Can spayed dogs contract TVT too?

Hi, its JoTong here.

I would like to share my experience with two of the strays that I have been feeding which contracted TVT after they were both spayed in August 2022.

The answer is YES, spayed dogs can contract TVT too.

TVT stands for “Transmissible Venereal Tumour” and is more commonly observed in the free-roaming, stray, sexually active dogs and the most affected site for this tumor is the external genitalia of both sexes.

However, how does it spread? A quick check over the internet reveals this:

The most common cause of this cancer is direct contact with a dog with TVT, which includes sexual contact (intercourse), licking, biting, and sniffing the tumor affected areas.

So, while the most widely-known cause is through sexual intercourse which makes us assume that a neutered dog should not contract TVT anymore, neutering does not give a 100% guarantee that the neutered dog will not get it. There is still a minute chance that they still might. Or in some cases, perhaps the disease is already there when the dog is neutered, but in its very early stages, hence, it isn’t visible or detectable yet. Sometimes, it can take years before the disease shows any visible signs.

In the case of two of the female dogs that I feed, here’s what happened:

These two dogs had already been spayed 6 months prior. Then, 3 weeks ago, I noticed that Mama Ke Lian and Mama Temple’s genital areas were red and swollen. Sensing something was not right, I brought both of them to the vet and both of them were diagnosed with TVT. The doctor who treated them said the tumour most probably had been there before they were spayed and the tumor surfaced at a later stage.

They were treated with the 2nd chemotherapy injection last Saturday and checking by the vet revealed that the swollen genital areas have shown significant improvement as the ‘cauliflower-like’ nodules have subsided at the genital outer area. But there are still visible tumours inside their genitals and they need to continue with their 3rd chemotherapy injection.

So do be aware that even spayed dogs can exhibit symptoms of TVT later as the disease could have already been there before the spaying was done. It could take years. Or, the disease could still transmit to neutered dogs through other means besides sexual intercourse although this occurrence is considered rare.