Researchers Hope To Identify Modifiable Risk Factors For Cancer
The study will run for 10 to 14 years, and will track the dogs throughout their lives with input from owners and veterinarians who have agreed to keep records of the dogs health, nutritional, and environmental information. According to Brackman:
Based on observations summarized in questionnaires, researchers hope to identify potentially modifiable risk factors that may account for the high incidence of cancer and other diseases in Golden Retrievers and, eventually, in all dogs.7
MAF researchers are looking specifically for information about cancers that cant be treated surgically, including inoperable;mast cell tumors, lymphoma, osteosarcoma, and hemangiosarcoma. These four diseases account for the vast majority of cancer deaths in Goldens.
Warning Signs Of Cancer In Your Golden Retriever
Cancer can be difficult to detect in the early stages because the signs can be subtle and caused by other conditions. If you notice any physical or behavioural changes in your Golden you should always consult your vet.
Being aware of what symptoms to look for will be your best chance for catching this disease early on and it could make all the difference in your Goldens prognosis.
Here are the common warning signs to look for:
- Lumps/Bumps. Abnormal swelling that is persistent and continues to grow.
- Wounds or sores that do not heal.
- Weight Loss.
- Increased Drinking or Urinating.
- Trouble Breathing, Urinating or Defecating.
It can be difficult to monitor any physical and behavioural changes in your dog every moment of the day especially when you lead a busy life, but there are activity monitors like the FitBark that can help. FitBark is a dog activity monitor that tracks your dogs activity and rest patterns throughout the day.
FitBark allows you to see what your dog is up to while you are away from him. It has shown that dogs who are in discomfort dont sleep well, and dogs who are in pain are less active. FitBark will alert you on your mobile app if there are any sudden changes in your dogs sleep and activity level. Its a great way for you to catch any early signs that something is not right. Restless sleep and lethargy are very strong indicators that something is off with your dog.
Choosing Your New Pet
Ultimately, whatever breed of dog you decide on will come with its own host of personality characteristics and its own unique predetermined risk for a number of deadly diseases, including cancer. If the breed you choose has a higher than average risk of cancer, take the time to learn about the puppy’s genetic background before purchasing in order to try and mitigate the risk of your pet being diagnosed with this potentially deadly disease.
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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.
Symptoms And Signs Of Cancer In Dogs
Some signs of cancer in dogs are easy to spot while;others are not. The 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
- Changes in bathroom habits
- Evidence of pain
Should you witness any signs of cancer in your dog, we strongly recommend making a veterinary appointment immediately.
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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.
Dont you want to know how to manage cancer to prevent your pet from dying?
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 dogs physical and behavioural state. ;Catching this disease early will make all the difference in your Goldens prognosis.
By investing in a dog activity monitor you can catch any early symptoms before they potentially get worse.
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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!
Common Types Of Cancer In Dogs
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 it 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:
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 its 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 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.
Your Golden Retriever’s 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.
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Building A Canine Health Database For The Future
From the lifetime study website:
As the years progress, we are gathering millions of data points that will lead us to a better understanding of how genetics, lifestyle and environment impact our study dogs health and well-being. We look forward to sharing the results from this study as our database grows and we are able to draw insight from what we are learning.9
Its difficult to grasp the enormous complexity and potential of the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, but given the number of lifestyle and genetic factors under investigation, Im very hopeful the results will help us understand how to better care for not only Goldens, but all dogs.
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.
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A New Study Hopes To Identify Regions In The Canine Genome That May Contribute To Cancer Susceptibility
Pinpointing why some dogs get cancer and others do not is the focus of Morris Animal Foundations Golden Retriever Lifetime Study.
To that end, researchers are seeking healthy golden oldiesgolden retrievers older than 12 years oldto help determine potential risk factors that may lead to the development of cancers common in the breed.
The studys research team aims to compare the genetics of dogs that died from cancer with the DNA of older golden retrievers that successfully avoided the disease.
These older dogs will allow us to expedite our process so we can share meaningful results faster with veterinarians, dog owners, and researchers, says Morris Animal Foundations chief scientific officer, Janet Patterson-Kane, BVSc, PhD, FRCVS. Just one veterinary visit from each of these golden oldies could make a world of difference to their breed and potentially every dog around the world.
Specifically, the genetic comparison between the two groups will help identify regions in the canine genome that may contribute to cancer susceptibility, allowing the team to start analyzing study cancer samples sooner, Morris Animal Foundation says.
The information learned could help lead to genetic screening tests and targeted therapies for treatment, as well as recommendations for informed breeding to help reduce cancer rates over time.
While researchers will primarily be examining the dogs genetics, consideration will also be made regarding their environment and lifestyle .
Bone Cancer Of Golden Retrievers
Bone cancer or;osteosarcoma affects the growth and development of bones in Golden Retrievers. Further, the cell grows abnormally and aggressively in the limbs of the dogs. Thus, the Retrievers lose their mobility.
Moreover, based on the severity the bone cancer in Golden Retriever is of three stages:
- The first stage is a low-grade stage, where the disease is manageable and curable.
- Second stage proliferating stage, the abnormal tumor starts spreading in the other parts of the body and are difficult to manage.
- The third stage is the most advanced and fatal period. Golden Retrievers are dying due to the third stage of cancer.
Thus, the management and treatment of cancer at the early stage will be very helpful in mitigating the disease. For this, you should know the early symptoms of cancer. So, if you suspect your pet might have bone cancer, look for the following signs.:
- Loss of interest in playing and running
- Abnormal lumps in the limbs
- Redness and inflammation of legs
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Exposure To Carcinogens Cause Cancer In Your Golden Retriever
Since the Golden Retriever is a family dog, it has access to various household things that induce cancer. And continuous exposure to such carcinogen items leads to cancer. However, the cancer-causing agents present in the house are:
- Household cleaners
Besides this, if you are a smoker, smoking can have a second-hand effect on your pet. Thus, it induces cancer in your Golden Retriever.
However, after you are familiar with the causes of cancer in your pet, I guess it is easier to prevent.
Do you know how to prevent your pet from cancer?
European Golden Retrievers Get Cancer Less Often Than Us Goldens
When researchers compare the DNA of Golden Retrievers with hemangiosarcoma and other breeds with the disease, the genetic abnormalities are different. Interestingly,;European-bred Golden Retrievers;develop cancer at a much lower rate than U.S. Goldens.4
Their genes are significantly different, which suggests the risk of cancer in American Goldens is the result, in part, of a fairly recent gene mutation. Researchers studying cancer in the breed have identified genetic alterations common to Goldens with hemangiosarcoma and lymphoma.
These gene mutations “modify the regulation of the immune system’s surveillance for tumor cells,” says board-certified veterinary oncologist Dr. Ann Hohenhaus.5 According to canine authority Jane Brackman, PhD, writing for The Bark:
Goldens in Europe and the U.S. may look similar, but there are enough DNA differences to separate the dogs into two distinct populations corresponding to their geographic regions. Gene pools on both continents are large, so breeding between the two populations is rare.
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.
And this could be good news: genetic differences between European and North American Golden Retrievers may be key to understanding the etiology of canine cancer overall.
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Neutering Or Spaying Golden Retrievers And Cancer
Golden Retrievers are hounded by a lot of hereditary diseases, especially different types of cancer. Neutering or spaying may help cut down their chances of early cancer development.
- Mammary Tumors
Causes of canine mammary tumors are yet to be understood. However, heat cycles encourages these tumors to grow. Thus, the longer the delay of spaying, the more they are in danger of developing tumors. As a preventive measure, vets and experts agree that spaying can lower the risk of mammary tumor growth.
Golden Retrievers are one of the dog breeds that have a higher risk of having Pyometra. A Goldens uterine lining naturally swells every time it goes into heat in preparation for pregnancy. Sometimes, the swelling doesnt go away due to a bacterial infection and may eventually rupture and cause sepsis.;
- Prostate Cancer
Golden Retrievers afflicted with prostate cancer are increasing by the number as the age of onset is getting younger. Whats worse is that Goldens are 60% more likely to get prostate cancer than any other dog breeds. Reasons are yet unknown but according to clinical studies, neutering can help decrease the chances of having this kind of cancer.
- Genetic Disorders and other Cancers
Goldens who are intact are more likely to pass down genetic conditions such as ichthyosis, thyroid disorders, cataracts, chest issues, lymphosarcoma, and osteosarcoma to name a few. These disorders can only be prevented by spaying or neutering Golden Retrievers.;
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?