Forty-five cutaneous canine mast cell tumors were graded histologically on haematoxylin and eosin-stained sections. Toluidine blue and AgNOR methods were employed to enhance the intracytoplasmic granules and to assess cell proliferation, respectively. From these 45 samples histological features were observed as cell distribution, size, shape, nuclear and cytoplasmic appearance, amount of stroma, presence of eosinophils and some associated changes. Based on those features, 37.8% of the mast cell tumors were classified as grade I, 51.1% as grade II and 11.1% as grade III. General AgNOR mean value was 1.9 (range 1.2-4.3) whereas the means for grades I, II and III were, respectively, 1.2, 1.85 and 3.25. The AgNOR method proved to be feasible, inexpensive and a reliable tool to predict a more accurate prognosis for mast cell tumors.
dog; mast cell tumor; AgNOR