Keep Your Pet Healthy in 2020 Keep Your Pet Healthy in 2020


New Simple Blood Test Can Detect Cancer in ‘Man’s Best Friend’…

Dog blood test can detect cancer in dogs.

A long awaited blood test to detect cancer in dogs has been developed by Canadian company BioCurex.

The test identifies the presence of a universal marker for malignant cell growth, and in trial studies was able to detect 85 percent of a variety of the most common types of cancers in dogs at the standard 95 percent specificity.

The test indicates the likelihood that a malignancy is present with a high degree of accuracy, however, it does not specify the type of cancer, what stage it is at, or if it has spread and metastasized. It can be used to detect cancer cells in all breeds of dogs and mixes.

Veterinary offices will be able to send blood samples either to the developer’s facility directly or to a regional collection center for processing. Results can be expected in about a week.

The cost of the test to pet owners in North America is expected to run $90 - $120 plus shipping.

Similar tests for other companion animals are under development, and BioCurex hopes to have a test for cancers in cats available by the end of this year.

Dr. Becker's Comments:

It’s difficult to think about your beloved dog with a life-threatening disease, but many who’ve lost a four-legged family member to cancer know the challenges of getting an affordable, accurate diagnosis.

And very often, the diagnosis comes too late.

This new blood test is, of course, a doubled-edged sword. Learning your pup has cancer is the downside. But the earlier it is detected, the better your dog’s chances of survival.

Forewarned is Forearmed

As an integrative wellness veterinarian, I view this new blood test primarily as a diagnostic tool to help dog owners – especially those with breeds known to be at a higher risk for cancer – with early detection of the disease.

With that goal in mind, in this article you’ll find lots of information about specific dog breeds and the cancers they are most likely to develop. The purpose of this information is not to frighten or disturb you, but simply to give you additional insight into potential health problems your pup might encounter.

If your dog is a high risk breed, the decision is ultimately yours whether you request the new blood test during regular visits to your vet.

If you have questions about the test or your dog’s cancer risk, I encourage you to meet with your holistic veterinarian to discuss your concerns.

Some Dog Breeds Are at Greater Risk than Others

Cancer is the leading cause of death among dogs and cats in the U.S., Europe and Japan. In fact, your pet is more likely to get cancer than you are.

More than half of all dogs will die of cancer, and some breeds have even higher rates of death from the disease.

The highest risk breeds for death from cancer are:[i]


Breed Percent of Cancer Deaths   Breed Percent of Cancer Deaths
Boxer 37%   Newfoundland 17%
Giant Schnauzer 37%   German Shepherd Dog 15%
Bernese Mountain Dog 33%   St. Bernard 13%
Irish Wolfhound 25%   Great Dane 12%
Cocker Spaniel 22%   Greyhound 12%
Doberman Pinscher 22%   Basset Hound >10%
Pomeranian 19%      


Common Types of Cancers

Skin cancers are the most common cancers in dogs and include:

  • Melanomas
  • Histiocytomas
  • Squamous cell carcinomas
  • Mast cell tumors

Bone cancer or osteosarcoma is also common and is more often found in larger breeds like Dobermans, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Great Danes, Irish Setters and St. Bernards.

Lymphoma is cancer found in solid organs like the liver, spleen, bone marrow and lymph nodes, and may also occur in the eye, skin and gastrointestinal tract.

Certain breeds seem to be growing more prone to lymphoma, and at a younger age. Golden Retrievers top the list as the most at-risk breed, a list which also includes:

  • Boxers
  • Poodles
  • Scottish Terriers
  • St. Bernards
  • Basset Hounds
  • Bulldogs
  • Airedale Terriers
  • Beagles
  • Chows
  • Rottweilers
  • German Shepherds



What about My Dog?

The following is a table of some of the more popular breeds and the cancers they are most prone to develop.

Breed Types of Cancer   Breed Types of Cancer
Airedale Melanoma, Lymphosarcoma, Pancreatic carcinoma   Greyhound None..although beginning to see haemangiosarcoma
Alaskan Malamute Sebaceous gland tumor, Anal sac adenocarcinoma   Havanese None
Australian Shepherd None   Irish Setter Trichoepithelioma, Sebaceous gland tumor, Haemangiopericytoma, Lymphoma, Melanoma, Insulinoma
Basset Hound Mast cell tumor, Cutaneous haemangioma, Lymphosarcoma   Jack Russell Pituitary tumor
Beagle Mast cell tumor, Sebaceous gland tumor, Haemangiopericytoma, Perianal gland adenoma, Lymphosarcoma   Labrador Retriever Mast cell tumor, Cutaneous histiocytoma, Sq. cell carcinoma, Nasal cavity tumors, Insulinoma, Lymphosarcoma, Limbal melanoma, Oral Fibrosarcoma, Thymoma
Bichon Frise Basal cell tumor   Lhasa Apso Sebaceous gland tumor, Keratocanthoma, Perianal gland adenoma
Border Collie None   Maltese None
Boston Terrier Mast cell tumor, Melanoma, Fibroma, Primary brain tumor   Miniature Pinscher None
Boxer Mast cell tumor, Melanoma, Cutaneous haemangioma, Histiocytoma, Sq. cell carcinoma, Fibroma, Thyroid neoplasia, Insulinoma, Osteosarcoma, Primary brain tumor, Lymphosarcoma   Pekingese Sq. cell carcinoma
Brittany Spaniel Liposarcoma (Lipoma)   Poodle Basal cell tumor, Trichoepithelioma, Sebaceous gland tumor, Sq. cell carcinoma, Insulinoma, Pituitary tumor, Adrenalcortical tumor, Lymphosarcoma, Limbal melanoma, Oral melanoma, Testicular neoplasia
Bulldog (English) Mast cell tumor, Lymphosarcoma   Pug Oral melanoma, Mast cell tumor
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel None   Rottweiler Sq. cell carcinoma, Histiocytoma, Osteosarcoma
Chihuahua Melanoma, Testicular neoplasia   Schnauzer Trichoepithelioma, Sebaceous gland tumor, Melanoma, Lipoma, Histiocytoma, Sq. cell carcinoma, Testicular neoplasia, Limbal melanoma,
Chow Melanoma, Lymphosarcoma   Scottish Terrier Mast cell tumor, Melanoma, Histiocytoma, Sq. cell carcinoma, Lymphoma, Primary brain tumor
Cocker Spaniel Basal cell tumor, Sweat gland tumor, Trichoepithelioma, Cutaneous papilloma, Sebaceous gland tumor, Plasmacytoma, Histiocytoma, Fibrosarcoma, Perianal gland adenoma, Anal sac adenocarcinoma, Melanoma, Lipoma   Shar Pei Histiocytoma, Mast cell tumor
Collie Sweat gland tumor, Histiocytoma, Haemangiopericytoma, Nasal cavity tumors, Colorectal neoplasia   Sheltie Histiocytoma, Basal cell tumor, Lipoma, Nasal cavity tumors, Testicular neoplasia
Dachshund Anal sac adenocarcinoma, Lipoma, Mast cell tumor, Sq.cell carcinoma, Histiocytoma, Ocular melanoma   Shih Tsu Sebaceous gland tumor, Perianal gland adenomas
Dalmatian Actinic keratosis, Cutaneous haemangioma   Siberian Husky Basal cell tumor, Sebaceous gland tumor, Haemangiopericytoma, Perianal gland adenoma, Testicular neoplasia
Doberman Melanoma, Lipoma, Histiocytoma, Fibroma, Myxoma, Primary brain tumor   Springer Spaniel Trichoepithelioma, Histiocytoma, Melanoma, Anal sac adenocarcinoma
Fox Terrier


Mast cell tumor, Fibroma, Haemangiopericytoma, Schwannoma, Insulinoma   Weimaraner Mast cell tumor, Lipoma
German Shepherd Sweat gland tumor, Trichoepithelioma, Anal sac adenocarcinoma, Cutaneous haemangioma, Lymphoma, Myxoma, Nasal cavity tumors, Colorectal neoplasia, Insulinoma, Limbal melanoma, Testicular neoplasia, Thymoma   Welsh Corgi None
Golden Retriever Mast cell tumor, Sweat gland tumor, Trichoepithelioma, Melanoma, Haemangioma, Histiocytoma, Fibroma, Lymphosarcoma, Nasal cavity tumors, Thyroid neoplasia, Insulinoma, Primary brain tumor, Fibrosarcoma   Westie Histiocytoma
Great Dane Histiocytoma, Osteosarcoma   Yorkshire Terrier Keratocanthoma, Pituitary tumor, Testicular neopla


Source:, 2/10/2009, Dr. Mark Silberman

Signs of Cancer or Other Diseases

I recommend regular at-home wellness exams and twice yearly visits to your holistic veterinarian as the best way to stay on top of your dog’s physical condition. Routinely checking your dog’s internal organ function is also important. I am excited to offer this new blood test at my practice because it’s non-invasive and provides invaluable information that could ultimately save more lives.

To recognize signs of ill health, you must know your pup and keep an eye out for changes in her behavior or appearance.

Symptoms to watch for include:

  • Difficulty eating or swallowing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Changes in bowel or bladder habits
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Lameness, stiffness, or other movement difficulties
  • Lumps or swellings anywhere on the body
  • Bleeding or discharge from any body opening
  • Sores that don’t heal
  • Offensive or unusual odor

Prevention is the Best Treatment

The causes of cancer in pets are not well understood, but there are a number of things you can do to give your beloved pup the best possible chance at avoiding disease.

  1. Feed a nutritionally balanced species-appropriate diet which includes the right amounts of essential fatty acids
  2. Insure regular and adequate exercise
  3. Brush your pup’s teeth every day
  4. Keep your dog’s immune system healthy
  5. Eliminate exposure to chemical toxins, including tobacco smoke
  6. Reduce the number of unnecessary vaccines

If your dog is diagnosed with cancer, there is hope. Early detection and advances in integrative veterinary medicine offer multiple treatment options that can add years to your precious pup’s life.


+ Sources and References