Shine On Project Brings Hope Of Treating Hemangiosarcoma Cancer In Golden Retrievers
A year into the Shine On Project, research of canine hemangiosarcoma is making significant progress to better understand the cancer that kills an estimated one in five Golden Retrievers.
From the collaborative spirit that successfully raised funding to support the research to the impassioned determination of hundreds of people who lost dogs to this challenging cancer, Shine On represents a game-changing approach to developing relevant canine research. The grassroots effort behind Shine On started with a donation in memory of a Golden Retriever named “Shine,” who died days before turning 9 years old and 15 months after being diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma.
Razzle Golden Retriever breeder Cathy Meddaugh of Arlington, Texas, remembers vividly the morning her retired show dog laid lethargically on the kitchen floor, droopiness drowning his usual comical, happy personality. Meddaugh hand-picked Shine from a litter sired by “Harley” , a Special she campaigned, and then she raised Shine from a puppy.
Having owned Golden Retrievers since 1988, Meddaugh wasn’t overly concerned about Shine’s behavior, but she felt it warranted an examination by his veterinarian at Josey Ranch Pet Hospital in Carrollton, Texas. Shine’s pale gums and lethargy prompted the veterinarian to perform an ultrasound of the dog’s heart and abdomen, which showed pericardial effusion, or blood around the heart, stemming from a mass near the right atrium that had bled out.
A Promise to ‘Shine On’
Why Do So Many Golden Retrievers Get Cancer Massive Study Hopes To Find Out
March 22, 2018 / 6:56 PM / CBS News
SPRINGFIELD, Va. — The sweet and playful golden retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds in America, with a special talent for getting even so-called grown-ups to join in the fun. But, as Kris Campesi has learned through painful experience, they also rate high on another scale.
“Goldens have a high probability for cancer,” she explained.
That rate is about 60 percent, one of the highest in the dog world. Campesi recently lost one golden to cancer and now 7-year-old Malachi has a brain tumor.
“They’re such a part of your life, and when it’s time for them to go it’s hard,” Campesi said.
Looking for answers, she entered 3-year-old Nicodemus, who’s perfectly healthy, into a national study of nearly 3,000 golden retrievers. The goal is to understand why the cancer rate is so high.
“I have to keep track of everything they eat, the water they drink, the chemicals I use around the house,” Campesi said.
Nicodemus even has something called a “whistle” that stays with him all the time so it can record his activity and sleep.
Veterinarian Laney Rhymes takes samples of his hair and nails during frequent medical exams.
“They’re looking for environmental stuff that the dogs might be exposed to that would concentrate in the nails,” Rhymes said.
If Your Pet Has Been Recently Diagnosed With Cancer We Are Here To Help
PetCure Oncology has a rapid-response center for pet parents like you who may be struggling with a dog or cat’s cancer diagnosis. Our full-time Pet Advocate Team is trained and ready to receive your phone calls with knowledge and compassion. They will help you understand the nature of your pet’s cancer diagnosis, discuss treatment options, and connect you with educational resources to better manage your pet’s care.
Golden Retrievers Dying Of Cancer Due To Lack Of Health Facilities
The health facilities and treatment of Golden Retrievers cancer need advanced technology. So, every veterinary does not have the essential equipment for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
Furthermore, it is tedious and impossible to travel with a pet suffering from cancer. Hence, many Golden Retrievers are dying from cancer because of the lack of required health facilities.
Heartbreak For Dog Owners: Popular Breed More Prone Now To Cancer
HUDSON, Mass. — The American Kennel Club lists golden retrievers as the third most popular breed in the United States, just behind Labrador retrievers and German shepherds.
“Golden retrievers naturally love people,” said Pauline Hoegler, owner of Golden Opportunities for Independence in Walpole, which raises the breed to serve as help dogs.
And the feeling is apparently mutual.
“I think what attracts most people to goldens is their sweet personality,” said Alysson MacKenna, executive director of Yankee Golden Retriever Rescue in Hudson. “They just really, really want to make that connection with people. In my opinion, there is no sweeter breed.”
But it appears there is a genetic flip-side to that sweet disposition.
“Goldens are one of the breeds that we see that get a lot of cancer,” said Dr. Cheryl London, a veterinary oncologist and director of the clinical trials office at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in Grafton. “For a period of time, there was a lot of interbreeding to create the golden retriever and all the other breeds. When you do that you create issues in the genes that predispose you to a variety of different things and one of them is cancer.”
In fact, several studies — both in Europe and North America — have shown golden retrievers develop cancer at far higher rates than most other dog breeds.
Cancer in dogs can be treated — sometimes with good results.
What Are The Quick Tips To Protect Golden Retrievers From Cancer
After you know about the cancer treatments in Golden Retrievers, you probably want some tips to prevent this disease from affecting your pet. Hence, here are some helpful tips to protect the Retrievers from cancer and prevent them from dying.:
How often do you visit the Vet?
Moreover, if you want to know more about cancer in the Retrievers, read the article- Why Does Golden Retriever Get Cancer?
What Are Some Possible Side Effects Caused By Cancer Treatment
Just as in humans, radiation therapies and chemotherapies can cause side effects in dogs, and a couple of my dogs have had both radiation and chemotherapies. One of them had no symptoms, the other had a lot of side effects, so it depends on the dog. Dogs tend to tolerate chemo better than humans do, and we do have a lot of medications for nausea and things now that are great drugs. But still, some dogs can have side effects. So it’s just dependent on the pet.
If you still have other questions and you’d like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at 456-9556, you can email us, or you can reach out on Facebook. But please do reach out, and we’ll get back to you as fast as we can.
Golden Retrievers Are Dying Due To Adverse Effect Of Treatment
Golden Retrievers cancer is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells and tumors. Thus, the cancer treatment of the Retrievers includes immune system suppressing medications.
And due to this, the immune system of the dog cannot produce the necessary antibodies to fight against the antigen. Hence, the dogs suffer from other different types of health issues while controlling cancer. As a result, Golden Retrievers will end up dying due to other diseases while preventing cancer.
I guess now you know the reasons why a number of Golden Retrievers are dying from cancer. So, if you also have a Golden Retriever, it has a great possibility of suffering from cancer.
Don’t you want to know how to manage cancer to prevent your pet from dying?
Look For These Early Warning Signs Of Cancer In Cats And Dogs
Be observant to any changes in your pet’s physical appearance and behavior. We talked about some of the in a previous post—one common sign being seizures. However, not all warning signs are that obvious.
Here are the top 10 warning signs of cancer in cats and dogs, adapted from the American Veterinary Medical Association. If you notice any of these, contact your veterinarian to check things out as soon as possible. Depending on the cancer type and stage, your pet’s health can deteriorate very quickly, so it’s always best to get an exam. When in doubt, get it checked out.
Cancer Treatment Is Expensive So Golden Retrievers Are Dying
The treatment of Golden Retrievers cancer is expensive. Furthermore, there are higher chances of relapse of the disease even after the treatment. Besides this, the lifespan of the Retriever is less.
Thus, the owners think that their pets are sure to die sooner or later. Hence, they do not want to waste their money on surgeries, immune-suppressing medications, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and herbal supplements. So, Golden Retrievers are dying from cancer.
Golden Retrievers Dying Of Cancer Due To Inadequate Exercise
To maintain their healthy lifestyle, Golden Retrievers need at least half an hour of exercise twice a day. And lack of enough exercise results in various health problems like dysplasia, thyroid disorders, obesity, and diabetes. But excessive exercising is also harmful to the pet.
Furthermore, Retrievers suffering from cancer also require specific training sessions to promote their immunity and prevents them from dying. However, most of the owners fail in giving health-related training to their pets. As a result, cancer gets worse that leads to the death of Golden Retrievers.
When To See Your Vet If You Suspect Your Dog Has Bone Cancer
Spotting signs of bone cancer in your dog should always be taken very seriously because of the condition’s propensity to spread quickly to other organs and cause fatal conditions such as loss of appetite and respiratory distress.
To give your dog the best chance possible, it is essential to keep a close eye on your dog’s overall health and immediately book an appointment with your vet if you notice any of the symptoms listed above, even if they are subtle.
Have There Been Advancements In The Treatment Of Dog Cancer
Yes, for sure, there have been. We now have even some injectable chemotherapeutic agents that we did not have before, specifically treating mast cell disease. And we learn more every day. I would say that maybe we’re not quite as advanced as human medicine in treating cancers, but we’re pretty advanced in our information that we have and our abilities to provide longer, higher-quality lives for dogs.
How Does A Veterinarian Know What Kind Of Cancer My Dog Has
It depends on the location of the cancer, so let’s say I find a lump on your dog or your cat. I’m going to either do a punch biopsy or a needle biopsy to hopefully get cells that tell me what type of cancer it is. Depending on what the diagnosis is from a pathologist, it will help me determine what the next plan is going to be.
We’re also going to take X-rays quite often to check the chest and look for Mets and look in the abdomen to make sure nothing is going on there.
So it depends on the cancer. They all have a little bit of different behavior. If we find enlarged lymph nodes, we’re going to see if this is lymphoma. And then we’re going to look for where that is and what type of lymphoma it is to determine what type of chemotherapies we’re going to recommend.
On top of the type of cancer, we want to know that cancer’s general behavior, whether it’s one that metastasizes or it’s just localized cancer, and then we just go from there.
Golden Retrievers Dying Of Cancer Due To Lack Of Nutrition
Golden Retrievers suffering from cancer require nutritional meals and several food supplements to prevent further damage to cells. But some owners fail in providing their pets all the essential nutrition. As a result, the number of healthy and normal cells reduces in the body of the pets.
So, the immune system of the dogs declines, and they suffer from different secondary health issues like constipation, ear infection, heart diseases, joint disorders, thyroid diseases, etc. As a consequence, Golden Retrievers are dying from cancer.
What Treatment Options Are Available For Dogs With Cancer
So surgical is certainly an option. Chemotherapies. I tell people, everything that we have available for humans, we almost always have available for dogs. It just depends on the prognosis and how much you’re willing to spend or can spend, as every case is different. I’ve had dogs that are really in rough shape, and I’m not going to recommend they go any further with treatment because I don’t think it’s going to do the dog any favors. But we do have many excellent treatments that can prolong a high quality of life for your dog. We can completely cure mast cell cancers if we get to them early. So it’s vital to start collecting information and help us be your partner as you go through that with your dog.
Golden Retrievers Have One Of The Highest Rates Of Cancer
Cancer is a huge concern among all dog owners because it is the leading cause of death among dogs over the age of 2. Nearly half of all dogs will be diagnosed with some form of cancer over the age of 10.
Unfortunately, the incidence of cancer is slightly higher in Golden Retrievers. About 61% of Golden Retrievers in the US will die from cancer according to a study done by Purdue University along with the Golden Retriever Club of America in 1998.
A survey done by the UK Kennel Club in 2004 indicates that about 38% of European Golden Retrievers die from cancer. European Golden Retrievers develop cancer at a lower rate because their genes are different.
A few decades ago Golden Retrievers did not have such a high rate of cancer. The lifespan of a Golden Retriever was 15-17 years old in the mid-1900s to the early 2000s. Today their lifespan is 10-12 years according to Wikipedia.
Cancer Effects Most Of The Organs Of The Golden Retriever
One of the main reasons why Golden Retrievers are dying from cancer is its susceptibility to damage several organs. Cancer can occur in almost every organ or part in the dogs, like bones, legs, lymph nodes, stomach, intestines, eyes, skin to the blood vessels.
Thus, due to the broad-spectrum effect of cancer. Once the dog suffers from cancer, the disease proliferates aggressively in different tissue. Hence, Golden Retrievers are dying due to multiple organ failures after suffering from cancer.
The More Serious Signs Of Aging In Your Golden Retriever
Older dogs are defined as being senior as well as geriatric, and often times people think of these terms as meaning the same. This is not the case.
Golden Retrievers are considered seniors at the age of 7.5 to 10 years old, right about the time when age-related issues start to become noticeable. Geriatric dogs are at the older age of the spectrum and they experience more health issues. A Golden Retriever is considered geriatric at the age of 10 and up.
Some more serious health problems that can affect your golden include:
Golden Retrievers are more likely to develop certain types of cancer than any other breed. Unfortunately, cancer is the number one cause of death in goldens, studies show that 60% of goldens will die from cancer. Males have a higher rate of 66% and females slightly lower at 57%.
The 2 most common cancers found in Goldens are hemangiosarcoma and lymphosarcoma. We’ll briefly discuss them below as well as other cancers goldens may get.
Why do Golden Retrievers get cancer? To find out,
As goldens age, they may develop arthritis in their bones. Walking will become difficult and painful for them, as well as getting up and moving around. It is best to keep the walks short and more frequent to prevent your golden from getting stiff joints.
Hypothyroidism can occur in any breed, but it is most common in medium to large breed dogs like Golden Retrievers. It usually occurs when a dog is middle-aged between 4-10 years.
Prognosis: Life Expectancy For Dogs With Stomach Cancer
Unfortunately, the prognosis for dogs diagnosed with malignant stomach tumors is not positive, as in most cases, the cancer has already progressed to advanced stages.
The most common tumor, gastric adenocarcinoma, carries a guarded prognosis as the cancer has often already begun to metastasize at the time of diagnosis. Overall survival times are commonly less than 6 months, with the possibility of the tumors growing back after treatment.
Dogs with gastric leiomyosarcoma can potentially be cured with surgery alone, but survival rates are similar to those of gastric adenocarcinoma when diagnosed in the advanced stages.
Golden Retrievers Are Dying Of Cancer Due To Ignorance
Golden Retrievers suffering from health issues require a lot of care and attention. Furthermore, the caregiver should supervise all the activities of the pet. Since the owner needs to do other works too, they may not have enough time to care for their dog.
As a result, the health condition of their Retrievers gets worse. And eventually, their cancer develops into an advanced stage. So, once Golden Retrievers have cancer, they will be dying sooner than their average lifespan.
How To Stop Golden Retrievers From Dying Due To Cancer
Cancer is a fatal health issue for both humans and Golden Retrievers. Although curing this deadly disease is quite impossible, you can opt for some treatments to manage the severity of this disease. Thus, it can prevent or delay the death of the Retrievers suffering from cancer.
When you notice abnormal behavior of your pet, you should immediately consult with the Vet. Since, earlier prognosis leads to successful treatment, the possibility of cure of cancer in the initial stage is more. Once you visit the veterinary, the professionals will analyze the following things by health testing techniques.:
- Stage of cancer
- Possible cause of cancer
- The health of your Golden Retriever
After all necessary analysis, the Vet will prescribe the appropriate cancer treatment for your pet. And the treatments are:
- Surgery for isolated and localized lumps or tumors
- Chemotherapy for killing the abnormal cells
- Herbal medicines to stop the abnormal cell from growing
- Radiotherapy to kill the benign tumors
However, the health expense and treatment costs a lot. In addition, all these treatments do not guarantee longer life for your pet. But they do ensure a healthier and happier lifespan for Golden Retrievers.
Early Detection Is Crucial When It Comes To Pet Cancer
As pet owners ourselves, we understand that your pet is a much-loved member of the family. We encourage you to be vigilant about your pet’s health. Cancer is the number one cause of disease-related deaths in older cats and dogs, and finding it early can make all the difference. For young and adult pets, schedule annual visits with your family veterinarian for a full checkup. For older or senior pets, schedule checkups every six months. Animals age at a faster rate than humans do, so even though it may be one year in our time, it may be equivalent to several years for them.
What Are Some Of The Signs And Symptoms Of Dog Cancer
People often have no idea that they have a tumor growing inside them, and dogs are no different. Many of them don’t have any symptoms, so veterinarians must do annual exams on your dog. Doctors pick up things quite often. When we palpate your dog, or when we feel your dog’s abdomen as part of the exam, we’ll often find a large spleen or a tumor. We sometimes find things during rectal exams as well. We’ll see lumps and bumps on the body, many of them are benign, but some are not. And so the only way to know if those tumors are not benign is to put a needle in them and do a needle aspirate or a biopsy of them.
We palpate the lymph nodes when we do exams. We feel the lymph nodes for signs of enlargement. You have lymph nodes all over your body. Some are easy to palpate, meaning we can feel them on the exam. During oral exams, we find cancers in the mouth and the extremities, or sometimes in the eye.
As the dog owner, you want to look for weight loss and breathing difficulty, but unfortunately, these symptoms are when cancers are far gone. Otherwise, if you see lumps or bumps or something else you haven’t seen on your dog before, bring them in. Annual exams are essential, but you should also be looking for anything out of the ordinary.
What Are The Signs Of The Cancer In Golden Retrievers
Since cancer is a dreadful health issue, several Golden Retrievers are dying due to this every year. Thus, you need to manage and treat this disease in the initial stage. Early prognosis of this disease results in a successful treatment.
Therefore, it is better to start the cancer treatment of Golden Retrievers in the initial stage to reduce the dying ratio. For this, you must know the initial symptoms of cancer in the dogs. And here they are:
- Abnormal inflammation or redness in the skin
Does your pet show these symptoms?
If it does, then your pet might be suffering from health issues that need immediate treatment. Therefore, take your pet for a health checkup. And consult with the Vet for treatment and management of the prevalent disease.
At What Age Is A Golden Retriever Considered A Senior
Golden Retrievers are larger dogs so that automatically shortens their lifespan. Larger dogs age faster than smaller dogs, the reason why is still a mystery but scientists believe that it’s simply because large dogs grow faster. Growing faster can lead to an earlier incidence of tumours and other abnormal tissue developments including cancer.
The lifespan of a Golden Retriever is 10-12 years on average. Decades ago Golden Retrievers lived to be 16-17 years old. The reason for their reduced lifespan now is believed to be because this breed is more prone to certain types of cancer than any other breed.
A Golden Retriever is considered a senior at the age of 7.5-10 years old.
Many people believe that 1 human year is equivalent to 7 dog years, but this is not the case and it all depends on the size of the dog. Scientists have come to the conclusion that for every 4.4 pounds of body mass a dog has, their life expectancy is reduced by one month.
To find out how old your dog is in human years you can check out this chart.
Breed Specific Cancers: The Beloved Golden Retriever
The golden retriever is one of the most popular breeds in the world. In the United States the golden’s popularity is evident; it seems that they are everywhere from the local dog parks to your neighbor’s backyard and even in several television commercials. If you’re lucky you have one in your own family. Golden retrievers are nearly the perfect family member with their desire to please personality, their high intelligence and obedient nature, and their friendly and playful ways. They tend to get along well with all other dogs, people, and even cats.
The golden retriever was originally developed in Scotland as a gundog, with its soft mouth it was the perfect dog for carrying waterfowl. Although this breed is still an excellent hunting companion most goldens are primarily devoted family dogs and because of their trainability they are used as service dogs and search and rescue dogs.
Lymphoma is also a cancer that affects approximately one in eight golden retrievers during their middle age or old age, but can strike younger dogs as well. If left untreated a dogs survival rate may be as low as just a couple of months left in life, but with chemotherapy a dog with lymphoma may live another year. Research has shown that goldens that receive regular flea and tick preventative have reduced incidences of this cancer due to the thought that lymphoma in dogs may be triggered by bacteria carried by fleas and ticks.
How Would A Veterinarian Diagnose Cancer In Your Dog
Diagnosing cancer in your dog involves a combination of you telling us the history, perhaps finding a bump at home, or us finding things during an exam. As dogs age, we may want to take chest films as a survey to have a look, just like we do for us sometimes. Sometimes we’ll do pre-anesthetic things, and we’ll see something in the lab work. Blood work generally does not diagnose cancer, but it may give us a clue if something’s abnormal. If the white blood cell count is very high or the red blood cell count is very low, these can be signs that we want to look into, and then we may find cancer. X-rays and abdominal ultrasounds are also vital, and we also sometimes do ultrasounds of the chest. We perform a lot of biopsies of lumps, needle biopsies, and punch biopsies of lumps that we find on your dog’s body to make sure that they’re benign. And if they’re not, we’re going to want to take them off.
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 breeds—the 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.
That’s 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.
Why Do Golden Retrievers Get Cancer Final Thoughts
As we have learned in this article, Golden Retrievers have a high rate of cancer because it is in their genes. A cancer-causing gene is passed down from generation to generation, and because the gene pool is small in purebred dogs, this cancer gene does not go away.
Along with genetics, a combination of old age and environmental factors could also contribute to cancer. However, the true causes of cancer in Golden Retrievers are not specifically known.
Cancer research in both human and veterinary medicine is ongoing, and great strides have been made, but we have yet to find a cure for cancer.
The study that is currently going on by the Morris Animal Foundation involving Golden Retrievers will hopefully give us some answers and bring us closer to a cure each year.
It is imperative to always be aware of any changes in your dog’s physical and behavioural state. Catching this disease early will make all the difference in your Golden’s prognosis.
Goldies That Have Lesser Chance For Getting Cancer
So, what can you do to make the Golden Retriever a healthier breed?
You can solve the cancer problem by simply stopping the inbreeding, right? You can breed Golden Retrievers with other dogs that have lower chances of developing cancer to drop the risk down to normal levels.
But, this means that you also lose some of the traits that people love about the breed.
Another solution is to find the gene involved and look for golden retrievers that lack this gene and breed only those dogs lacking the problem gene. This will mean that the new Golden Retriever will have the normal 33% chance of developing cancer.
While this seems like a possible solution, it may not be possible in practice.
So, there isn’t any effective solution available yet.
Final Words: Are Golden Retrievers Prone To Cancer
Yes, Golden Retrievers are prone to cancer and have twice the risk of developing cancer than normal dog breeds do.
Dogs don’t inherit genes that cause cancer but, the acquire genes that make them more likely to get the disease. This means that even if a Golden Retriever inherits the gene, s/he won’t get cancer for sure.
Cancer occurs when the gene goes out of control and leads to a cell to grow when it shouldn’t. The gene simply goes bad because of getting damaged or mutated. Now, the mutation may come from the environment.
So, for the most part, pet owners can control cancer by controlling the environment.
Do you have questions? if so, leave them in the comments, and we will get back to you soon.