Landmark Study Confirms Cancer is Top Cause for Dog Death

Featuring Demian Dressler, DVM and Susan Ettinger, DVM, Dip. ACVIM (Oncology), authors of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide.

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Landmark Study Confirms Cancer is Top Cause of Dog Death

A study done in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine backs up the fact that canine cancer is now the number one cause of death in dogs.

Data from 74,556 dogs over 20 years (1984-2004) were analyzed. This data was archived for the National Cancer Foundation’s Veterinary Medical Database, and then surveyed.  27 veterinary hospitals across the country contributed.

There is no single cause for this.  Certainly there are breed (genetic) issues at play.  It could be that age of death is a factor.  However, there is more to this picture.

Diet, lifestyle, and environmental issues are likely culprits.  In immigrants coming into the US, their cancer rates end up matching that of the Americans.  This combines with other research tells us that diet, lifestyle, and environmental issues are major culprits of cancer.

Here is an excerpt from the National Cancer Institute’s SEER program: “Between 1975 and 2003, a number of studies were published…Their conclusions have been remarkably uniform. The studies found that cancer incidence patterns among first-generation immigrants were nearly identical to those of their native country, but through subsequent generations, these patterns evolved to resemble those found in the United States. ”

This tells us that we should pay much more attention to diet, environmental issues, and lifestyle in our dogs.  To learn much more about how to reduce your dog’s risk factors, see The Dog Cancer Survival Guide.


Dr D


About the Author: Demian Dressler, DVM

Dr. Demian Dressler, DVM is known as the "dog cancer vet" and is author of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide: Full Spectrum Treatments to Optimize Your Dog's Life Quality and Longevity.

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