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Therapeutic Management of Transmissible Venereal Tumor in Nasal Cavity of a Dog.


Transmissible venereal tumors (TVT) are contagious, sexually transmitted round cell neoplasm in canines transmitted by direct contact with injured skin and/or mucous tissue (Stockmann et al., 2011). TVTs are usually seen in young, sexually active dogs from an environment with a high concentration of free roaming dogs with poor reproduction control. Females are more susceptible than males (Kabuusu et al., 2010) with no breed predilection.

Due to their sexually transmitted nature, they are most commonly found on the external genitalia but they can become highly invasive to other tissues, although metastasis occurs in low frequency (Calvert et al., 1982). Most common sites for metastasis are the nasal and oral cavities where the neoplasm is spread by social behaviors including sniffing and licking. The tumor often has a cauliflower-like appearance. Signs of a nasal TVT include nasal fistulae, nosebleeds and other nasal discharge, facial swelling and enlargement of submandibular lymph nodes (Morrison et al., 1998).

History and Clinical Observations

A three year old male Golden retriever weighing around 30 kgs was brought with history of profuse bleeding from right nostril since last three hours.

Bleeding was in the form of fresh and uncoagulated blood. The animal was alert, active and was licking the blood. Deworming and vaccination of animal had been undertaken properly. Physical examination revealed mild hard swelling over the right nares. The hemato-biochemical parameters recorded are presented in Table 1. Blood was found negative for hemoprotozoans.

Clinical Pathology

Cytological examination of nasal discharge revealed numerous discrete spherical nuclei with chromatin granules and multiple vacuolizations on cytoplasm (Fig. 1). This was diagnosed as transmissible venereal tumor (TVT) in nasal cavity.

Treatment and Discussion

Initially, the treatment was focused towards checking the bleeding. Injection Botropase 2ml I/V was given. The bleeding did not slow down even after fifteen minutes so cotton balls soaked in Adrenaline were inserted into the nostril. Bleeding slowed down but did not stop. Bleeding was arrested after application of Silver Nitrate gel inside the nostril.

After that weekly intravenous injection of Vincristine sulphate @ 0.025 mg/kg b. wt. were administered for three weeks along with syrup Hepatoglobulin (a) @5ml bid for three weeks orally. Animal responded well to treatment and animal recovered uneventfully.

Aspirates from TVTs are highly cellular and often bloody. Individual neoplastic cells have a round nucleus, fine to granular chromatin pattern and often a single, prominent nucleolus. Mitotic figures are frequently observed. The cytoplasm is pale blue and moderately abundant. The most prominent cytological feature of TVTs is the presence of distinct, clear, cytoplasmic vacuoles (Duncan et al., 1979).

The prognosis for TVTs is average. Vincristine or combined BCG and Vincristine therapy are the treatments of choice with the majority of dogs being cured (Ozalp, 2012).


Calvert, C.A., Leifer, C.E. and MacEwen, E.G. (1982). Vincristine for treatment of transmissible venereal tumor in the dog. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc. 181:163-64.

Duncan, J.R. and Prasse, K.W. (1979).Cytology of canine cutaneous round cell tumors. Vet. Pathol. 16: 673-79.

Kabuusu, R.M., Stroup, D.F. and Fernandez, C. (2010). Risk factors and characteristics of canine transmissible venereal tumours in Grenada, West Indies. Vet. Comp. Oncol. 8: 50-55.

Morrison and Wallace, B. (1998). Cancer in Dogs and Cats (1sted.). Williams and Wilkins.

Ozalp, G.R. (2012). Vincristine modulates the expression of Ki67 and apoptosis in naturally occurring canine transmissible venereal tumor (TVT). Biotech. Histochem. 87: 325-30.

Stockmann, D., Ferrari, H.F., Andrade, A.L., Cardoso, T.C. and Luvizotto, M.C.R. (2011). Detection of the tumour suppressor gene TP53 and expression of p53, Bcl-2 and p63 proteins in canine transmissible venereal tumour. Vet. Comp. Oncol. 9: 251-59.

Arpit Tyagi (1), Richa Arora (2), Sheikh Firdous Ahmad (2) and Niddhi Arora (3)

College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences

Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture and Technology (GBPUAT)

Pantnagar - 263145 (Uttarakhand)

(1.) Ph.D. Scholar, Department of Veterinary Medicine and Corresponding author. E-mail:

(2.) Ph.D. Scholar, ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, Bareilly

(3.) Associate Professor

(a)- Brand of Raptakos Brett & Co. Ltd., Ahmedabad
Table 1: Clinical and haemato-biochemical parameters

Parameters                      0th day     7th day
                                            after presentation

Hb (gm%)                            8.80        7.10
TEC (M./cumm)                       4.00        3.45
PCV (%)                            25.2        19.8
TLC (/cumm)                     21400       24900
Neutrophils (%)                    10          10
Lymphocytes (%)                    88          88
Eosinophils (%)                     1           1
Monocytes (%)                       1           1
Basophils (%)                       0           0
Platelet count (X 1000/ cumm)      89         151
Serum creatinine (mg/dL)            0.8         0.7
BUN (mg/dL)                         9.3         9.0
SGOT (IU/L)                        93.4        64.6
SGPT (IU/L)                        23.5        20.2

Parameters                      14th day            21st day
                                after presentation  after presentation

Hb (gm%)                            8.20                7.50
TEC (M./cumm)                       4.15                3.83
PCV (%)                            24.0                22.9
TLC (/cumm)                     16700               13900
Neutrophils (%)                    12                  12.5
Lymphocytes (%)                    85                  73.1
Eosinophils (%)                     2                   1
Monocytes (%)                       1                   13.2
Basophils (%)                       0                   0.2
Platelet count (X 1000/ cumm)     182                 112
Serum creatinine (mg/dL)            0.9                 1.0
BUN (mg/dL)                        10.8                10.8
SGOT (IU/L)                        68.7                20.3
SGPT (IU/L)                        27.5                18.3
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Title Annotation:Short Communication
Author:Tyagi, Arpit; Arora, Richa; Ahmad, Sheikh Firdous; Arora, Niddhi
Publication:Intas Polivet
Article Type:Report
Date:Jan 1, 2018
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