During the launch of our mobile clinic in Thika, our vets carried out a check-up on every animal brought to them.
Unfortunately, they discovered a number of pets suffering from an infectious cancer called CTVT.
While CTVT is a common disease in dogs worldwide, it is much more prevalent in countries where dogs are allowed to roam and mate freely. The disease was eradicated in the UK in the twentieth century when the country introduced dog control laws.
What exactly is CTVT?
Canine transmissible venereal tumour (CTVT), or Stickers sarcoma, is a non-fatal, infectious cancer that affects dogs of any age or breed, but mostly affects mixed-breeds that are ‘intact’, ie, that have not been spayed or neutered.
It cannot be transferred to humans.
How is CTVT spread?
CTVT is spread by the transfer of living cancer cells usually during mating, but it can also be transferred by licking or sniffing between animals, ie through ‘skin to skin’ contact.
How can CTVT be treated?
If you suspect your dog has CTVT (through excessive licking of the genitals and the presence of cauliflower-like growths around the genitals or mouth) then take it to a vet who will be able to assess whether the tumours are malignant or premalignant. Chemotherapy and anti-cancer drugs are the best treatment, although in some very rare cases non-malignant tumours have disappeared of their own accord.
Domestic dogs can be infected if they come into contact with a dog that has CTVT.
How can you prevent CTVT in your pet?
The easiest way to prevent CTVT in your pet is by sterilising it. This will reduce the likelihood of your pet mating with an infected animal.
If you’d like more information please follow this link.