Durban – The Bloemfontein SPCA is advising pet owners to get their furry besties sterilised to prevent them from contracting a sexually transmitted disease.
“Sterilisation is something the SPCA as a movement advocates for constantly. We do this for many reasons. It reduces the amount of stray or unwanted animals that the SPCA sees directly. It reduces roaming and territorial aggression. It minimises the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and TVT – transmissible venereal tumours,” the SPCA said.
According to the SPCA, TVT is a sexually transmitted disease spread through direct skin-to-skin contact with the tumour that results in cancer cells being transplanted from dog to dog.
The organisation explained that the condition is extremely painful for female dogs.
“Sterilisation is the best way to ensure that this does not happen to your dog or any other dog. It is recommended that all pet owners sterilise their animals as soon as they come of age,” the SPCA said.
It said that owners can take their dogs to a local vet or to their facility to be sterilised.
“Don’t let this happen to your animals and sterilise them before it is too late,” the SPCA said.
What to look out for – According to the VCA Animal Hospital, if located on the penis or prepuce or vulva, there will be a thickening of the tissue with bruising, intermittent bleeding and discomfort.
The dog will also lick the infected area excessively. If the tumour is in the dog’s mouth or on its tongue, there will be small ‘cauliflower-like’ nodules that will continue to grow.
Treatment – The dog will require complete surgical excision, will have to undergo radiation and chemotherapy. Surgery alone could lead to a recurrence. The VCA Animal Hospital says the prognosis for total remission with chemotherapy or radiation therapy is good.