What is your diagnosis? Vertebral mass in a dog

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A 1-year-old, castrated male, mixed-breed dog was presented for sporadic episodes of kyphosis, tremors, and vocalizing. On neurologic examination, the lesion was localized to spinal cord segments T3–L3. Magnetic resonance imaging of the spine showed an expansile mass occupying most of the ventral aspect of the spinous process of T6. Fine-needle aspirates of the mass were examined cytologically. A moderately cellular population of pleomorphic spindle cells and abundant mucinous matrix were observed. The cytologic diagnosis was spindle cell neoplasia, with myxosarcoma and fibrosarcoma as the primary differential diagnoses. The dog was euthanized. Histopathologic evaluation of the mass and surrounding tissue confirmed a low-grade spindle cell sarcoma, with severe compressive myelopathy and mild neutrophilic inflammation. The neoplastic cells stained positive for mucopolysaccharides with Alcian blue, resulting in a final diagnosis of low-grade (grade 1) myxosarcoma. Fine-needle aspiration was useful in making a preliminary diagnosis of myxosarcoma in this case. Myxosarcoma should be included in the differential diagnosis for a vertebral mass in a young dog.

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