Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mixed Breed Dogs Have Cancer Rate 10% Higher Than Purebred Rates

Veterinarians should tell medical researchers what they already know easily and see instances of repeatedly in their practices. Perhaps some veterinarians have the opportunity to do so, and I would encourage them.

It's fascinating that some breeds have been shown in this article to get cancer more frequently than others. An article in today's Wall Street Journal called "When Cancer Comes With a Pedigree" by Melinda Beck, reminds me that my dog Foxy, a Finnish Spitz has cancer. The article also says that mixed breeds get cancer at a rate ten percent higher than purebreds.

One of my previous dogs also got cancer, but he was a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Both of my purebred Cavaliers from a breeder had almost weekly illnesses but Foxy has been healthy until now.

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Foxy, my Finnish Spitz

We got Foxy from a pound in Hamilton near Trenton, New Jersey over ten years ago. She had emergency surgery between last Christmas, 2009 and New Year's Eve and lived through a complicated surgery to remove the cancer. We had taken her to our vet because of weight loss and itchiness, but had no idea she would need emergency surgery. She sleeps a lot now, and doesn't have her usual stamina. The canine oncologist gave her nine months to live which is coming up in three months, and said that chemotherapy would likely not do a lot of good in her advanced state. Enjoy your pets while you have them. Learn from them, too.

1 comment:

  1. The article does NOT say mixed breed dogs have a higher cancer rate. You have misunderstood. Here is the quote. . . . . "Are mutts and crossbreeds less prone to cancer? Not necessarily, several experts say. Some studies that have compared purebreds in general to mixed breeds find about a 10% increase in lifespan for comparably sized mixed-breed dogs. But there's no predicting what traits, and health problems, could show up, and no one is keeping statistics."