Top 10 Dog Breeds With the Highest Rate of Cancer Development

Top 10 Dog Breeds With the Highest Rate of Cancer Development

According to The Veterinary Cancer Society, cancer is the leading cause of death in 47% of dogs! Sadly, certain breeds are prone to higher rates of cancer development than their counterparts. We have broken down the ten breeds with the highest rate of cancer development.

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Top 10 dog breeds with the highest rate of cancer development

Rottweilers are known to have numerous health problems later in life. With an average lifespan of 8 to 12 years, Rottweilers can develop bone cancer, elbow & hip dysplasia, and gastric torsion.

Bernese Mountain Dogs

Top 10 dog breeds with the highest rate of cancer development

This loving family dog, unfortunately, has one of the shortest lifespans due to an array of health problems from the giant size of the breed. Bernese Mountain dogs require daily exercise and a well-balanced diet for the large breed. The most common cancer with this breed is mast cell tumors.

Bouvier des Flandres

Top 10 dog breeds with the highest rate of cancer development

Bouvier des Flandres are predisposed to gastric carcinoma. The breed falls into the high risk category with development of this type of malignant stomach cancer. This agile farm dog can live an average of 10 to 12 years. A healthy diet and daily exercise is a must for this herding dog.

German Shepherd

Top 10 dog breeds with the highest rate of cancer development

Hemangiosarcoma and Osteosarcoma cancer are most frequently developed in the German Shepherd breed. Hemangiosarcoma is a malignant cancer of the circulatory system. This type of cancer usually occurs in the heart or spleen. As the tumor grows, internal bleeding may occur. A good way to check the circulatory system of a German Shepherd is to the check their gums in the mouth. White gums should be cause for concern.

Great Dane

Top 10 dog breeds with the highest rate of cancer development

Great Danes have an average lifespan of 7 to 10 years. The massive size of the Great Dane contributes to an array of health problems, including cancer. Great Danes are prone to osteosarcoma and cardiomyopathy.

Labrador Retriever

Top 10 dog breeds with the highest rate of cancer development

Labrador Retrievers are excellent family, hunting, and service dogs. Unfortunately, the Labrador, along with numerous other breeds, are susceptible to the development of Lymphosarcoma.

This is a very common cancer in dogs and can occur in the lymph nodes, spleen, liver, and other organs. The cancer can be aggressive and, if left untreated, can lead to a high mortality. Along with Lymphoma, this breed is known to develop canine elbow, shoulder, and hip dysplasia and osteochondritis dissecans later in life.

Cocker Spaniel

Top 10 dog breeds with the highest rate of cancer development

English Cocker spaniels are genetically predisposed to mammary tumors. About 30% of these tumors are malignant and unless promptly diagnosed and successfully treated, they have a progressively serious effect on their health.


Top 10 dog breeds with the highest rate of cancer development

This curious and outgoing breed can make great companions with any family. However, this breed can develop into a high cancer rate later in life. With a short lifespan of 8 to 10 years, Boxers need daily mental and physical exercise. Boxers are a short nose breed; although very cute, they can lead to the highest development of gliomas.

Gliomas are one of many types of brain tumors that start in the glial cells (supporting cells) within the brain, and as they continue to grow, can cause compression and death of surrounding brain tissue. These types of tumors are malignant and resistant to treatment.

Doberman Pinscher

Top 10 dog breeds with the highest rate of cancer development

The most common cancer in the Doberman is bone cancer, which often forms detectable lumps on the shoulders or legs of the breed. Prostate cancer has a high occurrence in male Dobermans and for many years mammary cancer has been the number one killer of female Dobermans.

Golden Retriever

Top 10 dog breeds with the highest rate of cancer development

Top 10 Warning Signs & Symptoms of Dog Cancer

The Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA) identified cancer as the cause of death in 61.4 percent of this breed. The most common types of cancer in Golden Retrievers is hemangiosarcoma and lymphoma.

A shocking and concerning statistic shows this breed wasn’t even mentioned as having a high rate of cancer by the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 1988. However, just 11 years later in 1999, over 60% of Golden Retrievers were being lost to cancer development.

Dog Breeds With the Highest Rate of Cancer Development FAQ:

1. Are Labs prone to cancer? Yes, Labrador Retrievers are, unfortunately, among the dog breeds with a higher cancer incidence. Regular veterinary check-ups, a healthy diet, and proactive care are essential for their well-being.

2. What is the cancer rate in Golden Retrievers? Golden Retrievers are known to have a higher predisposition to cancer. The breed is particularly susceptible to certain types, including hemangiosarcoma and lymphoma. Regular health screenings can aid in early detection and treatment.

3. Are Rottweilers prone to cancer? Rottweilers are another breed with a higher susceptibility to cancer, particularly osteosarcoma and lymphoma. Responsible breeding practices and regular veterinary care are crucial for managing their health.

4. What is the cancer rate in Bernese Mountain Dogs? Bernese Mountain Dogs are, unfortunately, prone to a higher rate of cancer, particularly histiocytic sarcoma. Vigilant monitoring and early intervention are crucial for managing their health.

5. What is the cancer rate in Labrador Retrievers? Labrador Retrievers have an increased risk of developing cancer, particularly mast cell tumors. Routine veterinary examinations and a healthy lifestyle can contribute to early detection and management.

6. What are the signs of cancer in dogs? Signs of cancer in dogs can vary but may include unexplained weight loss, lumps or bumps, changes in appetite, lethargy, and abnormal bleeding. Any concerning symptoms should prompt a visit to the veterinarian for a thorough examination.

7. Are Beagles prone to cancer? Beagles can be susceptible to certain types of cancer, and research suggests a predisposition to tumors. Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, and preventive care can help manage their health.

8. How do dogs get cancer? The causes of cancer in dogs are multifactorial and can include genetic predisposition, environmental factors, exposure to toxins, and age. While some factors are beyond our control, responsible breeding, a healthy lifestyle, and regular veterinary check-ups are crucial for cancer prevention and early detection.