Continuing our series on canine round cell tumors, today we will discuss Transmissible Venereal Tumor (TVT).
As the name implies, this cancer affects the reproductive tracts of male and female dogs. As rarely occurs in cancer, TVT can be “given” to another dog by contact, thus the word “transmissible” in its name.
TVTs are typically found on the external genitalia of female dogs, but can also be seen inside the vagina, as well as in the oral and nasal cavities. Of course, this results from dogs’ natural habit of investigating each other via nose and tongue.
Growths in male dogs are usually found on the penis.
While most lesions are found on mucus membranes, if tumor cells are seeded into skin wounds or surgical incisions the tumor will grow there, as well.
Hemorrhage is often associated with Transmissible Venereal Tumor because the masses typically grow in areas of the body well-supplied with blood vessels.
Fortunately, this type of cancer responds well to chemotherapy. While metastasis does not occur frequently, even metastatic lesions will usually regress with chemotherapeutic agents. Some masses respond to radiation therapy, if needed.
See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.