On the Front Lines
Breed clubs and veterinary organizations continue to battle cancer through education and research. Read about the latest developments for some of the most-affected breeds.
Although cancer is the leading cause of death among dogs, certain breeds are prome to develop certain types of cancer.
"Larger breed dogs tend to be associated iwth death due to cancer while smaller breeds tend to die from metabolic illnesses, such as endocrine and organ system diseases," says Kate Creevy, D.V.M., M.S., Dipl. ACVIM, assistant profess or small-animal internal medicine at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in Athens. Creevy was co-author of a study published in the March/April 2011 issue of the Journal of Veterinary Medicine that reviewed the cause of death for nearly 75,000 dogs and 82 breeds.
"Using our data of why dogs within certain breeds are inclined to die and then looking at data that has been published about those breeds regarding their genetic variations, our next goal is to look for correlations," Creevy says. "We want to provide information for breeders that will add to the rest of the information they already have."
Most breed parent clubs have established health committees within their organizations to advance and promote knowledge of canine health issues. Through funding, research studies and health registries, the health committees focus on eradicating diseases specific to their breeds. The top four breeds with the highest proportion of death caused by cancer are the Bouvier des Flandres, Bernese Mountain Dog, Golden Retriever and Scottish Terrier.
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