Unraveling the Link Between Environmental Toxins and Lymphoma in Dogs

Lymphoma is a common cancer in dogs, but unlike human studies, which have associated the disease with environmental toxins, little is known about how it originates in dogs.

A new Morris Animal Foundation-funded study from researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is focused on looking for links between toxins in the environment and the development of lymphoma in dogs as a step toward early detection and prevention.

The team, led by Dr. Lauren Trepanier, Professor of Internal Medicine and Assistant Dean for Clinical and Translational Research, will analyze blood and urine samples from 60Golden Retriever Lifetime Study participants diagnosed with lymphoma. These dogs will be compared to a control group of 60 age- and sex-matched healthy dogs from the same study.

Morris Animal Foundation's Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is an invaluable resource. These data allow us to look at the chemical exposures not only at the time of diagnosis, but a year prior to diagnosis to see whether there is early DNA damage that can be seen in the blood in association with chemical exposures. This might help us screen high-risk animals or understand the impacts the chemical exposures have on dogs."

Dr Lauren Trepanier, Professor of Internal Medicine and Assistant Dean, Clinical and Translational Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Trepanier added there is enough available data to suggest that people should avoid using herbicides on their lawns as some have been associated with bladder cancer and lymphoma. As the study progresses, she hopes to shed more light on risk factors for canine lymphoma to help dog owners minimize exposure to cancer-causing chemicals.

"Through the identification of potential modifiable risk factors for lymphoma in dogs, we hope to make substantial progress in preventing and treating this devastating disease," Trepanier said.

Source:
Journal reference:

Luethcke, K. R., et al. (2022) Environmental exposures and lymphoma risk: a nested case–control study using the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study cohort. Canine Medicine and Genetics. doi.org/10.1186/s40575-022-00122-9.

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