Understand Your Breed’s Background …
Some breeds do have a predilection for cancer, but they run the gamut in size and shape, and include Rottweilers, Great Danes, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Cocker Spaniels, Boxers and other very popular breeds. This is something to keep in mind when deciding which type of pet to get, however, the possibility of cancer doesn’t deter most pet owners from embracing these breeds.
“Certain breeds are predisposed [to cancer], likely due to genetics. When we breed for specific characteristics, we also risk passing down genes that lead to predispositions,” says Dr. Joanne Intile of East End Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center in Riverhead, New York. “Good breeders are not inbreeding their lines, and we still see cancer in those pets, so the inbreeding that occurs isn’t the only thing to blame.”
Owners can ask their breeders about the health of their puppy or kitten’s lineage, and good breeders will keep that information for years and provide it without question, Intile adds.