When I first saw headlines going around about a canine cancer that’s passed through sniffing one another’s private parts, I was alarmed. My dogs, like all dogs, love sniffing other dogs in the most intimate of ways.
Why haven’t I heard of this before? Have you?
As it turns out, it’s not common where I live in the United States, nor is it particularly deadly. While it’s not something we need to panic about, it’s always good to know the facts when it comes to protecting our dogs.
Contagious Dog Cancer – What Is It, Exactly?
Cancer is not contagious. Usually.
You might have heard of human papillomavirus (HPV) a virus in humans that’s passed through sexual contact. It’s the one that’s prevented with the Gardisil vaccine.
HPV in humans usually clears without symptoms, but in some people it causes bouts of genital warts, and in rare cases the virus causes cells to mutate, leading to cervical, throat, vulvar, and penile cancers. But the virus itself does not cause cancer, it just increases the risk of developing cancer later on.
Canine transmissible venereal tumor (CTVT) in dogs is not caused by a virus.