Urothelial carcinoma (UC – formerly known as Transitional cell carcinoma) is the most common malignant tumour of the canine urinary tract.

DNA sequencing of UC/TCC tumour cells identified a mutation of BRAF gene V595E in approximately 80% of cases depending on the study.


  • Specificity 100%
  • Sensitivity ~80%


  • This test can be performed on the pre-stained cytology smears already submitted to the lab.
  • A positive result will definitively confirm the diagnosis of UC/TCC.


  • Urine
  • Prestained smears
  • Solid biopsies


  • False negative results may occur, therefore the absence of the mutation should not be used to rule out UC/TCC as differential.


BRAF mutation analysis is recommended when cytology or histology are unable to provide a definitive diagnosis due to one of the following reasons:

  • mild signs of cellular atypia, especially if associated with inflammation
  • poor cell preservation
  • very thick smears
  • histological biopsies with artefacts


  1. Grassinger, J., Merz, S., Aupperle-Lellbach, H., Erhard, H. and Klopfleisch, R. (2019). Correlation of BRAF Variant V595E, Breed, Histological Grade and Cyclooxygenase-2 Expression in Canine Transitional Cell Carcinomas. Veterinary Sciences, 6(1), p.31. DOWNLOAD
  2. Gedon J, Kehl A, Aupperle-Lellbach H, von Bomhard W, Schmidt JM. BRAF mutation status and its prognostic significance in 79 canine urothelial carcinomas: A retrospective study (2006–2019). Vet Comp Oncol. 2021;1-9. doi:10.1111/vco.12790
  3. Wong, K., Abascal, F., Ludwig, L., Aupperle‐Lellbach, H., Grassinger, J.M., Wright, C.W., Allison, S.J., Pinder, E., Phillips, R.M., Romero, L., Gal, A., Roady, P.J., Pires, I., Franco Guscetti, Munday, J.S., Peleteiro, M.C., Pinto, C., Carvalho, T., João Bettencourt Cota and Elizabeth (2023). Cross-species oncogenomics offers insight into human muscle-invasive bladder cancer. Genome Biology, 24(1). DOWNLOAD
  4. Küchler, L., Posthaus, C., Jãger, K., Franco Guscetti, Louise, Wolf von Bomhard, Schmidt, J.M., Farra, D., Aupperle‐Lellbach, H., Kehl, A., Rottenberg, S. and Simone de Brot (2023). Artificial Intelligence to Predict the BRAF V595E Mutation in Canine Urinary Bladder Urothelial Carcinomas. Animals, 13(15), pp.2404–2404. DOWNLOAD

Professional advice

Our specialists can be easily reached by phone or email to discuss difficult cases and to provide any advice you may require.

Francesco Cian

RCVS Specialist in Veterinary Clinical Pathology
Clinical Pathologist

Please feel free to contact us if you need any further information.