Breeder Selection And Spay
Its a sad fact that certain beloved breeds, such as Golden Retrievers and Boxers, are particularly prone to certain kinds of cancer. Responsible breeders of these dogs screen their breeding stock for common cancers. If youre acquiring a cancer-prone breed, there are ways to help avoid a heartbreaking diagnosis down the line. Work with a responsible, registered breeder who has paid attention to cancer in their lineage and worked to exclude it. A good rule of thumb for welcoming any dog into your life is to verify that the breeder has performed health testing for the breeds commonly associated conditions.
Once your new puppy has settled in, another decision is whether or not to spay or neuter. And if so, when? Recent research by Dr. Benjamin Hart of the University of California, Davis, sponsored by the AKC Canine Health Foundation , indicates that spaying or neutering a puppy before sexual maturity can increase the risk of developing certain cancers. For instance, Dr. Harts 2013 paper found that spay-neuter could increase Golden Retrievers likelihood of developing certain cancers by up to three or four times.
However, its not as simple as just avoiding spay-neuter, or putting it off until your dog has reached sexual maturity. The procedures effects vary widely between the sexes and from breed to breed.
Its hard to predict which ones will and which ones do not have an increase in cancers with early spay-neuter, Dr. Hart says.
Common Types Of Cancer In Dogs
Unlike many other species of animals, dogs are susceptible to the same types of cancer as humans. Cancer is caused by the uncontrolled growth of cells in the body. These cells can originate in any of the body’s tissues. If not found and arrested in time, cancer can expand and connect with the circulatory or lymph systems, and also can spread and infect other tissues in the body. Canine cancer is the leading cause of death for dogs 10 years of age and older. However, half of all cancer in dogs is treatable if it is arrested in its early stages.
The most common types of cancer in dogs are:
Cancer Proportional Mortality Rates
Ideally, mortality data should be obtained from longitudinal, prospective studies of dog populations or representative samples of these populations. As cohort studies become more commonplace in pet animals, valid mortality data may become available. One potential source of such data is a national database representative of dogs examined by small animal veterinarians and reported systematically by electronic communication.41 The potential usefulness of such a system has been validated by a study assessing the frequency of postvaccinal reactions and vaccine site-associated sarcomas in cats.42 Data from large populations of dogs identified through a national surveillance system represent an additional potential source of mortality data.43
Finally, clinical descriptions of death rates among dogs with cancer are often referred to as âmortalityâ rates. These rates are more properly referred to as âcase fatality ratesâ but the usage has become widely accepted.
Jessica A. Lawrence, Corey F. Saba, in, 2013
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What To Do If A Cyst Pops On A Dog
At a later time, the veterinarian may choose to open and drain the cyst and treat it with a topical medication. If the cyst has ruptured by the time you make the visit to the clinic, the veterinarian may decide to treat any inflammation or infection that is present, and then surgically remove the cyst.
The Causes Of Cancer In Golden Retrievers
Lets start with the basics. The term cancer refers to a group of diseases caused by the abnormal growth of a group of cells. This is due to genetic mutations that disrupt normal cell cycles, causing them to divide uncontrollably and end up affecting other tissues.
When cells grow uncontrollably, dreaded malignant tumors appear. If these mutated cells enter the bloodstream or lymphatic stream and settle in other organs, metastasis occurs. This definition of cancer is universal, whether were talking about humans, elephants, or Golden Retrievers.
In the case of the breed were talking about here, the causative agents arent fully known. Whats clear is that its a genetic issue, since the prevalence of neoplasms in other dogs is 20%, while in Golden Retrievers its 60%.
Although no specific cause has been found, multiple studies have linked cancers in this breed to heredity. Chromosomal aberrations and gene changes such as VEGFR-1 seem to be linked to cancer in Golden Retrievers.
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Fighting Canine Cancer With Veterinary Oncology
Just like their humans, dogs are also at risk for developing different types of cancer, including lymphoma and even breast cancer. The good news is, the same treatments used to treat cancer in humans are also available for pets with veterinary oncology.
While this is not a definitive list, here are some of the different types of cancer that can affect dogs.
Symptoms Of Cancer In Cats
For cats, cancer symptoms can be difficult to notice. Cats are generally very private creatures, and they tend to hide disease better than humans and dogs. There are a few possible symptoms of cancer in cats that you may notice, however, including:
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Swollen lymph nodes
While it is more difficult to notice symptoms of disease in cats, if you start to notice any unusual behavior, you may want to go ahead and bring your pet to the veterinarian for an exam. If a veterinarian notices anything unusual, he or she can decide whether or not to screen for cancer or refer you to an oncologist.
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Sudden Weakness Or Collapse
While weakness can arise from a number of factors, sudden collapse is an alarming but common symptom of hemangiosarcoma, a cancer of the cells lining the blood vessels.
This form of cancer is most common in the German Shepherd, Golden Retriever and other large breeds.
Since dogs usually show only mild warning signs, cases of hemangiosarcoma may not be detected until the cancer has reached an advanced stage.
Unfortunately, one of the most common initial signs of hemangiosarcoma involves sudden collapse due to massive internal bleeding, usually from a ruptured spleen.
Common Warning Signs Of Pet Cancer
Like humans, pets tend to respond better to cancer treatments when they are diagnosed early. Our hope is that the following information helps pet owners notice the symptoms and signs of cancer in their dog or cat early on. Faster and earlier detections often lead to earlier cancer screenings, which in turn leads to better odds for remission.
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Chesapeake Bay Retriever Health Issues
Chesapeake Bay Retrievers or Chessies are hardy dogs but they are susceptible to a number of hereditary diseases.
The health problems listed below are not arranged in any particular order and it doesnt mean that they will certainly occur in your pet, but their occurrence has been reported in a number of dogs of this breed.
The health issues that have been reported in Chessies over the years are the following:
To keep your Chessie healthy, provide him with enough physical activity and take him to the vet for regular check-ups to detect potential problems in time.
What Does Cancer Look Like In A Dog’s Mouth
The average age of dogs diagnosed with oral cancer is 11 years, although oral cancer can be seen in dogs of any age. Which is why it’s important know the signs of this disease and act quickly if your dog is showing symptoms of mouth cancer.
If your dog has oral tumors they may appear as swellings or lumps on the gums around the teeth, or on the roof of their mouth, although they can appear anywhere in the dog’s mouth. These tumors will often break open and bleed which can lead to infection.
Depending on the size, type and location of your dog’s tumor, as well as the cancer’s propensity to spread, oral cancer tumors in dogs can be darker in color than the surrounding tissue or non-pigmented, they could also appear as smooth lumps or be more cauliflower-like in appearance.
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The Three Common Cancers Found In Dogs
Every cancer has different risks, treatments, and remission rates. The following cancers are the three most commonly found in dogs.
Canine lymphoma is one of the most common cancers in dogs. It occurs between two and five times as often in dogs as it does in humans. Generally, lymphoma is diagnosed in dogs between six and nine years old. This type of cancer can affect the immune system and cause swollen lymph nodes as well as other signs.
Hemangiosarcoma is a particularly malignant type of cancer that affects the spleen, liver, or heart, but quickly travels to other organs as well. With this cancer, it is much more difficult for owners to realize something is wrong, which leads to a late diagnosis. Late diagnoses often give cancer enough time to spread, making treatment more difficult. German shepherds, golden retrievers, and other large breeds are more prone to hemangiosarcoma.
Mast cell tumors are the most common malignant skin tumors in dogs, as well as the most common tumors found in dogs in general. Mast cell tumors usually form as lumps on the skin, which makes them fairly easy to spot in most cases. Generally, these tumors are found in dogs older than eight. Boxers, pugs, Boston terriers, and a few other breeds are predisposed to these tumors.
How Does A Cancerous Lump Look Like
Bumps that are cancerous are typically large, hard, painless to the touch and appear spontaneously. The mass will grow in size steadily over the weeks and months. Cancerous lumps that can be felt from the outside of your body can appear in the breast, testicle, or neck, but also in the arms and legs.
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Treatment For Tumors In Dogs
Different types of cancer have different treatments. The treatment recommended for a dogs tumor depends on several factors:
How aggressive you want to be with treatment
Whether the tumor is one that typically spreads to other organs or stays locally invasive
How advanced or large the tumor is
How serious the tumor-related symptoms are
Treatment options include surgical removal, radiation, immunotherapy, and chemotherapy. Several herbal remedies have also been used successfully to help either with the symptoms of a tumor or with its growth. Even changes in diet can help with cancer treatment in dogs.
Can You Prevent Cancer In Golden Retrievers
Researchers at the Morris Animal Foundation in Denver, Colorado are trying to determine how often cancer happens in Goldens by conducting a prospective study known as the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study.
So far, it is estimated that almost 60% of the 3,000 plus Golden Retrievers in the study will be affected by cancer. If this rate is applicable to Goldens across the country, this would mean that every six in ten Golden Retrievers could be impacted by cancer at some point in their life.
Why is this rate so high? What are the most common cancers for Goldens, and is there any way that we can prevent them from happening?
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What Is The Treatment For Oral Cancer In Dogs
Surgery tends to be the most successful treatment of oral cancer in dogs. If the cancer is diagnosed early and the tumor is easy for the vet to access, surgery may even be curative.
For other dogs surgery may need to include the removal of a large portion of the jaw in order to try and eliminate all or most of the cancer cells.
While chemotherapy isn’t generally considered effective as a treatment for mouth cancer in dogs, your vet may recommend radiation therapy or immunotherapy following surgery, to help kill cancer cells and allow your pet to recover.
Radiation can also be used in place of surgery if the tumor is too difficult to reach, or too advanced, to be removed by your veterinary oncologist, or can be used to supplement surgical treatment. Radiation for oral cancer in dogs can cause redness, inflammation or ulceration of the mouth in some cases, but these symptoms typically clear up about a week after the radiation is administered.
Symptoms Of Dog Tumors
The symptoms of a tumor vary based on the type of cancer, location, and whether the tumor is benign or malignant.
Some types of cancers have symptoms or changes associated with them called “paraneoplastic” syndrome. Paraneoplastic syndrome is caused when tumors excrete hormones or hormone-like substances, or when the dogs immune system reacts to the tumor and causes symptoms not related to the cancer.
Paraneoplastic syndrome can show up on lab work and in noticeable physical changes in your dog. These symptoms may be the first indication that cancer is present. Symptoms can include altered reflexes, weakness, and partial paralysis, among others. For example, elevated calcium levels are associated with lymphosarcoma and anal gland tumors. You may notice your dog drinking more water than normal, or sometimes the elevation can be found on routine lab work.
Some tumors consume blood cells and can be associated with anemias , low white blood cells, and/or low platelets. Others can cause the opposite.
Tumors in the brain may cause seizures, changes in behavior, circling, etc. Mast cell tumors have symptoms related to histamine release: swelling, bleeding or difficulty clotting, and vomiting. Tumors associated with the liver can cause increased liver values on lab work.
Doggy Health: Are Golden Retrievers Prone To Cancer
Cancer is one of the worst diseases that affect dogs and humans alike.
Because of the smaller genetic pool, some pure dog breeds are prone to getting certain types of cancers, and the Golden Retriever is no exception. The Goldy is one of the most popular dog breedsthe dog is intelligent and has an excellent sense of humor.
According to a study conducted by the Purdue University, 61% of Golden Retrievers die from cancer.
Thats a large number, right?
In this blog post, I will answer the question Are Golden Retrievers prone to cancer? in as much detail as I can, and share a few more important things with you.
The Future Of Canine Cancer
Could one solution be as straightforward as avoiding environmental triggers that trip biological switches and activate uncontrolled cell growth? Maybe. Researchers expect to collect enough biological samples to accurately define the incidence of each cancer being studied. When the study ends, researchers will also have a detailed life story of every enrolled dog. The hope is that in the long run, data will show relationships between cancers and exposures.
The population-based study is creating a baseline for future research in all sorts of health-related issues. According to Page, âThe samples and data we are collecting now will be used by scientists in the future to answer their own questions about health and wellness issues in dogs. Studies will be encouraged that access these assets for analyses of everything from toxic exposures to microbial populations in the gut as they might influence health outcomes.â
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How To Prevent These Health Problems From Happening
So now that you know what health problems are common with golden retrievers and why they happen, the question is this: how can you prevent them?
Theres no way to totally prevent everything, but there are certainly some steps you can take.
Of course, the number one thing is to have a good relationship with your vet.
They know your puppy and their health best, and by having good communication with them, youll help out your puppy a lot.
In addition to speaking with your vet, to combat many of the problems that puppies specifically run into, heres what you can do:
- Dont let your puppy eat poop which can potentially be infected with a virus, bacteria or parasites
- Dont let your puppy drink from standing water
- Choose a good food to help strengthen your puppys immune system
- Avoid popular dog places like the dog park before your puppy is fully vaccinated
- Talk to your veterinarian about supplementing with vitamins
- Talk to your veterinarian about necessary vaccinations
And to try to prevent many health issues that golden retrievers as a breed are commonly diagnosed with, here are some tips:
Cancer In Golden Retrievers An Emerging Problem
03 April, 2021
Cancer in Golden Retrievers is a health problem that equally concerns vets, researchers, and owners. Its an increasingly prevalent disease in this breed. In fact, approximately 70% of dogs of this breed die from two types of neoplasia: hemangiosarcoma and lymphoma.
The average lifespan for a Golden Retriever is 9.5 years, in part due to the slow but lethal action of malignant tumors. Whats the cause of this worrisome data? If you want to know everything about cancer in Golden Retrievers, read on.
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What To Do To Prevent Cancer In Golden Retrievers
Unfortunately, the owner cant do anything. This burden falls on researchers and breeders alike, as these professionals are the only ones able to discover the genes that cause these serious diseases. Once this happens, mutation-bearing specimens must be isolated and prevented from reproducing.
This is the only way to clear the genetics of the breed of carcinogenic mutations. Unfortunately, theres still a long way to go to accomplish that.