Canine Transmissible Venereal Tumor (CTVT): Everything You Need to Know

Canine Transmissible Venereal Tumor (CTVT): Everything You Need to Know

Canine Transmissible Venereal Tumor (CTVT), also known as canine transmissible genital tumor, is a unique and rare type of cancer in dogs. CTVT is primarily transmitted through mating, predominantly affecting unneutered stray and free-roaming dogs. This disease has been reported globally, especially in areas with high stray dog populations.

What is Canine Transmissible Venereal Tumor?

CTVT is a highly contagious cancer where tumor cells can be transmitted from one dog to another. These tumors primarily appear on the genital areas but can occasionally be found on the mouth, nose, eyes, and skin.

Symptoms of CTVT

The symptoms of CTVT can vary depending on the tumor's location. Common symptoms include:

  • Growths or ulcers on the genital area: These growths typically have a cauliflower-like appearance and are prone to bleeding.
  • Discharge or bleeding: Particularly from the genital area, mouth, or nose.
  • Pain and discomfort: Especially when the tumors ulcerate or become infected.
  • Weight loss and loss of appetite: When tumors affect the mouth or nose.

Diagnosing CTVT

Diagnosing CTVT usually involves clinical examination and histopathology. A veterinarian will take a sample of the tumor and examine it under a microscope to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment Options

Despite being a type of cancer, CTVT often responds well to treatment. Common treatment methods include:

  • Chemotherapy: Vincristine is the most commonly used chemotherapy drug, and it usually yields excellent results.
  • Surgical removal: In some cases, surgery can be performed to remove the tumor, but it often needs to be combined with chemotherapy to prevent recurrence.
  • Radiation therapy: Although not commonly used, it may be an option in certain cases.

Prevention and Control

Preventing CTVT involves controlling stray dog populations and promoting spaying and neutering programs. Keeping pets away from stray dogs and ensuring regular veterinary check-ups can also help in early detection and prevention.


The prognosis for dogs with CTVT is generally good, especially if diagnosed early and treated appropriately. Most dogs respond well to chemotherapy, with many achieving complete remission.


Canine Transmissible Venereal Tumor is a unique and treatable form of cancer in dogs. Awareness and early detection are key to successful treatment. By understanding the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options, dog owners can ensure their pets receive the best possible care.

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