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A friend of mine had been looking at Golden Retrievers. I've heard that there is a high rate of cancer among Goldens. I realize cancer is prevalent in a lot of breeds but from my understanding, it is more so in Goldens.
Anyway, she spoke to a breeder who has had Goldens for a very long time and was told that it is inevitable that a Golden will develop cancer at some point. Is that true?
Has anyone owned a Golden that hasn't?
 

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It's not scientific to say something will never happen or that something always happens.

That being said, I've heard Goldens get called Cancer Retrievers and I'm sure that's for a reason.

After a little googling I found some articles that may be of interest:

Understanding Genetics

"We don't yet know exactly why 60% of golden retrievers will get cancer. We know this is about twice the rate for other dogs and we know it is definitely genetic. What we don't know yet is which specific genes are involved."

^If that statement's true it sounds like your friend was talking to a bad breeder is making excuses for their dogs' s****y health.

Large-Scale Cancer Study of Golden Retrievers Holds Hope For All Dogs | The Bark

^ This article confirms that about 60% of Golden Retrievers die of cancer.
 

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Over 60% can feel inevitable. Maybe the breeder just wanted to prepare her for the fact that this is something she should expect.
 

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My Golden, HaHa was put to sleep at age 5 due to cancer. I had him for about 3 years, (adopted him when he was a tad over 2yrs old). He wasn't normal though, had a slight mental disability and a smallish head with wonkie eyes, one was bigger and the socket a bit more round.

I knew Goldens were prone to cancer, and given HaHa's more than likely genetic mishaps with his not being able to remember most things for very long and is issues with holding food down (I think he had a smallish stomach too), I wasn't totally surprised that cancer ended up getting him.

Still, I wouldn't trade those 2 years with him for all the gold under the sun. He was the best dog I ever had, and I'm even considering getting another Golden.

I've known a few Goldens that have lived to age 10 to 12 years cancer free, but knowing the chances are high that they can get cancer, I think people who end up with this breed over and over, probably look at it as the same way that people who own huge dogs that only live to be 8 or 9 years old look at things... they tend to be heartbreak dogs because of their size....some of those huge dogs don't make it even to those ages of 8 or 9 years old.

Stormy
 

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Over 60% can feel inevitable. Maybe the breeder just wanted to prepare her for the fact that this is something she should expect.
That's a good point, I took it as the breeder knew there was cancer in their lines but just accepted it as normal instead of trying to breed healthier dogs. But I could be wrong without context.
 

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Personally I think the more important thing to know is not just that they get cancer, but what type at what age and how does it affect their quality of life. Theres a massive difference between a dog that develops cancer at 12+ vs. one that develops a highly aggressive cancer at 2. Ask the breeder what the parents, grandparents, and any known relatives to your potential pup died of and at what age. Eventually if you live long enough everyone is going to develop some sort of disease process that becomes terminal, age is not a disease and people don't just drop dead for no reason because they happen to be a certain age.
 

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Hey there! So you're right about cancer being prevalent in all breeds-in fact, 1 in 2 dogs will get cancer. So, it just so happens that goldens getting cancer is a statistic because they are one of the most popular dog breeds, so it's not that the specific breed gets cancer, it's that currently 50% of dogs will get cancer and most of them happen to be Golden Retrievers.
 

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I think that more dogs, pure-bred or not, are diagnosed ewith cancer could also be because more dogs get the medical attention to find out why they're sick or die.
but of course a small breeding base, among other reasons because of the second world war reducing the number of purebreds in Europe for a lot of popular breeds, could also play a certain role to make cancer more common in many breeds.
 

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"We don't yet know exactly why 60% of golden retrievers will get cancer. We know this is about twice the rate for other dogs and we know it is definitely genetic. What we don't know yet is which specific genes are involved."

^If that statement's true it sounds like your friend was talking to a bad breeder is making excuses for their dogs' s****y health.

That's a bit of a broad statement :mad: A breeder is not making excuses for bad husbandry or breeding practices simply because their breed or bloodline has a predisposition to a particular disease.

It is an impossibility of Nature to eliminate all genetic disease, no matter how diligent or how much testing one does. Breed out one issue, and I assure you, another that may not have been prevalent before will become so - that is simply how genetics works, and it is not because a breeder is disreputable or has dogs in poor health.

While I do not have Goldens, my breed does have a predisposition to cancer, and I have often joked that Beagles die of cancer, intervertebral disc disease, cancer, epilepsy/seizure complications, cancer, cancer, cancer and also, cancer. I have had both multiple group winning show champion dogs and rabbit hounds from several bloodlines develop some form of cancer on several different diets. If you called me asking for information on the breed, I would tell you outright that Beagles are tumor factories and that regardless of general health, diet, bloodlines, field or show breeding, four out of five will die of cancer.

When I inform potential buyers or anyone interested in the breed that high meat diets WILL contribute, I get accused of using that as an excuse to by "cheap" foods because I do not give a bent penny about their health :headbash: It's very frustrating being a breeder, especially when we have everyone telling us we are somehow disreputable because our dogs have the audacity to die, and of a common cause, no less.

To the OP; Yes, I have heard many, many show breeders of Goldens complain about cancer in the breed, and if an experienced breeder has told you this is a common problem, I would definitely listen. I wouldn't state that all dogs of any breed are going to die of a certain disease, but odds are, considering breed statistics, if you get a Golden, be prepared to deal with the Big C.
 
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