One of the most popular dog breeds in the world also have the fastest shrinking lifespan, and researchers want to know why.
Scientists are studying Golden Retrievers to figure out just why their lifespans are getting shorter by the year, and why cancer is a major factor in their deaths.
Morris Animal Foundation is based in Colorado and have been doing a lifetime study of 3,000 purebred Golden Retrievers. The study started in 2012 and scientists review health conditions and the dogs environment. Surprisingly the study will also help humans who share up to 95% similar DNA to dogs.
While the vets haven’t gathered enough information to help Golden’s live longer, they are hoping to figure out some key factors. Dr. David Haworth, who is the president and CEO of the foundation said that when he graduated veterinary school in 1972, Golden Retrievers lived up to 17 years. The average lifespan of the breed now is 9 to 10 years and that drastic drop is a cause for alarm.
Golden’s die of lymphoma, blood cancer and and bone cancer more than any other breed.
Seven Golden’s in the study have already succumbed to cancer, since joining in 2012. The dogs are from around the country, both male and female and some are fixed while others are intact.
The goal of the study is to figure out what has made these dogs so sick. Whether it is in environmental changes or just dogs who are victim of poor bloodlines, Morris Animal Foundation wants to help save the ailing breed.
1. Daily Mail