Golden lovers everywhere tuned in to hear Morris Animal Foundation President and CEO Tiffany Grunert report on the status of the study launched a decade ago to identify the causes behind the high rate of cancer in dogs. More than 3,000 Golden Retrievers between the ages of six months and two years were enrolled to focus on the risk factors for four diseases: Hemangiosarcoma, Lymphoma, High Grade Mast Cell Tumors, and Osteosarcoma. Why Golden Retrievers? Up to 60% of Goldens will become victims of cancer ... and that is simply unacceptable. With the support of animal advocate Betty White, Golden Retriever families were recruited from 48 states - and over the past ten years have generated a rich data set for researchers to pursue solutions to these serious medical challenges.
Findings from this study will benefit not only Golden Retrievers but other breeds and possibly humans too! Already the evidence indicates that the longtime practice of conducting spay/neuter procedures before the age of six months increases the risk for obesity and orthopedic injury. The loss of reproductive hormones apparently affects the development of joints and ligaments suggesting that spay/neuter should be delayed until the dog is closer to maturity. Researchers are also looking at ways to spot and treat osteoarthritis, which is occurring in a surprising number of young dogs. Canine cognitive dysfunction is also under study by institutes using the millions of data points collected during the course of this project.
Ms. Gruner’s presentation was aired on April 27, 2022 in collaboration with TEDxMileHigh programming, which you can view here.