Veterinary Society of
Surgical Oncology


Canine Tracheal Tumors

  • malignant tracheal tumors in dogs include OSA, CSA, MCT, ADC, LSA, and SCC
  • benign tracheal tumors in dogs include chondroma, osteochondroma, ecchondroma-osteochondromal dysplasia, extramedullary plasmacytoma, and leiomyoma
  • neoplasia of the thyroid gland, esophagus, lung, or aortic chemoreceptor can invade the trachea
  • non-neoplastic tracheal masses include polyp, eosinophilic granuloma, nodular amyloidosis, tissue reaction to Filaroides osleri, chondromatous hamartoma, papillomatosis, and hyperplastic tracheitis
  • bimodal age distribution with osteochondroma and ecchondroma-osteochondromal dysplasia in dogs < 2 years and other tumor types in dogs > 6 years
  • osteochondroma and ecchondroma-osteochondromal dysplasia are benign osseocartilaginous tumors which grow in synchrony with the musculoskeletal system and should stop growing at skeletal maturity


Clinical Signs

  • paroxysmal intermittent coughing of several weeks duration
  • progressive worsening of dyspnea, stridor, and exercise intolerance
  • occasional retching produces hemorrhagic discharge
  • respiratory signs usually evident when > 50% diameter of airway obstructed
  • large masses may be palpable especially in the dog


  • survey ± contrast bronchography with survey radiographs usually sufficient due to size of lesions at diagnosis
  • other radiographic signs include pulmonary over-expansion, flattening of the diaphragm, and prominent pulmonary vasculature secondary to increased air content in the lower airways
  • tracheoscopy provides positive diagnosis with samples collected for brush cytology and histopathology
  • CT or MRI used in humans


Surgical Resection

  • resection and anastomosis
  • ± tracheal wall reconstruction or stenting

Other Treatment Options

  • other options include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, endoscopic removal, and photodynamic therapy


  • benign tracheal neoplasms have a good prognosis following complete resection
  • short-term prognosis is good for dogs with tracheal tumors, but long-term outcome has not been assessed:
  • survival times for osteochondroma > 6-8 months
  • survival times for ecchondroma-osteochondromal dysplasia > 5-12 months
  • survival times for leiomyoma > 6-7 months
  • survival times for extramedullary plasmacytoma > 3 months
  • survival times for CSA > 9-12 months
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