Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Fighting Canine Cancer: Golden Retriever Lifetime Study

The Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is an effort to learn how to prevent cancer and other diseases.  Conducted by the Morris Animal Foundation, it is the largest and longest observational study ever undertaken to improve the health of dogs.  

The study will enroll up to 3,000 Golden Retriever dogs and will last 10 - 14 years.

The study is based out of Colorado with the assistance of the Flint Animal Cancer Center at Colorado State University.  

They're looking for Golden Retriever dogs under two years of age.  So far approximately 500 dogs are participating in the study.  The goal is 3,000.

The Morris Animal Foundation is a nonprofit organization that invest in science that advances veterinary care for companion animals, horses, and wildlife.  

 Here's what the Morris Animal Foundation says about the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study:

Why Should Your Dog Participate?

More than half of Golden Retrievers die from cancer, and it is the leading cause of death in all dogs over the age of 2. By participating, you will help scientists:
  • Identify ways in which genetics, environment and diet may affect a dog's risk for cancer
  • Determine risk factors for other major health disorders in Golden Retrievers
  • Learn how to better prevent, diagnose and treat cancer and other canine diseases
  • Improve the health of future generations of Golden Retrievers and help create a healthier tomorrow for all dogs

Who Can Participate?

  • Golden Retriever owners over 18 years of age and living in the contiguous United States.
  • Dogs that are healthy and under 2 years of age at the time of application.
  • Dogs that have a three-generation pedigree.

What Is Expected of You?

  • Agree to participate for the life of your dog
  • Select a veterinarian who agrees to participate with you
  • Complete online questionnaires regarding your dog's food type and feeding habits, environmental exposures, behavior/temperament, disease events, etc.
  • Visit your dog's veterinarian for annual exams and sample collection (blood, urine, feces, hair, and toenail clippings)
  • When applicable, allow collection of tumor samples for evaluation
  • Be willing to consider a necropsy (post mortem examination) when your dog's life ends

Study Participants are responsible for all costs associated with the annual exam, sample collection and laboratory test results. Morris Animal Foundation will reimburse up to $75 of these costs per year after verification that the exam and sample collection has been completed.
For more information about the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, click here to fetch the fine print on participation.


  1. What an excellent program this is...I hope they are able to enroll all the dogs needed for the study...I've shared this where I can to help get the word out

  2. Woof! Woof! My pawdad died of cancer. I am not a big fan of C. Golden Happy that I am healthy. What a wonderful program and hope it will help others too. Golden Thanks for sharing. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

  3. Great study. I truly do wonder, though, how much they'll find is from what our dogs are eating.

  4. This is such an important study. Thank you for posting it. And I'm with Jana - really curious about the role nutrition in canine cancer.

  5. I'm interested too. After watching my friend's dog die with the disease, and saw how devastated she was, I made a vow to do everything to keep my dog away from it.


Go ahead... bark at us!