Which Canine Breeds Get Cancer?

Last Modified: September 17, 2012


Do certain breeds of dogs get cancer more often? Do they have genetic tests like the ones used in people (BRCA, etc.)?

Erika Krick, VMD, DACVIM Veterinary Medical Oncologist, University of Pennsylvania, responds:


Some breeds of dogs are predisposed to certain types of cancer. For example, Golden Retrievers, Boxers, German Shepards and Rottweilers are predisposed to lymphoma. Goldens and Shepards are also predisposed to hemangiosarcoma, while Rottweilers, Shepards, and Greyhounds are at higher risk for bone cancer. Boxers, pugs, Boston terriers, and other short-face dogs are predisposed to mast cell tumors. Genetic tests for cancers in these breeds are not commonly performed, but they have been looked into in some research.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. View the entire transcript from When a Beloved Pet has Cancer.