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Changing distribution of canine transmissible venereal tumour

A. Strakova, E. P. Murchison

CANINE transmissible venereal tumour (CTVT) is a contagious cancer. It is most often passed on during coitus and is associated with tumours of the external genitalia. Genetic studies have suggested that CTVT first arose in a single dog several thousand years ago and has since spread to many other parts of the world. This study aimed to assess the global distribution and prevalence of CTVT.

First, a literature review was conducted to assess the historical distribution of CTVT. A total of 317 reports of naturally occurring CTVT were analysed. These suggested that the disease was present on all six inhabited continents. The earliest record of CTVT was from London in 1810, which noted that it was one of only two cancers known to afflict dogs. There was evidence that the disease was present before 1910 in several countries, including France, Japan and Papua New Guinea. Two reports from the 1950s documented declines in CTVT prevalence in London and New York.

Following the literature review, an internet-based questionnaire was distributed to 1025 veterinarians in 164 counties asking them to estimate the prevalence of CTVT in their countries. A total of 645 completed questionnaires were received from 109 countries. CTVT was estimated to occur …

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