TVT stands for “Transmissible Venereal Tumor.”
TVT affects dogs and is widespread in Belize (including Placencia). A dog that has TVT will die if the disease is not treated.
Breeding spreads TVT, and both male and female dogs can get the disease.
Because the disease is very contagious, chances are high that any unspayed or un-neutered dog that has been allowed to run free has or will acquire TVT.
Symptoms include unexplained bleeding (for female dogs, look for signs of being in heat much longer than usual) and growths (tumors) in the genital area.
Although TVT is a form of cancer, TVT can usually be completely cured through a series of shots of the drug Vincristine.
However, TVT can be acquired again and again so long as a male or female dog remains sexually active – and treatment is very expensive and must be performed by a veterinarian.
Therefore, the only way to prevent repeated outbreaks of TVT is to have your dog neutered or spayed – or to keep breeding dogs completely away from other dogs.
If you have a dog that has not yet been spayed or neutered, watch for the symptoms described above. If you suspect TVT, please have your dog checked by the veterinarian at the next Veterinary Clinic. (Check our calendar for the date of the next clinic.)
Also, please consider having your dog spayed or neutered to help prevent the further spread of this disease in Placencia – and the possible death of your pet.