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.
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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