10 Dog Breeds With The Highest Cancer Rates

10 Dog Breeds With The Highest Cancer Rates

Did you know… Cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs! Estimates show that nearly 1 in 3 domestic dogs will develop cancer in their lifetime. Dogs can develop an array of cancers just like humans.

What’s even worse is that selective breeding of dogs, has led certain pure-bred breeds to be at high-risk for specific kinds of cancer. Here are 10 dog breeds that are considered high risk for cancer diagnosis.



Boxers are at a very high risk for several types of cancer, including brain tumors, lymphomas, mast cell tumors, and skin hemangiosarcoma. One of the most common cancer diagnosis is mast cell tumors.

They are a very common type of skin tumor in dogs, and boxers are more prone to them than are many other breeds. Boxers tend to have less aggressive mast cell tumors. Catching this early can often be treated with just surgery.


Boston Terriers

Cancer is the leading cause of death in older Boston Terriers. Many Boston Terriers are able to live long, healthy lives.

Therefore the breed is prone to get cancer in his golden years. Boston Terriers will need to get plenty of exercise and maintain a healthy diet as they age. Just like the Boxer, mass cell tumors are the most common cancer in Boston Terrier.


West Highland White Terriers

Lymphoma is the most common cancer in Westies. The breed is more susceptible to the cancer than most other dog breeds. Lymphoma makes the body form abnormal lymphocytes, which is a type of white blood cell.

The cancer has the ability to show up anywhere on the body since these blood cells are found everyone in the body. Although costly, Lymphoma is a very treatable form of cancer, and has a high success rate in Westies receiving chemotherapy at early stages.


Shetland Sheepdogs

The Shetland Sheepdog is highly prone to bladder cancer called transitional cell carcinoma. Unfortunately, Shelties are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer at an early age, compared many other dog breeds. Early detection of bladder cancer is critical to help lower mortality rates.


Scottish Terriers

Just like Westland Terriers, Scottish Terriers are highly likely to contract Lymphoma as well. Along with Lymphoma, Scottish Terriers are also known to be prone to mast cell tumors as well. Be sure to check your terrier for abnormal lumps and lesions. Early detection is critical.



The leading cause of death in Beagles is cancer. Bladder cancer and Lymphoma is the two most common cancers found in Beagles. Interestingly, male Beagles are more likely to contract Lymphoma than their female counterparts.

It’s important to monitor your Beagle for any abnormalities. Periodic vet visits, a healthy diet and plenty of exercise will allow a Beagle to live and long fun-filled life.


Flat Coated Retrievers

A UK study was released that showed more than 50% of all Flat Coated Retrievers die of cancer every year! The reason The breed is highly susceptible to Histiocytic Sarcoma. This type of cancer is extremely aggressive and often times fatal.

The disease has been found in breeds as young as 3 years old but is more common in middle-aged and senior dogs. The underlying cause for this disease is unknown; however, hereditary factors are suspected based on the aforementioned breed predispositions.



Rottweilers are unfortunately prone to array of cancer diagnosis. Lymphoma, Histiocytic Sarcoma and Osteosarcoma (or bone cancer) are all common with the breed.

It’s important to allow your Rottie plenty of exercise and maintain a healthy diet. Cancer diagnosis has no age factors in Rottweilers. Cancer diagnosis at the young age of 3 in Rottweilers is common.


Bernese Mountain Dogs

Compared to all other dog breeds, Bernese Mountain Dogs are at a greatly increased risk for developing fatal histiocytic cancer (histiocytic sarcoma and malignant histiocytosis).

Histiocytic cancer typically afflicts Berneses between the ages of 5-8 years of age. It’s important to look for nonspecific signs include lethargy, lack of appetite, and weight loss.


Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers have one of the highest probability rates for cancer at a whopping 60%!

The most common cancer in golden retrievers is hemangiosarcoma, an aggressive, malignant tumor of blood vessel cells that can form in any vascular organs and the skin.

Studies have shown that one in three Golden Retrievers will develop this cancer, and males develop it at a higher rate than females.

More nature-life-and-animals Videos