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TvT – An STD – Dogs don’t wear contraceptives

We see so may dogs suffering with this condition and feel we need to discuss it more and let people know how important it is to treat.

For nearly 3 years now, Care for Dogs has routinely treated approximately 10 dogs on a weekly basis for Transmissible Venereal Tumor (TvT).

Dogs don’t catch this at the shelter. These cases are found by dog caring individuals all over Chiang Mai that see a dog in a bad condition and report the case to Care for Dogs. But it’s not just homeless dogs that catch this, family dogs, dogs that meet other dogs for a midnight rendezvous or simply say hello at the garden gate can contract TvT

It’s all part of the rescue and health improvement work that we do. To allow a dog to continue to roam the streets with this condition is irresponsible and we take our work very seriously. If a dog is reported to us with TvT, we will take immediate action to commence treatment. Sadly the dog is often a homeless wretch wandering the streets being turned away from every door way or place to call their home, either because of the smell, the impact on the other dogs in that area of the unsightly appearance of the dog.

TvT tumors typically show themselves on the outside of the body after many months of infection.

An infected female will develop the tumor internally in her vulva and this in time will increase in size and show itself like a large sagging bag of blood dripping meat, which will as weeks go by attract flies, their larvae and other dogs. The female will then keep her tail down, become paranoid of anything near her rear end and of course be in severe pain as the tumor eats away at her body.

In the case of a male victim of this awful condition, they may well have a tumor develop on their penis, often at the base and then growing along it’s length and some develop more tumors at the tip of the penis that eventually preclude the fleshy head from retracting inside the outer skin.

But often, male dogs with TvT suffer tumor growths all over the body, many of them in the head, around the nose and eyes. The tumors literally destroy the thin tissue and bones around the eyes, nose & mouth, causing holes to occur within the mouth breaking through to the nose and also holes out of the head & nose to the surface. Tumors in & around the eyes also lead to blindness. All these growths causing the dog to suffer not only the pain of the increasing tumors but complications when eating, drinking & breathing.

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TvT is a cancerous tumor that is in fact 100% curable and in most cases the tissue around the sexual organs repairs itself albeit sometimes slightly scared.

But the effect on the head or other eroded tissues & bones is irreversible.

If a dog is infected with TvT, they can spread it by sharing their body fluids apparently including licking and obviously by coitus.

Here in Thailand, we are very fortunate to be able to treat TvT cases at our shelter, rather than being required to attend a veterinarian practice but we do employ a vet on a weekly basis to administer the treatment of Vincristin which needs to be carefully injected intravenously.

Depending on the severity of the condition, each dogs length of treatment & therefore stay at the shelter, is different but typically it varies between 2 months and sometimes 4 – 5 months.

So the message to the readers of this article is simple. As dogs do not use condoms, any dog that has contacted an infected dog can be easily infected. It doesn’t have to be a homeless dog, it can be a family pet & loved one too.

We can help dogs in Chiang Mai but we need your help to continue this very important work. Please visit our online store and consider sponsoring TvT treatments by following this link…

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Posted: Thursday 17th Dec 2009
Category: TvT
Tagged as: , , , , , , ,

" Volunteering with Care for Dogs makes me very happy and I feel that major forces have been at work for many years, angling for me to be here, to do this and make a difference to the dogs around Chiang Mai.[More]"
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6 Responses »

  1. God bless you angels,thank you so much for helping these poor buddies

  2. my male dog has tvt at the root of his pennis he had surgical excision but it was incomplete as the mass was very near a big vessel….does he need a chemotherapy??…and for how long??…what is his prognosis??

  3. @se7s – I am surprised that a surgical procedure has been carried out before chemo. Typically a growth at the base of the penis (which is usually where the growth starts) following 2 -3 weekly injections of vinchristine will see a significant result. Approx 7 injections can see the test smears result as negative. Most dogs, especially otherwise healthy dogs, survive. We always caution people to ensure the treatment is complete and not just a short ineffective one. If it looks better it might not be completely stopped. Smear tests are essential. Hope that helps

  4. I am very much interested in learning more about treatment of TVT. I have done rescue for past 11 yrs without seeing a single case, but in past 4 days have had 2 females diagnosed with this. I have contacted numerous vets and clinics, but am finding no one has any actual experience with treating this or the meds needed. Please contact me so can have some valuable info regarding how to treat. My email is kellek-9@peoplepc.com. Thank you so very much.

  5. Hi and thanks for your email. Can I ask where you’re currently located?
    In Chiang Mai, we come across Tvt cases several times a month and find that treating the
    dog with Vincristine (a chemotherapy agent) through IV admistration is extremely
    effective. Because the drug can cause a lot of damage if given outside of the vein, it’s
    extremely important that a highly qualified vet give the injection and that the dog’s
    liver and kidney values are monitored throughout the course of treatment. Because the
    drug is a chemotherapy agent, dogs can get quite ill from it so need to be monitored and
    the weekly injections should be stopped immediately if a dog stops eating or becomes
    lethargic.

    Hope that helps answer some questions. If you have more specifics, please email me
    directly at this address and I’ll be happy to help.

    Amandine with Care for Dogs
    http://Www.carefordogs.org
    http://www.facebook.com/street.dog.rescue

  6. We live in NO LA. Our Katrina rescue dog, Buddy was diagnosed with tvt and severe case of heart worms. It took a year or so to catch him. And that was because he was so run down he gave up— he couldn’t go anymore and said “I’m yours do whatever you have to do with me”. Luckily our vet Dr. Scott at magazine animal hospital recognized it. Had never seen it in person, only in books and studies. Buddy was his first TVT patient and he knew what to do. buddy was treated with vincristine, the now drug of choice. Initially we held off on the heart worm treatment as some studies showed that after the vincristine treatment the worms also die. But you want to wait6 mos as the antigen can be carried in the blood for 6 mos after the norm dies. So ya can get a false positive even though the worm may be dead. Don’t want to give mathematically the horrible heart worm treatment if they don’t need it. In Buddy’s case we couldn’t wait the six mos. one night be began to hemorrhage from his lungs from the heart worms.we got him to the emergency clinic who stabilized him till he got to his dr the next morning. He had less than 20
    % chance of making it but sergeant Buddy is a very special soul and tough and determined to stay for a while. He’s had a story to tell. It’s been 7 years and he is going strong. Nothing has returned. He’s my best Bud.

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