Find Out Which Dog Breeds Get Cancer the Most

One day, I noticed my faithful old Chihuahua straining to urinate. It was only after I took him to the vet that I found out Chihuahuas are prone to getting kidney stones and a whole host of health problems. I wished I had known what the warning signs might be for the various potential illnesses so I could have kept an eagle eye on Bruno from the get-go. I’ve learned a lot about canine health since then. One of the startling things I’ve discovered is that specific breeds of dogs are susceptible to more serious diseases, including cancer.

Unfortunately, cancer can strike dogs of all sizes and breeds, even mixed breeds. According to The Veterinary Cancer Society, cancer is the leading cause of death in 47% of dogs! However, among purebreds, there are certain breeds of dogs with higher instances and risks for cancer than their counterparts, as well as predispositions for certain forms of cancer. In fact, cancer is the leading cause of death in all but 11 purebred dog breeds.

Common forms of cancer in dogs include lymphoma, mast cell tumors, soft tissue sarcomas, osteosarcoma, transitional cell carcinomas or bladder cancer and hemangiosarcomas or cancer of the blood vessels.

Experts have been tracking which breeds of dogs tend to have higher rates of cancer and we’ve compiled their findings here. Maybe if we have this information, we’ll be extra vigilant with our pets and check them regularly for any telltale signs of cancer. Early detection is critical so we can ensure, wherever possible, that the diagnosis isn’t a death sentence and our pets can get appropriate care at the earliest opportunity.

Sporting Breeds who are more prone to getting dog cancer:

Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers are a favorite breed of dog for family pets. The American Kennel Club ranks them as the third most popular dog breed. They are known to be affectionate, intelligent and obedient but they also have a predisposition to cancer. The Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA) identified cancer as the cause of death in 61.4% of this breed, more than double the average cancer rate for all other breeds.

In the United States these carefree pets are most likely to develop hemangiosarcoma, an aggressive, malignant tumor of blood vessel cells that can form in any vascular organs and the skin. Scientists estimate that one in three Goldens will develop this cancer, and males develop it at a higher rate than females.

On the other hand, Golden Retrievers from the United Kingdom are more prone to lymphoma, which manifests in the lymph nodes and other lymphatic organs, such as the liver and spleen.

The cause is both genetic and environmental, but researchers are still not sure exactly which genes are involved.

Cocker Spaniels

Cancer affects as many as 23% of Cocker Spaniels and is the most common cause of death for this breed.

English Cocker Spaniels are genetically predisposed to mammary tumors. About 30% of these tumors are malignant and, if they are not promptly diagnosed and successfully treated, they have a progressively serious effect on the health of this compactly-built sporting dog.

Labrador Retrievers

Labrador Retrievers make excellent hunting and service dogs as well as friendly family pets. They have a tendency to retain weight if they are sedentary too often, so it’s important to keep them fit and active throughout their lifespan of 10 to 12 years. Unfortunately, Labradors, like several other breeds, are susceptible to the development of Lymphosarcoma. This common cancer in dogs can occur in the lymph nodes, spleen, liver, and other organs. It can be aggressive and if left untreated, can lead to high mortality.

Keep reading to see what working breeds of dogs are affected by dog cancer

Pink Paw Gear that supports the fight against dog cancer