Tag Archives: Rottweiler

Risk factors for bone cancer in dogs

Bone cancer in dogs is affected by a variety of genetic risk factors, researchers from Uppsala University and the Broad Institute have found.  They’ve published their results in the journal Genome Biology.
Osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, is similar in humans and dogs – although in dogs it is more common.  In the current study, the researchers compared the genome of sick and healthy dogs from three different breeds to find inherited risk factors for the disease.

“The key is that we find many different risk factors within each breed. We already knew that Greyhounds, Rottweilers and Irish wolfhounds are at increased risk of developing bone cancer and our results explain much of the increased risk”, said Emma Ivansson, scientist at SciLifeLab and Uppsala University.

Irish Wolfhound

The study demonstrated that each breed has its own risk genes, but these genes converge in common disease mechanisms.

“Our results show that the pathways involved in bone formation and growth are important for the disease. Because of the great similarities between bone cancer in dogs and humans, we believe that our findings may contribute to an increased understanding of how bone cancer develops in humans”, said Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, professor at Uppsala University and Co-Director of the SciLifeLab and Director of Vertebrate Genome Biology at the Broad Institute.
The researchers are continuing to study the identified risk factors to understand more about how they affect tumor development and to see whether different risk factors respond to different types of treatment.
The researchers are continuing to study the identified risk factors to understand more about how they affect tumor development and to see whether different risk factors respond to different types of treatment. – See more at: http://www.uu.se/en/media/news/article/?id=3103&area=2,10,16&typ=artikel&na=&lang=en#sthash.H1aUoBA8.dpuf

Osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, is a rare but very aggressive form of cancer that primarily affects teenagers. Among some large-sized dog breeds the disease is much more common, but otherwise osteosarcoma in humans and dogs is very similar. In the current study, the researchers compared the genome of sick and healthy dogs from three different breeds to find inherited risk factors for the disease.

“The key is that we find many different risk factors within each breed. We already knew that greyhounds, Rottweilers and Irish wolfhounds are at increased risk of developing bone cancer and our results explain much of the increased risk”, said Emma Ivansson, scientist at SciLifeLab and Uppsala University.

The study demonstrated that each breed has its own risk genes, but these genes converge in common disease mechanisms

– See more at: http://www.uu.se/en/media/news/article/?id=3103&area=2,10,16&typ=artikel&na=&lang=en#sthash.H1aUoBA8.dpuf

Bone cancer in dogs is affected by a variety of genetic risk factors. Researchers from Uppsala University and the Broad Institute show this in a new study published in Genome Biology. – See more at: http://www.uu.se/en/media/news/article/?id=3103&area=2,10,16&typ=artikel&na=&lang=en#sthash.H1aUoBA8.dpuf
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A mixed news week for dogs in Christchurch

It’s been a variable week of dog news here in Christchurch (to say the least).

The news was all bad by mid-week, when it was reported that two Rottweilers mauled a young boy of eight, named Mason Bennett.  Mason had been staying with his mother and her partner (who owned the dogs).    And there had been a previous incident when the dogs were aggressive with another young boy.

Read Dad’s shock at earlier attack by same dogs

The recent dog attack saw lots of comments about how Rottweilers can't be trusted.  Was it the dog or the owners who are to blame?

The recent dog attack saw lots of comments about how Rottweilers can’t be trusted. Was it the dog or the owners who are to blame?

In the same edition of the newspaper, columnist Rachel Young wrote about My dog was a rottweiler. In general, a defense of the breed, Ms Young also mentions in her story that when her family Rottweiler, Zeb, became unwell with kidney disease he became more aggressive.  Her parents decided to euthanize him.  To quote “Despite the loving environment, at times you can’t beat nature. In Zeb’s case, it seemed the protective, aggressive nature was developing as he got older and sicker.”

Which shows that even some dog owners don’t know a thing about dogs.  Maybe a sick dog lashes out because they are in pain and can’t communicate that in spoken words – and their family doesn’t get it!!!!!

This provoked a Letter to the Editor on my part – which the newspaper largely got right but they decided to edit it by attributing the dog attack to dogs that were unwell (which there isn’t any evidence of – just poor owners!)

The dog news turned for the brighter the next day when police dog Gage was honoured with the PDSA Gold Medal posthumously.  Killed in 2010 during a drug raid, Gage took a bullet that was meant for his handler Bruce Lamb.  The PDSA Gold Medal is known as the Animal’s George Cross, for civilian bravery.

Bruce Lamb tells his and Gage’s story here Shot police dog Gage honoured for bravery

Today is Monday and there is mixed news for dog owners in today’s newspaper.  Front page news is the story of landlords charging special pet bonds to allow tenants to keep pets.  This is when a tenant pays more than the standard four week’s rent upfront to secure their rental and it is illegal.

The story goes on to say that charging more for a pet-friendly rental (week to week, or month to month) is okay.  Unfortunately, since Christchurch is still in earthquake recovery mode, rental housing is at a premium.  Many dog owners don’t dare contest a pet bond because they need a home for all members of the family.  Read Landlords in dog box over pet bonds.

Further into the newspaper, some better news.  A little puppy of about six weeks old was found cowering under the seat of a car when it was stopped by police.  The offenders fled and the dog is believed to be stolen property.  A police constable is appealing for information about the wee puppy.

Read Police pursuit nets puppy

Here’s hoping that the stolen pup is returned home soon…

I’d like to see more positive news about dog and dog ownership in Christchurch.  But it seems that for every bad news story, we need about ten more to gain the confidence of the public.

How does your city/town deal with dog news?  Please get in touch.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Dog-friendly Las Vegas

The Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas is pet-friendly.  Through discount site Coupaw, it is currently offering a 3-day/2-night stay for 2 adults at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas for $30.  The voucher for this deal includes a Las Vegas BITE card which provides the cardholder with other excellent deals on a wide array of food and entertainment throughout Las Vegas.

Riviera Hotel

As with many pet-friendly hotels, there are restrictions including breed specific ones 😦

The fine print says:

2 Dog maximum – $25 additional fee – per dog/per night. Pet fees are paid directly to the Riviera Hotel. All pet arrangements must be made directly with the Riviera Hotel. Pet friendly rooms are located in classic room types – San Remo tower. Dogs cannot exceed 50 lbs. Dog Owner must provide proof of current vaccinations including exhibiting current rabies tag on check in. Dogs that are excluded to stay in pet friendly rooms include but are not limited to: Akitas, Alaskan Malamutes, Chows, Doberman Pinschers, English Bull, Terriers, German Shepherds, Mastiffs, Pit Bulls, Presa, Canaries, Rottweiler, or any dog with a bite history. Coupaw is not responsible for the Riviera hotel refusing to accommodate specific dogs for any reason.

Black dog syndrome

A common challenge in the adoption business is finding homes for black dogs.  For many years, shelter workers worldwide have reported that black dogs (and cats) are less likely to be adopted than others and more likely to be euthanized.

It’s a case of judging a book by its cover – or is it?

In films, if there is an evil or menacing guard dog, it’s usually black or dark coloured (e.g. Rottweiler, Doberman).  Black cats are notoriously associated with the devil or witches, as well.

However, research published in early 2012 suggested that the issue isn’t colour – it’s breed.  And no one appears to be gathering statistics on the adoption of black dogs vs other dogs.  Plus there’s the fact that the Labrador (including black Labs) is routinely the top of the list when it comes to popular breeds.  This means that someone isn’t afraid of black dogs!

Practically speaking, however, it is usually more difficult to photograph a black dog.  Many shelters find that they can’t do a black dog justice in the photos that are mounted on the internet on shelter web pages and Facebook sites.   Rescue organisations are encouraged to place additional overhead lighting in the kennels of black dogs to make them more appealing to visitors.  Another suggestion is to take a black dog  for a run or brisk walk before photographing him/her – thus photographing them when they are panting which is more likely to look like a smile in their photograph.

Patricia McConnell has commented on Black Dog Syndrome (fact or fiction) on her website.

Meanwhile, rescue organisations often hold special events for the adoption of black-coated animals.  These are photos I took last year at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary during their May appeal – Back in Black… The adoption fee was waived for all black animals during the month.  Very creative!

Back in BlackBack in Black 2

Do you think Black Dog Syndrome is real?  What does your rescue organisation do to support the adoption of black dogs?

A university where your dog can come too

It’s autumn in the northern hemisphere and the time of year when students are going to colleges and universities for the first time.   If they are enrolled at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri – there’s a high chance that their dog can come too!

Searcy Hall at the college is better known as Pet Central and houses 40 students and their pets.  Pets have been accepted at the college since 2004.  The college also has a pet fostering program.  They’ve partnered with a local no-kill shelter and students can foster a dog during their time at college and train and socialise them in preparation for adoption.

A scholarship, room discount, paid food and medications, and pet deposit waiver are just a few of the benefits available to freshmen and transfer students who apply to participate in the pet fostering program.

Sadly,  the college’s insurance policy excludes these breeds from staying at Pet Central:  Pit Bull, Rottweiler, Chow, Akita and German Shepherd.  I’m not a supporter of breed-specific legislation and so it’s hard to accept these types of restrictions but that’s the influence of the underwriters, unfortunately.