Morris Animal Foundation has established a Canine Lifetime Health Project. The first study within this project is the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study. This is a groundbreaking study to collect information on the health of dogs over their lifetimes. The goal is to learn how to better prevent, diagnose and treat cancer and other diseases. This breed has a higher incidence of cancer than average, and so may provide valuable information to help us understand why their cancer risk is higher and hopefully, learn how to reduce cancer risk in all dogs. The study will enroll up to 3000 Golden Retrievers and will last 10 to 14 years. It is an observational study, which means data will be collected from the animals and recorded and evaluated to determine disease trends. This study does not directly affect how owner cares for their dogs, but rather gathers information on the dog’s genetics, nutrition, health and environment.
March 2015 Update – the study is now filled – 3000 Golden Retrievers have joined!
In order to participate, the dog must:
- Be a healthy purebred Golden Retriever
- Have a verifiable three-generation pedigree (AKC registered dogs will typically have this in their registry)
- Be younger than two years of age at the start
- Reside in the contiguous United States
The dog owner will be expected to:
- Participate in the study for the life of your dog
- Microchip your dog (if not already done)
- Complete online questionnaires regarding your dog’s diet and environment
- Take your dog to its veterinarian for annual examinations and sample collections (blood, urine, feces, hair and toenail clippings)
- Allow collection of tumor samples in the future (when applicable)
If you have a Golden Retriever under the age of two, please consider participating in this important study! Dr. Baird has already enrolled her youngster, Keeva Rue.