Ocular Manifestations of Canine Veneral Tumor: A Retrospective Study of 15 Cases in Greece
Canine transmissible venereal tumor is a disease, which mainly involves external genitalia of both sexes and rarely oral and nasal mucosa, cranial cavity, pituitary gland, skin and subcutaneous tissues, abdominal organs as well as eye and adnexa.
Fifteen cases of naturally infected transmissible venereal tumor with ocular involvement were admitted the Ophthalmology Unit, Clinic of Surgery, School of Veterinary Medicine, AUTH, between 2001 and 2003 for further investigation and treatment. Ten animals were males and 5 were females, while 14 of them had unilateral ocular signs and the rest had bilateral. Thirteen animals had only a primary ocular involvement while in the rest of them external genitalia (1), intranasal cavity and oral mucosa (1) were the primary site of tumor localization. The most common ophthalmic manifestations in all animals were conjunctival congestion, chemosis, ocular purulent or mucopurulent discharge, different sized multilobular masses with irregular surface on the bulbar conjunctiva of the nictitating membrane (12), or on the upper eye lid conjunctiva (2) or on the lower eye lid conjunctiva with skin involvement as well. Deep ulcerative keratitis was noticed in 6 animals related to irritation. Extra genital ocular transmissible venereal tumor (TVT) diagnosis was made on the basis of cytology and histopathology of the tumor masses. Surgical excision of the lesions was performed in cases with large masses as well as a chemotherapy protocol (vincristine 0,5mg/m2 iv weekly or 3-4 weeks) initiated in all cases.
Complete remission of the tumors was achieved in 14 cases after 4-week treatment and no relapse was noticed ever since. One animal died 3 weeks after initiation of treatment due to kidney failure.
Transmissible venereal tumor is a unique canine tumor while ocular TVT involvement either primary or metastatic is not very rare and responds well to chemotherapy where full recovery is succeeded.