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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Transmissible Veneral Tumors




Condition Overview

An unusual neoplasm called transmissible veneral tumor occurs in both males and females. This type of tumor is considered a low-grade cancer. They do have the potential to to metastasize, although this is rare.


Transmissible veneral tumors are solitary or multiple tumors that usually appear as cauliflower-like growths or as nodules on a stalk. The growths may be multi-nodular and/or ulcerated.

In females, these tumors develop in the vagina and on the vulva. In males, they occur on the penis. Other locations in both sexes include the skin of the perineum, face, mouth, nasal cavity, and limbs.


Tumor cells are transplanted from one dog to another, primarily during sexual contact, but also through licking, biting, and scratching. Transmissible veneral tumors tend to occur in free-roaming dogs, particularly those living in urban areas. They appear within 7 days of contact exposure.


Diagnosis is made made by veterinary examination.


Chemotherapy is the recommended treatment. The drug of choice is vincristine, given weekly for 3 - 6 weeks. Radiation therapy is also highly effective - most dogs are cured after a single dose.

Surgery is not considered an effective treatment because it is associated with a high rate of local recurrence.


Dogs not intended for breeding should be neutered or spayed.


Please contact your veterinarian if you have questions regarding this condition.

Show Sources & Contributors +


Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook

Publisher: Wiley Publishing, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Authors: Debra M. Eldredge, Liisa D. Carlson, Delbert G. Carlson, James M. Giffen MD

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