Dog breeds most susceptible to cancer

By Terri Perrin

Based on a number of research studies in North America and the United Kingdom, here are some of the dog breeds that are genetically predisposed to certain types of cancers. Be aware that this list is not all-inclusive. And, it is presented in alphabetical order by dog breed, not order of frequency/risk.

Please do not choose your dog based solely on this list, but use this as a tool to help aid you and your veterinarian in early diagnosis, should your canine companion become ill. Remember that all dogs face the threat of cancer, not just those listed below.

  • Any large or giant breed: Osteosarcoma (bone)
  • Basset Hound: Trichoepithelioma
  • Bernese Mountain Dog: Histiocytic Sarcoma (soft tissues)
  • Boxer: Astrocytoma (brain)
  • Chow Chow: Adenocarcinoma (stomach)
  • Cocker Spaniel: Cutaneous Plasmacytoma (skin), Lymphoma (white blood cells/soft tissues)
  • Collie: Adenocarcinoma (nasal)
  • English Springer Spaniel: Various types of breast/mammary gland cancers
  • Flat-coated Retriever: Transitional Cell Carcinoma (bladder), Melanoma (skin/mouth)
  • German Shepherd Dog: Hemangiosarcoma (blood vessels/spleen)
  • Golden Retriever: Lymphoma and Hemangiosarcoma (blood vessels/spleen)
  • Greyhound: Osteosarcoma (bone)
  • Labrador Retriever: Lymphoma (lymphatic), Hemangiosarcoma (blood vessels/spleen)
  • Pug: Mast Cell (immune system)
  • Rottweiler: Osteosarcoma (bone)
  • Scottish Terrier: Transitional Cell Carcinoma (bladder) & Melanoma (skin/mouth)
  • Shar-pei: Mast Cell (skin, lungs and intestinal tract)
  • Shetland Sheepdog: Liposarcoma (fat cells/soft tissue)