According to researchers from the insurer Nationwide, the risk of your dog being diagnosed with cancer increases significantly with the size of the dog.
Members of the company’s Companion Animal Health and Analysis team found that the relative risk of a purebred dog developing cancer was 185% for large and extra-large breeds. wide.
This compares to 69.3% for purebred dogs. The relative risk for medium-sized purebred dogs is 131.7% and for small ones it is 103.6%.
Mixed-breeds fare better, with a relative risk ranging from 27.3% for miniature mixed-breed dogs to 91.7% for large and extra-large mixed-breeds.
The percentages reflect cancer risk relative to that of all other dogs, that is, dogs of all ages and sizes, including purebreds and mixed breeds.
The researchers’ findings were based on nationwide pet health insurance claims data for 1.61 million dogs over a six-year period.
The Nationwide team noted that the results were consistent for purebred and mixed breed dogs and for almost all body systems affected by cancer.
Knowing that large dogs are more susceptible to cancer is valuable information. According to the researchers, this can help dog owners watch for cancer symptoms and act quickly, when treatments are most likely to be successful.
Based on the results, the Nationwide team makes the following suggestions:
- Don’t take a wait-and-see approach if your dog is limping. Large dogs can develop bone cancer as young as 6 years old.
- Consider routine testing for medium, large, and extra-large dogs. For example, researchers suggest screening for liver cancer as early as age 8 or even younger.
- Remember that young dogs may be at risk. Certain cancers, such as lymphoma, can put dogs at risk from middle age.
Additionally, researchers urge you to be on the lookout for symptoms that could indicate cancer in your dog, including weight loss or loss of appetite and bumps, bumps, and swelling. Lack of interest in activities can be another sign of cancer.
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