Male Dogs Are More Likely To Get Contagious Nose Cancer By Smelling Other Dogs’ Genitals – NIUS

  • Sneezing, snoring and bloody secretions are the most common symptoms of this dog cancer

  • It tends to occur more frequently in countries with a high number of stray dogs

  • It is one of the oldest cancers. It comes from a husky-like animal that lived thousands of years ago in Asia

Normally, we don’t think of cancer as an infectious disease. What if we told you that there is a contagious cancer, thousands of years old? This disease is not caused by a viral infection. It is cancer cells which can be physically transmitted between dogs.

In our new study in the Communicable Cancer Group from the University of Cambridge, we found that male dogs are four to five times more likely than females to be infected with the oral and nasal forms of the virus. transmissible venereal tumor (TVT). Cancer cells are transmitted between dogs by sniffing the genitals of other dogs.

TVT mainly affects the genital areas, resulting in the formation of unsightly tumors and is usually transmitted during mating . Sometimes cells from this disease can affect other areas, such as the nose, mouth, or skin.

Although it is a common condition Affecting thousands of dogs on all continents, the oral and nasal version is rare. Oral and nasal tumors are transmitted when a dog smells another dog’s TVT-infected genitalia.

In our database of nearly 2000 TVT cases, only 32 of them involved the nose or mouth. Additionally, 84% of dogs with the nasal or oral form were males.

Female genital tumors, which are more exposed, may also be more accessible to smell and lick, unlike male genital tumors, which are often hidden in the foreskin.

an old cancer

The most common symptoms of facial versions of cancer are sneezing, snoring, difficulty breathing, nasal deformities, or bloody or other discharge from the nose or mouth. With treatment, the vast majority of dogs recover.


CTVT cells under the microscope. Andrea Strakova, Author provided (do not reuse)The conversation

Since then, living cancer cells have been jumping from dog to dog, like a parasite. When we look at today’s TVT tumor cells under the microscope, we are actually looking at those from the dog that lived thousands of years ago. All current forms of TVT can be traced to the same animal.

a global parasite

Communicable cancers are also found in Tasmanian devil and in molluscs such as mussels and clams. We know of no contagious tumors that affect humans.

TVT is the oldest cancer lineage known to scientists. This could help us better understand how human tumors work. Some of the processes seen in TVT, thousands of years old, can also occur in cancers that affect our species undetected.

*Andrea Strakova. Postdoctoral researcher in the Transmissible Cancer Group, University of Cambridge (UK)

This article was published in “The Conversation”, you can read the original here.

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