Treatment Options For Dogs With Cancer
Several factors influence cancer treatment decisions for dogs with cancer, including:
- The age of the dog
- The general health of the dog
- The tumor type
- The biological behavior of the tumor
- The stage of the cancer
Overall health status plays a major role in the therapy choices for dogs with cancer. This includes evaluating the dog’s ability to tolerate cancer treatment.
Treatments for dogs with cancer are similar to human therapies, which can include:
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 isnt any effective solution available yet.
Bone And Joint Problems
A number of different musculoskeletal problems have been reported in Golden Retrievers. While it may seem overwhelming, each condition can be diagnosed and treated to prevent undue pain and suffering. With diligent observation at home and knowledge about the diseases that may affect your friend’s bones, joints, or muscles, you will be able to take great care of him throughout his life.
- Both hips and elbows are at risk for dysplasia, an inherited disease that causes the joints to develop improperly and results in arthritis. Stiffness in your Golden’s elbows or hips may become a problem for him, especially as he matures. You may notice that he begins to show lameness in his legs or has difficulty getting up from lying down. We can treat the arthritisthe sooner the betterto minimize discomfort and pain. Well take X-rays of your dogs bones to identify issues as early as possible. Surgery is also sometimes a good option in severe and life-limiting cases. And keep in mind that overweight dogs may develop arthritis years earlier than those of normal weight, causing undue pain and suffering!
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What Is Canine Cancer
âCancerâ is the broad term for a complex cluster of more than a hundred diseases. Although there are many causes, each type of cancer starts with alterations in genes that tell cells how to function, which triggers accelerated and uncontrolled cell growth. The defective signal may hide in abnormal genes inherited from parents, or germinate when normal genes are exposed to harmful environmental influences.
Some breeds are predisposed to certain types of cancer, and in those cases, a strong inherited genetic component is suspected. It is thought that a small number of genes account for cancer risk â but rarely is a single gene the sole cause.
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.
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Diseased Genes: Every Animal Has Got Them
Like I mentioned in the above section, the ancestors of all golden retrievers had genes that increased their chances of getting cancer.
This is true for every animal, even humans!
Each and every organism on this planet has genetic diseases in their DNA. There are two things you should know.
- We all have different sets of disease-causing genes
- These diseases usually require that you get the bad gene from both dad and mom
So, if you end up with the disease, both parents have to have a copy of the disease-causing gene version and they both have to pass it down to you so that you get the disease.
This isnt very common. Unless the parents are related to each other.
Ever seen two parents that have dimples while their child doesnt? Them having dimples doesnt mean that the child should, too.
Related animals share a common gene pool.
So, this means that when they have kids, they are more likely to pass down many of the same versions of the geneincluding those that cause cancer and other diseases. The end result usually means an increased risk for the diseases that run in that family.
This risk increases exponentially if the parents are very closely related and if they are inbred for tens or hundreds of generations.
This is the case with Goldies.
Golden retrievers started from a relatively small group of ancestors. A few of these dogs had the version of a gene that increased their risk of getting cancer. This risk was passed risk down to their pups.
English Cream Golden Retriever Are Rare
This statement is entirely false. Many breeders want to be able to sell their dogs for a high price, and want you as a customer to think you are getting some type of bargain. Many golden retriever breeders offer multiple color options. Often cream colored goldens do come from Europe. There are more breeders who breed for a darker golden color, but those who do breed for cream dont have anything special in their stock other than they are likely from another country. There is a big industry in near white goldens. Since fewer breed lighter goldens, breeders started charging more and call them English Cream as a marketing technique. For me I charge a high price, but I dont charge a high price because of color. I charge a high price because of my breeding practices. My goldens are not breed in kennels, and are part of my family, as well as much more. Never pay a high price for color alone.
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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
Why Golden Retrievers Have High Cancer Rates
The Golden Retriever is a relatively modern breed, developed in Scotland in the mid 19th century and registered in the UK in 1903, which is about the same time the dogs were imported to the U.S. In 1925, Goldens were registered with the American Kennel Club, and by the 1950s, the affable sporting breed had gained popularity in the U.S. Today, they are the third most popular breed in the U.S., with the AKC reporting about 42,000 registrations, a small fraction of the total number of Goldens living in this country. In the UK, Goldens rank eighth on the popularity chart, with 8,000 registrations.
Registration agencies impose strict standards on pedigreed dogs, requiring that the ancestors of each dog be registered as well. This, combined with widespread use of popular sires, means that each breed is a closed population, with no gene flow. The âpopular-sireâ effect occurs when an animal with desirable attributes is bred repeatedly. Descendants share specific genetic mutations, both good and bad, and those mutations spread rapidly throughout the gene pool, where they may become permanently established, or fixed.
When the 1998 GRCA study confirmed that a high number of Goldens were dying of cancer, club members realized they had both a problem and an opportunity. The clubâs nonprofit 501 fundraising offshoot, the Golden Retriever Foundation , got off the ground about the same time the survey results were being analyzed.
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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 wasnt overly concerned about Shines behavior, but she felt it warranted an examination by his veterinarian at Josey Ranch Pet Hospital in Carrollton, Texas. Shines pale gums and lethargy prompted the veterinarian to perform an ultrasound of the dogs 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
Caring For Your Aging Golden Retriever
As your beloved golden gets older he will require certain lifestyle changes. As a loving dog owner, it is up to you to make sure his golden years are just as happy and comfortable as before, and that his good health is maintained.
Now that your dog is a senior it is important to visit your vet twice a year for a check-up. Your vet will be able to discuss with you any changes that you may have noticed, as well as perform a complete thorough exam.
As your dog ages, his metabolism will slow down. It is important to keep your dog at a healthy weight, and not let him become obese. If your dog is overweight it is important to work at shedding off the excess weight.
Your older golden requires a balanced diet that is low in calories but has an adequate amount of protein and fat. A high fibre diet will help keep your golden fuller longer.
Many people add glucosamine to their dogs diet to help with joint pain. It is also a good idea to feed your senior dog smaller meals throughout the day, instead of just once or twice. This allows your dog to metabolize the food better.
Hopefully, you are already grooming your dog on a regular/daily basis, but older goldens may have difficulty grooming themselves because of decreased mobility. It is important to brush your golden, trim his nails, and bathe him regularly. This will allow you to spot any skin conditions or changes in the coat.
Do you know what the best brush for a golden is? Find out here.
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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 dont 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 wont get cancer for sure.
Cancer occurs when the gene goes out of control and leads to a cell to grow when it shouldnt. 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.
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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Taking Care Of Your Golden Retriever At Home
Much of what you can do to keep your dog happy and healthy is common sense, just like it is for people. Watch her diet, make sure she gets plenty of exercise, regularly brush her teeth and coat, and call us or a pet emergency hospital when something seems unusual . Be sure to adhere to the schedule of examinations and vaccinations that we recommend for her. This is when well give her the necessary check-ups and test for diseases and conditions that are common in Goldens. Another very important step in caring for your pet is signing up for pet health insurance. There will certainly be medical tests and procedures she will need throughout her life and pet health insurance will help you cover those costs.
Why Do Golden Retrievers Get Cancer Scientists Want To Know Why
Why do Golden Retrievers get cancer?
This photo taken April 1, 2015, and provided by Susan Horecki shows Snickers, right, and his sister Logan after passing her Denver Pet Partners therapy dog evaluation therapy dog during a visit with patients and staff at Rose Medical Center in Denver. If a golden retriever gives birth, gets stung by a bee or sprayed by a skunk, the dog’s veterinarian wants to know. Scientists are studying the dogs to find out why their lifespans have gotten so short and why cancer has gotten so prevalent among them.
LOS ANGELES — If a golden retriever gives birth, gets stung by a bee or sprayed by a skunk, veterinarians want to know.
Scientists are studying the popular breed to find out why their lifespans have gotten shorter over the years and why cancer is so prevalent.
The Colorado-based Morris Animal Foundation recently got the first lifetime study of 3,000 purebred golden retrievers up and running after signing up the first dogs in 2012. The nonprofit says the review of health conditions and environmental factors facing goldens across the U.S. can help other breeds and even people, because humans carry 95 percent of the same DNA.
Golden retrievers die of bone cancer, lymphoma and a cancer of the blood vessels more than any other breed in the country.
The dogs get medication to treat the conditions, but vets can’t treat them differently because it would skew the results, Lappin said.
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Things You Can To Help Your Golden Retriever Live Longer
No one likes to part ways with their beloved pet. Genetic diseases play a major factor in a Golden Retrievers lifespan and these dogs are prone to health issues. Fighting against the genetic make-up of nature is difficult. All you can do is try to keep your Golden Retriever healthy to the highest level so that they can fight against DNA weaknesses and live as long as possible.
Here are a few things that you can do to increase your Golden Retrievers lifespan and make them stick around a little longer.
The Verdict: Normal Growth Is Not The Same For Each Pup
Every Golden is different and will grow at their own rate. The key is to ensure they arent growing too quickly or too slowly steady growth is ideal.
Aside from other factors we mentioned, a nutritious diet and an active lifestyle will help keep your Golden healthy and happy.
Remember, their final size will vary from one another, depending on variation and pedigree.
What Is The Best Age To Spay/neuter A Golden Retriever
You can spay puppies as early as 8 weeks old, but any time before they reach sexual maturity is preferred, which is around one year old.
This will prevent undesirable behaviors such as marking, territorial behavior, or a fixation with toys. All of which are hard to correct when they manifest.
For breeds that are predisposed to hip dysplasia, vets recommend spaying around the 6-month mark.
Golden Retriever Weight And Growth: Our Complete GuideAlexandra Wrigley