Is it true there are some dog breeds prone to cancer? “Yes!” is the straightforward response to this question. Explaining why some dogs are more prone to cancer, on the other hand, is a more difficult task. Other risk factors for cancer in dogs, aside from genetics, include environment and lifestyle among other random factors. Everyone knows that there is no way to anticipate which dogs will develop cancer, but knowing whether or not your dog is at high risk can help you to be more attentive.
Breed, age, gender, environmental variables, obesity, and food are all factors that contribute to a higher risk of cancer in dogs, according to research. There are various types of cancer in dogs, just as there are in humans.
Mast cell tumors, Melanoma, Lymphoma, Osteosarcoma, and Hemangiosarcoma are the five most prevalent types of cancer in dogs, according to the American Cancer Society. Each type of cancer is more common in particular breeds of dogs than in others.
Breeds Prone to Cancer
The notion that genetic traits can lead to greater rates of cancer is supported by statistics, although additional research is needed to determine whether specific genetic elements are involved in increasing cancer risk in order to make more informed decisions. It is believed that either a combination of genes or a single gene may be responsible for the increased risk.
It has been observed that certain breeds of dogs, such as Golden Retrievers, Boxers, Bernese Mountain Dogs, German Shepherds, and Rottweilers, are more susceptible than other breeds to get specific types of cancer in general.
Specific examples such as the high incidence of Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in long-limbed breeds such as Irish Wolfhound, Great Dane and Scottish Deerhound support the hypothesis that hereditary factors play a role in bone cancer. In this particular instance, the shared genetic ancestry that gives these dogs their beautiful legs may also be associated with a shared risk to cancer in their later years of life.
For a more comprehensive list, check out the list below:
Common Cancers in Purebred Dogs
Mast Cell Tumors: There are a number of breeds that are prone to MCTs. A surprising finding of the research is that, while purebred breeds may have the highest frequency of tumors, they are also more likely to have lower-grade tumors, whereas older mixed breed dogs are more likely to have higher-grade tumors.
Melanoma. Typically, melanoma is found in dogs over the age of ten, and small breeds are at increased risk of having the condition. However, any breed can be diagnosed with melanoma. Black dogs are also more likely than other breeds to develop malignant melanomas in their toes or toenail beds.
Lymphoma. More frequent in dogs who are middle-aged or older, and particular breeds are more prone than others to its development.
Hemangiosarcoma. Even though dogs of any age and breed are susceptible to hemangiosarcoma, the condition is more common in dogs who have reached or passed the middle age of their lives (older than 6 years).
Dog Breeds Prone to Cancer: Don’t Panic
Cancer is multi-factorial meaning that genetics aren’t the only component in what causes cancer to develop in our dogs. However, what it does mean is that you should take an added precaution with your dog. For example, dog breeds that are prone to cancer should avoid kibble and rather be fed a more species-appropriate diet (all breeds should do this, though).