Why Do Golden Retrievers Get Cancer? [Explained!]

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[UPDATED APRIL 2022]

It’s a question on the minds of owners and lovers of this breed, “Why Do Golden Retrievers Get Cancer?”

Golden Retrievers seem to have it all, beauty, brains, and a personality that will warm your heart! Some might say that they’re the perfect dog.

But, with a shockingly high rate of cancer, this breed is not so perfect after all!

What causes Golden Retrievers to be so prone to cancer?

Keep reading, as we address this burning question.

Plus, find out the 4 most common cancers that affect Golden Retrievers. Discover the warning signs of cancer, and what you can do to reduce the risk of cancer in your Golden.

Why Do Golden Retrievers Get Cancer?

The true cause of cancer in Golden Retrievers is unknown. However, ongoing research is being done on Golden Retrievers in particular. The Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is tracking the lives of over 3000 Golden Retrievers in hopes of identifying the risk factors for cancer. Sadly, 60% of Golden Retrievers are impacted by cancer. Genetics, age, lifestyle, nutrition and environment are said to be contributing risk factors for cancer.

Genetics

Golden Retrievers are more likely to develop certain types of cancer due to their genes. Many Goldens are afflicted by hemangiosarcoma and lymphoma.

Genetics certainly plays a big role in causing cancer. In purebred dogs, the gene pool is relatively small, which causes cancer-causing genes to be passed down from generation to generation.

If your Golden Retriever inherited a cancer-causing gene, it doesn’t mean that he/she will develop cancer for sure, it means that your dog has an increased risk.

Age

Why Do Golden Retrievers Get Cancer - An older Golden Retriever with a white face and long flowing fur, standing and looking up with a happy expression.

Just as in humans, when dogs get older their risk of developing cancer increases.

In Goldens, the risk for cancer begins to rise at the age of 6, and peaks at the age of 10 to 12 years.

The immune system gets weaker with age and there is an increased risk of producing a mutated cell when it splits, leading to uncontrollable growth.

Cancer is very common in dogs over the age of 10.

It can be argued that older dogs who developed cancer have had more exposure to carcinogens in the environment.

Spay and Neuter Status

Spay and neuter status is a contributing factor for cancer in Golden Retrievers.

According to research and studies from the University of California, Davis, Golden Retrievers are at a higher risk of certain cancers if they are spayed early (within their first year of age).

Cancers include hemangiosarcoma, lymphoma, mast cell tumours and osteosarcoma.

Studies have also shown that spaying a female Golden at any age increases the risk of developing one or more of the cancers from 5 percent to up to 15 percent.

Females that are unspayed do have a higher risk of developing mammary cancer, and males left intact are at risk of developing testicular cancer.

Spaying and neutering your Golden Retriever is a very controversial subject. It is a decision that should be discussed with your vet and researched thoroughly.

I recently wrote an article on spaying a Golden Retriever, as well as a separate article on neutering a Golden Retriever. Both articles are in-depth and based on research from UC Davis.

Diet

The food that you feed your dog plays an important role in your dog’s overall health and well-being.

Many people choose kibble or other processed food, which contains preservatives, fillers, and chemicals that are detrimental to your dog’s health.

Cancer-causing toxins such as aflatoxin which is a byproduct of mould can make their way into pet food. There has been a recall of pet products containing aflatoxin, not that long ago, in September 2020.

Being exposed to aflatoxin is certainly not good for any dog, but dogs with hepatitis are especially vulnerable because they are at a much greater risk of developing liver cancer.

Choosing a diet that contains pure ingredients, not to mention ingredients that you can pronounce are ideal!

Dog owners are opting for fresh ingredients, with many choosing to make their own dog food or feeding a raw diet.

Obesity

It’s no secret that keeping your Golden Retriever at a healthy weight will improve his overall health and potentially prolong his life.

But, did you know that by keeping your Golden from becoming overweight or obese, you are reducing his risks of developing cancer?

Obesity is linked to diabetes, heart disease and joint disorders, but it is also linked to certain cancers.

There have been some studies done on the relationship between obesity and cancer.

Obese dogs are at risk of developing mast cell tumours, mammary tumours, and transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder.

Environmental

It seems lately that pretty much everything causes cancer. Household cleaners, lawn fertilizers, cosmetics, building materials, and the list goes on.

Because Golden Retrievers are domesticated and always by our side, they are exposed to the same elements as we are.

Second-hand smoke can affect your dog just like it would a human, as can smog and air pollution.

Pesticides, herbicides, insecticides and other lawn chemicals contain carcinogens that are linked to cancer.

Being exposed to the sun can put your Golden at risk of developing skin cancer.

Golden Retrievers Have One Of The Highest Rates Of Cancer

A Golden Retriever puppy laying on the floor looking at you with its tongue sticking out.

Cancer is one of the biggest concerns for all dog owners. It is the leading cause of death among dogs over the age of two!

Nearly half of all dogs will be diagnosed with some form of cancer over the age of ten.

Unfortunately, the incidence of cancer is slightly higher in Golden Retrievers.

According to a study done by Purdue University, alongside the Golden Retriever Club of America, about 61% of Golden Retrievers in the US will die from cancer.

What’s interesting to note is that European Golden Retrievers have a lower rate of cancer because their genes are different.

A survey done by the UK Kennel Club in 2004, indicates that about 38% of Golden Retrievers in Europe die from cancer.

Also interesting, is that a few decades ago, Golden Retrievers did not have such a high rate of cancer.

From the mid-1900s to the early 2000s, the lifespan of Golden Retrievers was 15 to 17 years old. Today, their lifespan is shorter, at 10 to 12 years old.

The 4 Most Common Cancers In Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers are commonly affected by 4 types of cancer. Topping the list are Hemangiosarcoma and Lymphoma, followed by Mast Cell Tumours and Osteosarcoma.

For those of us who are not medical professionals, let’s give a brief overview of what these cancers are in plain English:

1. Hemangiosarcoma

Hemangiosarcoma is one of the deadliest types of cancer. It is a very aggressive malignant tumour of the blood vessel cells.

This tumour grows very rapidly and develops in areas of your dog’s body with a rich blood supply such as the spleen and heart.

The tumour can suddenly rupture and cause massive bleeding, leaving you and your vet with a very difficult decision to make, within minutes of the diagnosis.

Middle-aged to older Golden Retrievers are commonly affected.

In the video below, the Morris Animal Foundation answers questions about hemangiosarcoma.

2. Lymphoma

Lymphoma is a common cancer of lymph cells (lymphocytes) and lymphoid tissues. Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell that helps the immune system fight infection.

This cancer can affect any organ in the body. However, it is most likely found in organs that have high concentrations of lymphocytes, such as the lymph nodes, spleen and bone marrow.

There are over 30 different known canine lymphomas, each varying in their aggressiveness, signs, and survival rates.

Multicentric Lymphoma is the most common type, which affects the lymph nodes. Swollen lymph nodes are a sign of this cancer. The swollen lumps will feel firm and rubbery but are not painful to your dog.

Chemotherapy Is Effective

Chemotherapy has been proven to be the most effective treatment for lymphoma in dogs. The type of chemo treatment recommended by your vet will depend on the type of cancer.

In some cases, surgery and radiation therapy are suggested.

Chemotherapy does not affect dogs like it does humans. Chemo does not usually make dogs as sick as humans, and they rarely lose their hair.

Dogs who go through chemo treatment may experience mild vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite and decreased activity levels.

Because of the many types of lymphomas and their different aggressiveness, there is no way of knowing your dog’s prognosis.

Your dog’s outcome will depend on the stage of cancer at the time of treatment, and the choice of treatment.

3. Mast Cell Tumours

MCTs are common skin tumours that vary from benign, slow-growing to very aggressive high-grade cancers.

Mast cell tumours represent a cancer of a type of white blood cell that is normally involved in the body’s response to inflammation and allergens.

Mast cell tumours can range from small isolated lumps to large ulcerated lesions.

Low-grade MCTs are often potentially curable with surgery to remove them, but high-grade tumours are fatal.

4. Osteosarcoma

Cancer of the bone. Osteosarcoma is a very aggressive and deadly form of cancer that commonly affects the limbs but can rapidly spread to other parts of the body.

Large and giant breeds are most commonly affected, as are older dogs, but dogs of all ages can get it.

The early signs of bone cancer are subtle and can include swelling, lameness, and joint or bone pain. As the disease progresses the lameness and pain increase rapidly.

X-Rays and tissue samples are used to diagnose osteosarcoma. It is classed as stage 1 low-grade, stage 2, and stage 3 the most advanced stage of cancer.

Chemotherapy is often used as a treatment to ensure that cancer has not spread to any other areas, in particular, the lymph nodes.

In more severe cases amputation is needed to remove cancer.

The prognosis for bone cancer depends on what stage your dog has.

If the cancer is treated before it spreads, the survival rate is better than if it has spread to your dog’s lungs or other parts of the body.

If bone cancer is left untreated it is fatal.

Warning Signs Of Cancer In Your Golden Retriever

A Golden Retriever laying on a couch, resting its head on a plush brown toy.

Cancer can be difficult to detect in the early stages because the signs can be subtle and caused by other conditions.

If you notice any physical or behavioural changes in your Golden you should always consult your vet.

Being aware of what symptoms to look for will be your best chance of catching cancer early on. It could make all the difference in your Golden’s prognosis.

Common Warning Signs Of Cancer:

  • Recent lumps or bumps that persist or continue to grow.
  • Sores or wounds that do not heal.
  • Weight loss with or without a change in food consumption.
  • Change in appetite or water intake.
  • Bleeding or discharge from any body opening.
  • Offensive body odour or bad breath.
  • Difficulty eating, chewing, grasping or swallowing food.
  • Loss of stamina, reluctance to exercise.
  • Persistent lameness.
  • Trouble breathing, urinating or defecating.

It can be difficult to monitor any physical and behavioural changes in your dog every moment of the day especially when you lead a busy life.

The good news is, that an activity monitor like the FitBark can help! FitBark monitors and tracks your dog’s sleep and activity throughout the entire day.

It has shown that dogs who are in discomfort don’t sleep well, and dogs who are in pain are less active.

FitBark will alert you on your mobile app if there are any sudden changes in your dog’s sleep and activity level.

It’s a great way for you to catch any early signs that something is not right. Restless sleep and lethargy are very strong indicators that something is off with your dog.

Tips To Prevent Cancer In Your Golden Retriever

It may be difficult to avoid the genetic risk of cancer in your Golden Retriever.

However, there are steps you can take to help reduce the other contributing factors to this disease.

Choose A Responsible Breeder

Choose a breeder that screens for cancer in their lineage. Responsible breeders do health testing and pay attention to cancer in their lines, and work to exclude it.

Always do your research, and be aware of the health issues that are common in Golden Retrievers.

Know The Risks And Benefits Of Spaying And Neutering

Studies show that spaying or neutering Golden Retrievers too early poses increased risks of developing certain cancers.

If you choose to spay or neuter, it is best to wait until your Golden is fully developed.

Be sure to discuss the risks and benefits with your vet, to determine what’s best for your dog.

Keep Your Golden At A Healthy Weight

A side profile of a Golden Retriever standing outside on a dirt path with leaves on the ground.

Be sure to feed a healthy, balanced diet, and avoid letting your dog become overweight or obese.

Obesity and a poor quality/imbalanced diet are linked to an increased cancer risk

Avoid Exposure To Secondhand Smoke

Exposure to secondhand smoke increases the risk of cancer in pets. Keep your home and dog’s environment smoke-free.

Avoid Exposure To Toxic Chemicals And Fumes

A Golden Retriever puppy laying on green grass.

This includes lawn chemicals, paints and solvents, asbestos, artificial cleaners, artificial fragrances, etc.

Use natural, non-toxic products instead that are safe for pets.

Avoid Prolonged Sun Exposure

If your Golden enjoys laying in the sun, be sure to limit his time to reduce the risk of developing skin cancer.

The sun is strongest between 10 am and 4 pm, emitting harmful UV rays.

Schedule Regular Vet Checkups

Yearly vet checkups are important to identify any changes in your dog’s health.

Golden Retrievers who have reached their “golden” age, and are considered seniors, may need more frequent vet visits.

Examine Your Dog For Any Physical Changes

At least once a month, check your dog for any lumps or bumps that may have appeared suddenly.

Feel your dog’s body, and check the ears and mouth. Early detection is the key!

Beware Of Any Changes In Behaviour

You know your dog best.

If you notice any changes in your dog’s mood, sleep pattern, or eating habits, it’s usually a sign that something is not right.

Behaviour changes often indicate that your dog is not feeling well. Even the most subtle changes can be an early indication of disease.

Add Cancer-Fighting Foods To Your Dog’s Diet

Be sure to include foods that are antioxidant-rich, anti-inflammatory, high in Omega-3, and high in protein.

Blueberries, blackberries, fish oil, pumpkin, apples, and broccoli are all great foods to include.

My Golden Retriever Has Cancer, Now What?

A side profile of the head of a Golden Retriever.

Being told that your Golden Retriever has cancer is something no dog owner wants to hear.

If your Golden has been diagnosed with cancer, you should allow yourself a moment to breathe and let the news sink in.

Do everything you can to learn about the type of cancer affecting your dog. Educate yourself on the treatment options, the pros and cons of treatment and the costs involved.

It is important to remember that not every cancer leads to an automatic death sentence for your dog. There are many cancers that can be treated if they are caught early.

Cancer Treatment Options

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Amputation
  • Immunotherapy
  • Combination Therapy, in some cases.

The success of treatment for your dog depends on the form of cancer, what stage it is, and how aggressive the therapy is.

If your Golden has been diagnosed with cancer that is incurable, there are still things that can be done to alleviate your dog’s pain.

Good nutrition, love, and care from you will go a long way to ensure your dog is as comfortable as possible during this difficult time.

You shouldn’t feel like you are alone in dealing with this. There are support groups available online and possibly in your community. It might help to talk to others who are in the same situation.

Golden Retrievers Are Being Studied

In 2012 the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study was started by the Morris Animal Foundation.

Between the study’s launch in 2012 and 2015, just over 3000 privately owned healthy Golden Retrievers were signed up. Their ages ranged from 6 months to 2 years old.

This study is currently examining and collecting data throughout the lives of these Golden Retrievers.

Health, nutrition and environmental information are all collected from their owners and vets.

Researchers at the MAF are hoping to identify the nutritional, environmental, lifestyle and genetic risk factors for cancer and other diseases in dogs.

Golden Retrievers were chosen for this study due to their popularity, high rate of cancer, genetics, and adaptability to various lifestyles.

Due to their exposure to many environments, they were the ideal candidates for this study.

The study will run for 10 to 14 years.

Final Thoughts

Genetics is said to be the main reason why Golden Retrievers get cancer, and why the rate of cancer is so high among this breed.

The gene pool is relatively small in purebred dogs. When a cancer-causing gene is passed down from generation to generation, the cancer gene does not go away.

Along with genetics, a combination of old age and environmental factors could also contribute to cancer.

However, the true causes of cancer in Golden Retrievers are not specifically known.

Cancer research in both human and veterinary medicine is ongoing. Great strides have been made, but we have yet to find a cure for cancer.

Hopefully, the ongoing Golden Retriever Lifetime Study will provide us with the answers, and bring us closer to a cure each year.

It is imperative to always be aware of any changes in your dog’s physical and behavioural state.  Catching this disease early on will make all the difference in your Golden’s prognosis.

What About You?

Have you lost a Golden Retriever to cancer?

Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below. I would love to hear from you!

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I am the proud owner of a Golden Retriever named Ellie. She keeps me busy, and when she is resting, you can find me working on my blog. She is always close by though. I live in Stirling, ON Canada with my husband, and we both enjoy the never a dull moment life with our Ellie.

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22 thoughts on “Why Do Golden Retrievers Get Cancer? [Explained!]”

  1. We recently lost a dog to cancer. It was awful! I am very happy after reading your article, that there are at least a few things that we can do to help! Losing a dog is losing a family member. Thank you so much for the information! And I will be sure to try to spread the word to help others keep their furry friends healthy!

    Reply
    • Hi Kevin,

      It is truly devastating to lose your dog to cancer, I am sorry for your loss.  It is unfair that dogs have shorter lifespans than we do, if only they could live forever!

      While there are no definitive answers to why Golden Retrievers get cancer, there are certain factors that contribute to the risk of cancer.  By being aware of what factors contribute to the risks such as genetics, age, lifestyle, diet and spay/neuter status, we can hopefully help to reduce the chances of cancer in our own dogs.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

      Jenny.

      Reply
  2. Thank you for your blog and all the comments from everyone. We just lost our Golden, Charlie. He was 4 years old. It was a complete shock to us. I still can’t believe he’s gone. He was vomiting we took him to the vets a week and a half ago for what we thought was constipation. Dr took X-rays and gave him mineral oil and said to call if there were any issues. He continued to vomit so we took him back.
    The vet said the blockage was gone and he was good to go. Charlie continued to have vomiting and loose poop so we took him back again. This time they took blood and found he was very anemic and was in kidney failure. The Dr said Charlie had cancer and was in kidney failure based on blood work. He only had about 25% kidney function and there was nothing that could be done. We are at such a loss. In a week and a half, he goes from a playful 90 lbs puppy to him dying and weighing 81 lbs. My heart just breaks. His memories are everywhere. He was such a wonderful baby boy. Everyone misses him so very much even his partner in crime Lita who is a pit bull. They were inseparable. So sad. 😭 I didn’t know cancer was their number 1 killer.

    Reply
    • Hi Susan,

      I am so very sorry for the loss of your beloved Golden Retriever Charlie. It is never easy losing a loving member of the family, especially so suddenly and at such a young age.
      Cancer can be a silent killer, as it can be brought on suddenly without giving any warning signs. It is unfortunately this breeds biggest downfall.
      I hope in time that you can be comforted by the many wonderful memories that you had with Charlie. I also hope that your pitbull Lita will recover from this huge loss in time as well.

      Thank you for taking the time to share your story. I truly wish you all the best during this difficult time.
      Jenny.

      Reply
  3. Hi Jenny.

    I stumbled upon this blog and read about the cancers in GRs. We just lost our Dexter yesterday morning and are devastated. We couldn’t wrap our heads around what happened. We’ve done some research today and your blog has definitely helped us in terms of making sense of what happened and to know that others have had the same gut-wrenching experience. Our Dexter was fine during the day, seemed off in the evening, and early morning a spiral downwards. Zero signs of any health issues leading up to that night. He would’ve been 9 in August.

    Thanks again for the blog with the information.

    Mike

    Reply
    • Hi Mike,
      This is such horrible news to hear! I am so very sorry for the loss of your beloved Dexter. Losing a Golden is extremely devastating, and one of the hardest losses to overcome. Just know that you are not alone, there are many others who are going through the same thing. It might help to reach out to other Golden Retriever owners who know what you are going through. There are many pet loss support groups available to talk to that you can find on the internet. I also covered grieving the loss of a dog in one of my blog posts, which you may find helpful.

      My heart breaks for you, as this is what every Golden Retriever owner fears the most! 9 years old is so young, it is certainly gut-wrenching.

      Cancer unfortunately is this breed’s biggest killer! I like all other Golden Retriever owners hope that they find a cure!

      I wish you all the best during this difficult time.

      Jenny.

      Reply
  4. Oliver Waylon Jennings (Ollie) has just now gone to glory. He was 8 1/2. He had an amazing 6-month run after last summer’s tumor removal. We were told Hemangiosarcoma is one of Mother Nature’s most merciful painless Cancers. It is believed to be Mother Nature’s population control mechanism for wolves that also affects dogs since all dogs are 98% wolf! This Cancer is a major killer of German Shepherds, THE MAJOR killer of Golden Retrievers, and Ollie! After tumor-removal surgery, last July, we were told a survival duration of 2-4 months was possible, but 4 would be unlikely. We got 6!!! —- All dogs are great, in many cases greater than humans. Ollie was a STAR. We didn’t share him with too many people because we were simply SELFISH and kept him for us. We pampered him and he was funny, zany, kindly with everything and everyone he met. He loved other people AND other dogs. He loved human GIRLS & was an embarrassingly shameless lovesick masher who didn’t hesitate to HOWL at women on the street. He was outrageous and delightful. He was never in pain, we made certain of that. Wow, we really miss this SUPER personality! On, to the next great dog story! …but we’ll never beat Ollie!

    Reply
    • Hi Jim,
      Thank you for sharing your story. I am so sorry for your loss. Ollie sounds like he was one of a kind, and he will forever have a piece of your heart. Amazing that you were able to share 6 more months together, and that he was never in any pain. Hopefully, with all of the research being done, Cancer among this breed and others will be a thing of the past.

      Take care,
      Jenny.

      Reply
    • Hi Diana,
      Thanks for asking such a great question. Yes, air fresheners like Glade and Febreeze are harmful to pets, and they are not good for you either. These types of products are made from synthetic fragrances that contain toxic chemicals, which are harmful to your dog and any other pets to breathe in or be exposed to. These products are slow poisons to your dog as well as yourself. Meaning their harmful effects will take time to do damage to your dog’s health and yours.

      Dogs have a greater sense of smell than we do, and any type of fragrance is going to be bothersome to your dog. I would suggest avoiding artificial fragrances at all costs, even when washing your dog’s bedding I would only use unscented laundry soap. Fragrance causes damage in the long run and it could also cause an allergic reaction in your dog. These products are simply not worth the risk!

      If you really need to have your home or fabrics smelling good, look for 100% natural scents such as 100% pure organic essential oils. Do your research, because some essential oils are toxic to dogs as well!
      For further reading on the dangers of artificial fragrances, check out this article by dogsnaturally.

      Thank you,
      Jenny.

      Reply
  5. Thank you for your post about cancer in golden retrievers. We lost our Murphy on Dec 5, 2019. He would have been 10 years old in February 2020. Murphy was the brother of a West Coast breeder who consistently wins almost every competition she enters. Willis was Murphy’s littermate who was 2nd golden at Westminster. Anyway, Murphy came in from outside and he just didn’t look quite right.. we rushed him to our vet and he said his spleen had ruptured.. he decided to remove it but found cancer in his liver and spleen. So we had to have him euthanized while under the anesthesia. So less than 3 hours and our baby was gone.

    It is heartbreaking to lose a golden.. when Murphy turned 5 we got a puppy from his brother Willis. We named him Wallis after sir William Wallace of Scotland. So Wallis was our 4th golden and was devastated to lose his buddy. We made it thru to July and we just had to have another puppy so we now have Fergus❤️ Nothing can ever replace Murphy but he’d be glad we found another puppy to love.

    We raised our two kids with a golden and they now have families and goldens of their own. Summer is swim time for 4 goldens in our pool? I just wanted to let people know that the love you share with a Golden Retriever is an experience that is sent by God.. we even visited the Golden Retriever Statue in Scotland where the breed was born. I am close to 70.. retired from a 40-year teaching career 5 years ago. I hope they find a cause and cure for cancer.. these beautiful dogs are so worth all of the hype of the breed.

    Reply
    • Hi Cheryl,
      Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am so very sorry for your loss of Murphy, and how quickly it happened. It is devastating to lose a dog, especially a Golden Retriever. Dogs are just as devastated when another dog in the family passes away, I am happy to hear that Fergus will be a new friend for Wallis, and you are able to love another puppy. It sounds like your Summer is a blast with 4 goldens in your pool.

      Hopefully, with enough research and time, there will be a cure for cancer! I agree that these dogs are worth all the hype and that the love you share with a Golden Retriever is unlike any other!

      Thank you for taking the time to comment, and I wish you and your Goldens all the best!

      Jenny.

      Reply
  6. We lost our Golden Molly to cancer, she was 12 years old. She was diagnosed on July 17th, 2020. On the following Monday, we went back and the vet thought we have 2 to 8 weeks with her. She passed away on July 21, 2020. We adopted Molly when she was 3 years old. When we took her to the vet to be checked over they found she had heartworm, but she beat that and then a year ago she had a lump on her leg and it was cancer. It was removed and she was cancer-free. This time the cancer was in her lungs and we were not as lucky. She had a good life and our hearts are breaking but she is not suffering anymore.

    Reply
    • Hi Margaret,
      My deepest condolences to you and your family on losing your loving dog, Molly. My heart is breaking for you, I am very sorry. There are just no words that can help you through this trying time, losing a dog is one of the hardest things to go through.

      I hope that you can find relief in knowing that your Molly is in a better place and not suffering anymore. It will take time to heal, and one day you will be able to reflect on all of the wonderful moments you have shared and the memories that you have made together, and those memories will put a smile on your face instead of tears.

      I want to thank you for taking the time to leave a comment, and I wish you and your family all the best.

      Take care,
      Jenny.

      Reply
  7. I sadly lost my two beautiful boys within a month of each other last year. I’m still suffering from a broken heart. The first one Digger was 14 1/2 and old age had taken its toll. Buddy was just 13. One minute he was eating, playing and the next collapsed on the floor suffering from hemangiosarcoma. He was gone within hours and ripped my world apart.
    I am now the proud man to a 1-year-old and an 18 week old, again Goldies. You forget how crazy they are at a young age but my life wouldn’t be the same without sharing it with such beautiful creatures. It turns out they are both related to my beautiful angels.
    I hope everyone is lucky enough to receive even half the love my boys gave me. It was a privilege to have shared their lives.

    Reply
    • Hi Andrea,
      Thank you so much for sharing your story. What a sad story though, I am so very sorry for your loss! It is so tragic how quickly hemangiosarcoma can set in, and you must deal with such a rapid heart-wrenching decision. I can only imagine the pain you must have felt, and are still feeling. We never truly get over the loss of our loved ones.

      I am happy to hear that you have added 2 more Golden boys to your family, and how wonderful it is that they are related to your “beautiful angels”. I am sure that these 2 will help you recover from your loss, and you will have plenty of wonderful times ahead of you. I am sure they will also remind you of the many wonderful moments you shared with Digger and Buddy.

      I also hope that everyone is lucky enough to be given the chance to be loved by a Golden and to share in their lives.

      Thank you again for taking the time to comment, and I wish you and your 2 boys many happy and wonderful days ahead.

      Jenny.

      Reply
    • Hi Gene,
      My heart goes out to you and your family. I am so very sorry for the loss of your beloved Golden. To lose your dog at such a young age and without warning is absolutely devastating. I hope that the wonderful memories and happy times that you shared with your Golden will carry you through this devastating time.

      I want to thank you for taking the time to leave a comment, and I wish you the strength to get through this difficult time. You have proven that as dog owners, we all need to treasure and cherish every moment with our dogs as the time we have with them is never long enough.

      Take care,
      Jenny.

      Reply
  8. I heard about this a few months ago from a friend of mine that has 4 Goldens, and he lost two to cancer. Very sad. I have a Golden 13 years old, has a lot of lumps and have had them checked out, no cancer (I was really scared though). I posted a notice in my house “Do not use any chemicals in my house”. I have been doing what I can to make my home as chemical-free as possible. I was wondering why they get cancer. Thanks for the enlightenment. 

    Reply
    • Hi Jordan,

      I am sorry to hear of your friend losing 2 of his Golden Retrievers to cancer, it is very heartbreaking.  What a relief for you to find out that your 13-year-old Golden does not have cancer, and 13 years old in Golden Retriever years is pretty impressive.  Making your home as chemical-free as possible is a great step in preventing cancer in your Golden, and improving his/her quality of life and yours too.  

      Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.

      Jenny.

      Reply
  9. Hello Jenny;
    Happy to read your article; I do not have a dog but my wife would like to own one, I am more related to cats. But, I find it interesting to know the risks related to the dog breed that we would like to adopt to prepare accordingly and guide our choices.

     However, I would like to know if cats too are subject to cancer and if so which breeds?

     Thank you.

    Reply
    • Hi Moi Moi,

      You are certainly doing the right thing by educating yourself on Golden Retrievers or any other dog breed that you wish to adopt.  This way you will know what to expect and can make an informed decision on the breed of your choice.

      To answer your question, yes cats are at risk for cancer too.  However, the risk for cancer in cats is less than the risk in dogs.  Common cancer found in cats is Lymphoma, and cats will have lumps and bumps.  I am not familiar with any breed of cats that are more prone to cancer than others.  I would say that environmental factors can contribute to feline cancer just like it does in dogs, and the same prevention would apply.  Limit the exposure to toxic chemicals and second-hand smoke.  Monitor your cat for any changes in physical and behavioural patterns.

      Thank you for taking the time to comment.

      Jenny.

      Reply

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