoma. Vet Pathol 41 (2), 141-146 PubMed.
  • Easton S (2001) A retrospective study into the effects of operator experience on the accuracy of ultrasound in the diagnosis of gastric neoplasia in dogs. Vet Rad Ultra 42 (1), 47-50 PubMed.
  • Lamb C R & Grierson J (1999) Ultrasonographic appearance of primary gastric neoplasia in dogs. JSAP 40 (5), 211-215 PubMed.
  • Borgarelli M, Biller D S, Gogin J M & Bussadori C (1998) Ultrasonographic examination of the gastrointestinal tract Part 2. Ultrasonographical identification of gastrointestinal disease. EJCAP 8, 57-65.
  • Kaser-Hotz B, Hauser B & Arnold P (1996) Ultrasonographic findings in canine gastric neoplasia in 13 patients. Vet Radiol 37 (1), 51-56 VetMedResource.
  • Grooters A M & Johnson S E (1995) Canine gastric leiomyoma. Comp Cont Ed Prac Vet 17 (12), 1485-1491 VetMedResource.
  • Fonda D, Gualtier M & Scanziani E (1989) Gastric carcinoma in the dog - a clinicopathological study of 11 cases. JSAP 30 (6), 353-360 VetMedResource.
  • Sullivan M, Lee R & Fisher E W et al (1987) A Study of 31 cases of gastric carcinoma in dogs. Vet Rec 120 (4), 79-83 PubMed.
  • Sautter J H & Hanlon G F (1975) Gastric neoplasia in the dog: a report of 20 cases. JAVMA 166 (7), 691-696 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Vail D M, Withrow S J, Page R L (2013) Cancer of the gastrointestinal tract. In: Small Animal Clinical Oncology. Eds S J Withrow and E G MacEwen. 5th edn. Philadelphia: W B Saunders Co. pp 402-404.