Thirty-four dogs with histopathologically confirmed, measurable, nonresectable transitional cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder were treated with piroxicam (0.3 mg/kg PO sid) and were evaluated for tumor response and drug toxicity. Dogs were evaluated at the Purdue University Veterinary Teaching Hospital by means of physical examination, thoracic and abdominal radiography, cystography, complete blood count, serum biochemistry profile, and urinalysis. In selected cases, prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) concentrations in plasma and in supernatants of stimulated monocytes, and natural killer cell activity were quantified. Dogs were evaluated before therapy and at 28 and 56 days after initiation of therapy. Dogs with stable disease or remission at 56 days remained on the study and were evaluated at 1 to 2 months intervals. Tumor responses were 2 complete remissions, 4 partial remissions, 18 stable diseases, and 10 progressive diseases. The median survival of all dogs was 181 days (range, 28 to 720+ days), with 2 dogs still alive. Piroxicam toxicity consisted of gastrointestinal irritation in 6 dogs and renal papillary necrosis (detected at necropsy) in 2 dogs. Monocyte production of PGE2 appeared to decrease with therapy in dogs whose tumors were decreasing in size, and increased in dogs with tumor progression. A consistent pattern in natural killer cell activity was not observed. In vitro cytotoxicity assays against 4 canine tumor cell lines revealed no direct antitumor effects of piroxicam. In summary, antitumor activity, which was not likely the result of a direct cytotoxic effect, was observed in dogs with transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder treated with piroxicam.