When Cancer in Dogs Isn’t Just Bad Luck

What Can You Do?

When selecting a canine companion, it’s important to realize that any breed, as well as mixed-breed dogs, can and do get cancer – that’s where “bad luck” or other factors can come into play. And even if cancer isn’t listed as a health risk for a particular breed, that’s no guarantee a dog won’t get cancer.


But no matter which breed you are considering, do your homework before selecting the next addition to the family. Each recognized AKC breed has a breed club, and the Web page of the breed club typically includes information on the health issues for that breed. Talk to breeders before purchasing a puppy and ask how they are working with the breed club and the AKC to address the health concerns, including cancer, of their breed. Responsible breeders understand the health issues of their breed and support research to improve the breed. Be diligent about taking your dog for regular veterinary examinations and be aware of the early signs of cancer. Follow your veterinarian’s advice regarding all necessary screening tests and, finally, support research to improve the health of your breed through clinical trials and/or the donation of blood or tumor samples from your dog.

Even though cancer is not a topic anyone really wants to think about regarding his/her favorite furry companion, all this talk is very promising for the future of dogs. Because veterinary scientists continue to unravel the mysteries of cancer in dogs, we will soon have new and better methods of prevention, detection and treatment for these diseases.


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