7 Dog Breeds Most at Risk of Developing Cancer

There are always dogs that defy the odds and kick cancer's tail, and it's important to keep that optimistic perspective whenever faced with a dreaded cancer diagnosis. No one wants to hear that dreaded "c" come out of their vet's mouth, but dogs develop cancer at nearly the same rate that humans do. It's always a possibility no matter your dog's age or overall health.

Cancer can happen to any dog, but science tells us this horrible illness is more common in some dog breeds than others. Here are the breeds that seem to be the most at risk.

1. Labrador Retriever

The lovable lab has been the AKC's most popular dog breed for the past 28 years and counting. They're a common sight in homes across the country, and unfortunately, it's also common for these beloved pets to develop cancer. There's a high number of mast cell tumors and cases of lymphoma in labs. The risk of cancer increases as a dog ages, but it's also possible for labs as young as a year-old to develop certain types of canine cancer.

2. Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever is another one of the country's favorite dog breeds, but unfortunately, they're also one of the breeds most at risk of cancer. According to Embrace Pet Insurance, almost 10% of goldens are diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives. With early detection and new information about canine cancer treatment, however, many goldens go on to fight the disease and live happy lives.

3. Rottweiler

A large and powerful breed, Rottweilers are admired for their strength and family values. They are loyal family members and typically have a lifespan of 11 years. Cancer is included among other health issues that often plague this large breed. Hip and elbow dysplasia are two common joint issues, and there's also a high number of Rottweilers that develop bone cancer.

4. Bernese Mountain Dog

The most notable characteristic about the Bernese Mountain Dog is their beautiful, silky fur. Adult males can weigh up to 110 pounds, and their large size makes them automatically vulnerable to health issues including hip dysplasia and arthritis. Cancer is ranked among the most common health problems in Bernese Mountain Dogs, and it most happens happens in dogs five years and older. 

5. German Shepherd Dog

It doesn't seem to matter whether this dog is part of a family setting or chasing bad guys at a police department, German Shepherd Dogs will always be a favorite dog breed. They're a versatile breed that is known to be easy to train and highly intelligent. Their life expectancy is around 13 years, and unfortunately, those years can often be cut short by cancer. 

6. Poodle

Poodles are one of few dog breeds that doesn't shed, and that also makes them hypoallergenic. But while health-conscious humans often choose them as family pets, that doesn't make these beautiful dogs immune to cancer. The Standard Poodle is a large breed dog that is among the most at risk of cancer. Bone cancer is one of the biggest concerns, and so is lymphoma.

7. Shetland Sheepdogs

A small/medium-sized herding dog breed, the Shetland Sheepdog is prone to something called "collie nose." Technically called dermatomyositis, this condition presents as a scaly-looking lesion on the dog's face. In some cases, these lesions can become cancerous. Besides this skin condition, shelties are also at risk of developing other kinds of common canine cancers. 

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