Golden Retriever Lifetime Study

Submitted by Veterinary Wellness Partners on Thu, 03/13/2014 - 12:28pm
Golden Retriever Lifetime Study

Golden Retriever Lifetime Study

The Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is studying why Golden Retrievers may develop cancer and other health problems.  For our beloved Goldens, cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs over two years of age.  The Morris Animal Foundation Reports that more than 60% of Golden Retrievers will die of cancer.  Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular puresbred dogs in the United States, often being utilized as service dogs.  Unfortunately, this highly popular breed has a very high incidence of cancer compared to most breeds.  This study will not only benefit Golden Retrievers, but all dogs in giving them a brighter, healthier future.

The Golden Retriever LIfetime Study is the largest and longest one ever undertaken to study the health of dogs. Morris Animal Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps animals enjoy longer, healthier lives is the force behind this monumental study.

The study goals are to:

  1. Determine the occurrence of cancer in Golden Retrievers in the United States
  2. Identify genetic differences that may influence the risk of cancer
  3. Environmental and nutritional factors that may contribute to cancer risks
  4. Monitor the occurrence of other health disorders that can increase or decrease a dog’s risk for cancer.  

Over the next 10 to 14 years, observational data will be collected from 3,000 Golden Retrievers.  This information may help us learn how to prevent cancer and other diseases that take the lives of dogs too soon.  Dogs enrolled in the study are examined annually by a participating veterinarian within the local area.   According to Dr. Michael Guy, director of the Canine Lifetime Health Project, “Morris Animal Foundation would not be able to complete this study without the participation of dedicated veterinarians and their clinic staff.”

The Orrville Veterinary Clinic is participating in the largest study ever conducted in veterinary medicine.  We are happy to join our sister practice, Seville Wadsworth Veterinary Clinic, as a participant in this groundbreaking study.  We believe in the importance of this study, and we believe that you and your dog would be valuable participants.  This is an observational study, which means no experimentation or invasive procedures are required.  If you decide to participate, you would provide information annually about your dog’s lifestyle, diet, travel, exercise, and living environment through an online questionnaire.  In addition, each year your veterinarian would perform a physical examination and collect blood, urine, feces, nail clippings, and hair samples for laboratory analysis and long-term storage.

Dr. Jeff Fink is our participating veterinarian in the study, while Dr. Marissa Hofstetter is the participating veterinary at our Seville location.    Amanda Bell is participating in the study with her 3 year old Golden Retriever, Hanna.  Amanda is our head veterinary technician at the Seville Wadsworth Veterinary Clinic and Hannah was the 2nd dog registered in this study!   Amanda takes pride in her involvement with Hanna,  She is excited about helping out this great breed, as well as optimistic about the positive results this study will bring over the next two decades.

If you have a healthy golden retriever under the age of 2, with a 3 generation pedigree, you are encouraged to enroll in the study.  So far 1100 dogs have been registered to participate.  Their goal is to reach 3000 participants by the end of the year.  For more information visit or call the Orrville Veterinary Clinic at (330) 682-2971.

Article Written by Dr. Hofstetter and edited by Dr. Jeff Fink 

Orrville Veterinary Clinic, Inc.

1665 N. Main St

Orrville, Ohio 44667