Sex disparity in oronasal presentations of canine transmissible venereal tumour.
BACKGROUND: The canine transmissible venereal tumour (CTVT) is a contagious cancer spread by the direct transfer of living cancer cells. CTVT usually spreads during mating, manifesting as genital tumours. However, oronasal CTVT is also occasionally observed, and presumably arises through oronasal contact with genital CTVT tumours during sniffing and licking. METHODS: Given that sniffing and licking transmission behaviours may differ between sexes, we investigated whether oronasal CTVT shows sex disparity. RESULTS: Twenty-seven of 32 (84%) primary oronasal tumours in a CTVT tumour database occurred in males. In addition, 53 of 65 (82%) primary oronasal CTVT tumours reported in the published literature involved male hosts. These findings suggest that male dogs are at four to five times greater risk of developing primary oronasal CTVT than females. This disparity may be due to sex differences in licking and sniffing activity, perhaps also influenced by sex differences in CTVT accessibility for these behaviours. CONCLUSION: Although oronasal CTVT is rare, it should be considered as a possible diagnosis for oronasal tumours, particularly in male dogs.
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