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Why Do So Many Golden Retrievers Get Cancer

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Bone And Joint Problems

Why do so many dogs get cancer? Massive study hopes to find out

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 and suffering!

Symptoms And Signs Of Cancer In Dogs

Some signs of cancer in dogs are easy to spot and others are not. Signs of cancer in dogs may vary greatly depending upon a number of factors. However, the following list identifies some of the most common signs of cancer in dogs:

  • Lumps and bumps underneath a dog’s skin
  • Abnormal odors emanating from the mouth, ears or any other part of the body
  • Abnormal discharge from the eyes, mouth, ears or rectum
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Sudden and irreversible weight loss
  • Change in appetite

Why Do So Many Golden Retrievers Develop Cancer

While itâs true that cancer is the number one killer of all dogs over the age of 2 years old, itâs hard not to wonder why Golden Retrievers are particularly prone to developing cancer. When you consider the high prevalence of cancer and the popularity of the breed, youâre left with a lot of heartbroken owners wondering âWhyâ and âWhat can be done?â.

The answer is complicated. To find effective strategies for preventing and curing cancer, it is first imperative to understand its cause. Is it nutritional? Is it environmental? Or genetic? While itâs probably a mix of all three, the truth is that we donât really know for sure.

Letâs step back for a minute and consider human medicine and the field of heart disease. Sure, today we know that certain risk factors predispose us to heart diseaseâsmoking, obesity, high blood pressure and a couch potato lifestyle are a few. But there was a time when these risk factors were just our best guess.

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How To Prevent Cancer In Your Golden Retriever

While it may be difficult to avoid the hereditary risks of cancer, there are ways that you can reduce the environmental factors that may contribute to cancer.

  • Consider spaying/neutering your dog.
  • Avoid exposing your dog to any toxic chemicals.
  • Avoid exposing your dog to second-hand smoke.
  • Feed your dog a healthy well-balanced diet. Be sure to include some cancer-fighting foods such as blueberries, blackberries, fish oil, broccoli, pumpkin, turmeric, and coconut oil to name a few.

Shine On Project Brings Hope Of Treating Hemangiosarcoma Cancer In Golden Retrievers

Why do so many golden retrievers get cancer? Massive study ...

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

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Can A Purebred Golden Retriever Get Cancer

Genetics: Genetics certainly play a part in causing cancer in Golden Retrievers. The gene pool is relatively small in purebred dogs, and cancer-causing genes can be passed down from generation to generation. That being said, even if your Golden Retriever has a cancer-causing gene, it does not mean he/she will develop cancer for sure.

Why Do So Many Dogs Get Cancer Massive Study Hopes To Find Out

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.

Theyre such a part of your life, and when its time for them to go its hard, Campesi said.

Looking for answers, she entered 3-year-old Nicodemus, whos 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.

Theyre looking for environmental stuff that the dogs might be exposed to that would concentrate in the nails, Rhymes said.

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Dog Breeds Most Prone To Cancer

While cancer can unfortunately strike any breed of dog at any age, there are certain breeds that have higher instances of the disease. Weve asked the experts to share breeds with higher rates of cancer, what types of cancer seem to be the most prevalent among these breeds, and dogs in general, and how to detect any health changes in your pet.

Image:otsphoto /Shutterstock

Why Do Golden Retrievers Sleep On Their Back

Clues to cancer: Golden retriever cancer study

When possible, we will use affiliate links when referring to recommended products. It does not cost you anything to use these links but it does help us earn a commission on qualifying purchases. Thank you in advance for your support!

My golden retriever loves to sleep, as I am sure yours does too, but I cant figure out why she always sleeps on her back. Have any of you wondered about this also?

For those who are curious like I am, I did some investigating today. I hope you find it as informative as I did.

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How To Prevent Cancer In Golden Retrievers

Cancer can be a challenging subject, but its important dog owners understand the factors that can cause cancer in dogs, so they can take precautions to try to prevent it from happening. Golden Retrievers, like many other breeds, can be prone to developing cancer in their later years. Cancer is often genetic, which means there is not much an owner can do for their dog. However, other causes of cancer mean there are things to keep in mind and look out for to decrease the risk of cancer.

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:

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Why Do Golden Retrievers Get Cancer

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Ahh, the ever-loving, loyal, friendly and beautiful Golden Retriever! These dogs are hard to resist and so easy to fall in love with. If you are fortunate enough to own one of these beautiful dogs, you know exactly what I am talking about. Goldens are simply wonderful! But, there is one downfall to this breed. The fact that they are extremely prone to cancer. Why do Golden Retrievers get cancer?

In this article, we will address that question as well as discuss the most common types of cancer that affect Golden Retrievers. Cancer is one of the many health problems that can affect your Golden, and we will learn of the warning signs that you need to look for and ways that you can reduce your Goldens risk of cancer.

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  • Taking Care Of Your Golden Retriever At Home

    Study to tackle why so many golden retrievers get cancer

    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.

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    Why Do Golden Retrievers See Increased Rates Of Cancer

    One of the Miami Valleys most popular dog breeds golden retrievers has en especially high risk of cancer.

    News Center 7s Cheryl McHenry spoke to area experts about what you can do to fight back and protect your pet.

    Just 6 years old, Bailey is suffering from a cancerous tumor.

    MRI we could see that there was this tumor that was actually arising from a nerve that was going all the way up into the spinal cord, said Ane Uriarte, a neurosurgeon for the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.

    Bailey is part of a clinical trial at Tufts University that hopes to shrink the tumor and then remove it.

    Already, he can walk again and lift his head.

    Many golden retrievers, like Bailey, are enrolled in the university’s studies.

    Goldens are one of the breeds that we see that get a lot of cancer, said Cheryl London, research professor in Cummings School of Veterinary Medicines oncology department.

    London helps run the universitys veterinary clinical trials program.

    She said sadly theres a genetic flip side to the sweetness bred into golden retrievers.

    For a period of time there was a lot of interbreeding to create the golden retriever and all the other breeds, London explained.

    One canine cause of death study found cancer killed at least half the golden retrievers sampled.

    The incidence of cancer begins to rise at 6 years of age and peaks at 10 to 12 then starts to fall off, said London.

    But can it be stopped?

    > > Tips for avoiding cancer in dogs

    Why Do Some Dogs Get Cancer More Than Others

    by NCCF Editor | May 25, 2016 | Canine Cancer Blog |

    About half of humans over the age of 70 and dogs over age 10 are diagnosed with cancer. In terms of mortality, cancer accounts for about 23 percent of human deaths, and from 10 to 60 percent of dog deaths, depending on breed.

    The smaller the dog, the lower the risk of cancer. In fact, the rate of cancer in small dogs like the Chihuahua and Maltese is less than 10 percent. Scientists believe a hormone that influences bone and tissue growth , which exists at lower levels in small breeds, may be a factor.

    One of the breeds at highest risk for developing cancer is the hugely popular Golden Retriever.

    Cancer in Goldens Began to Spike in the 1990s

    About 60 percent of all Golden Retrievers will die from cancer 57 percent of females and 66 percent of males. The two most common types of cancer in this breed are hemangiosarcoma and lymphoma.

    Surprisingly, the high rate of cancer in Goldens is a fairly recent development. In a 1988 University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine study, Goldens werent mentioned as having a higher rate of cancer than other breeds.

    However, just 11 years later in 1999, over 60 percent of these wonderful dogs living in the U.S. were being lost to cancer.

    European Golden Retrievers Get Cancer Less Often Than U.S. Goldens

    When studied in the lab, genomic differences suggest that risk for some types of cancer is related to recent genetic mutations in North American Golden Retrievers.

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    Howling Due To Boredom

    Finally, if none of the above reasons are causing your GOlden to howl, its likely theyre doing so because theyre bored. To rectify this issue, make sure your Golden Retrieve is getting a lot of exercise. Daily walks are a great way to make sure your pet is staying active, healthy, and stimulated enough that they wont feel the need to howl.

    How You Can Extend The Life Of Your Golden Retriever

    Morris Animal Foundation’s Dog Cancer Research | Dr. Janet Patterson-Kane Deep Dive

    Yes, you can use a few tricks and tips in order to help your golden retriever live longer. These are not 100% effective in all dogs but they usually have only positive effects and they can be more than helpful. It is important to add that these do not have negative issues.

    Plenty of exercises

    Golden Retrievers may suffer from several diseases that are caused by obesity. Some examples include osteoarthritis, heart issues, kidney disease, type 2 diabetes, and more. Regular exercising will help your pet maintain a proper weight and be protected from these diseases.

    Proper diet

    A proper diet is essential if you want your poet to live as long as possible. When a poor diet is present, your dog will develop inflammation inside the body which can cause pancreatitis, heart disease, bladder stones, diarrhea, and even obesity which is further related to many diseases and severe conditions.

    Keep him safe from toxins

    Golden Retrievers are prone to cancer and some of them can be caused by toxins. When your dog is kept away from toxins, the risk of cancer is lower. You need to check all the things in his life that may contain toxins dangerous for dogs and eliminate them.

    Neuter and spay

    Regular visits to a vet

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    Your Golden Retrievers Health

    We know that because you care so much about your dog, you want to take good care of her. That is why we have summarized the health concerns we will be discussing with you over the life of your Golden. By knowing about health concerns specific to Golden Retrievers, we can tailor a preventive health plan to watch for and hopefully prevent some predictable risks.

    Many diseases and health conditions are genetic, meaning they are related to your pets breed. There is a general consensus among canine genetic researchers and veterinary practitioners that the conditions weve described herein have a significant rate of incidence and/or impact in this breed. That does not mean your dog will have these problems it just means that she is more at risk than other dogs. We will describe the most common issues seen in Golden Retrievers to give you an idea of what may come up in her future. Of course, we cant cover every possibility here, so always check with us if you notice any unusual signs or symptoms.

    Brushing your dogs teeth daily will prevent periodontal disease.

    How Old Are Golden Retrievers When They Die

    According to, the oldest golden retriever ever passed away just before he turned 20 years old. There are also many accounts of golden retrievers living up to 17 and 18 years old. One of the biggest causes of death for golden retrievers is cancer.

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