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Golden Retrievers to Take Part in Lifetime Canine Cancer Study

Jan 23, 2013 07:38 AM EST
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A new study will be carried out on golden retrievers to help fight canine cancer, reports The Associated Press.

A study called the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study will focus on the golden retrievers' health, lifestyle and diet, to understand the cause of cancer in older dogs. The study will be the longest ever conducted on a dog, according to study principal investigator Rodney Page, director of the Flint Animal Cancer Center at Colorado State University.

Page and his research team will monitor 3,000 purebred golden retrievers for their lifetime. Until now, 200 dogs have accepted the invitation to take part in the study and 600 more are on the waiting list.

The dog's owner and veterinarians treating the dogs will also participate in the study. The vets will help researchers by providing samples of hair, blood and urine of the dogs. They also need to report whenever they treat a volunteer dog, the AP report said.

The team will track genetic, nutritional and environmental risks in order to help scientists find ways to combat canine cancer. The dogs will be examined for three types of cancer - bone cancer, lymphoma and hemangiosarcoma (cancer in the blood vessels). Researchers will just observe the dogs and will not recommend any treatment for the canines.   

"We will work with the vets working with the pets. We will catalog all the things that happen, the medical history, the diet, environment and exposures," Page told AP.

Researchers hope the study will benefit humans who also suffer from the same type of cancers. The team will also study the early onset of obesity in dogs in order to find out how it is related to diabetes.

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