Neuroendocrine Tissue Tumors in Dogs

While many tissues in the body serve only one function, neuroendocrine tissues possess dual functionality – in hormone production and as a part of the nervous system. These tissues can be found all throughout the body. Occasionally, neuroendocrine cells in the adrenal or thyroid glands will turn into tumors, which can be either benign or malignant. However, even a benign tumor can disrupt tissues if it is growing and can even secrete excess hormone.

Neuroendocrine tissue are used to derive chemoreceptor organs. These organs are able to detect very small fluctuations of the oxygen and carbon dioxide content of the blood, as well as the pH level. They can also help regulate bodily functions such as circulation and breathing. If a tumor develops in chemoreceptor tissue it will usually appear in the aortic body, which is in the chest, or in the cartoid bodies of the neck. These tumors are usually seen in breeds of dogs such as Boxers and Bosten Terriers, which are classified as brachycephalic breeds. While these tumors do not secrete excess hormone, they can still cause problems by increasing pressure on nerves, blood vessels, and even the heart.

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