I was stopped in the parking lot yesterday by a woman in a car. Luke, Elsa and I were done our walk and headed to the Xterra. The woman in the car called out "what type of dogs are those?" I am very used to being asked this question. I told her Standard Poodles and she said "really?" "Yep, I know they don't look like poodles" I told her. Then she told me about her dog; a labradoodle that had died from Lymphoma at the young age of 21 months. So sad, I told her I was very sorry and she told me that her dog was fine and in the span of two weeks, gone. Elsa is 21 months old so her story hit home for me. I don't know much about lymphoma so when I got home I did some research.
Lymphoma typically hits middle age to old dogs. It can hit any type, breed or mix but there are some dogs that are more susceptible to it. Those breeds who are more prone to being predisposed to the disease are as follows:
There is a genetic predisposition to the disease but it can also be caused by environmental toxic substances, viruses and bacteria. Pesticides seem to be a main cause of concern not only in canine lymphoma but humans as well. As I walked around my yard yesterday noticing all the dandelions I thought to myself "who cares?" Why do we put so much importance on a perfectly lush golf course type, weed free lawn? The consequences of a gorgeous lawn is just not worth it, not for anyone.
These are a few of the links I found during my research.
New York Times article points finger at pesticide
Colorado State University Cancer Center
As far as the genetic link; it can be difficult to pull a dog from your breeding line before it is too late. A dog who comes down with lymphoma may have already had a few litters sadly. Although all dogs with any genetic link should be pulled once it is discovered. As far as the chemical link; try to keep your dogs away from areas that are treated heavily with pesticides. We search out fields and areas that look scrubby; the ones that have not been treated. Do not allow any pesticides to be used on your lawn. Our dogs and family are far more important than a velvety lawn.
I remember a young guy coming to my door a while back. He was selling pesticides to kill garden type bugs. It was for your lawn, to kill those pesky bugs that live there in the ground. "What?" I was appalled as he told me which of my neighbors had just paid him to spray their lawn. "What about those spiders?" he asked me. "They are allowed to live here" I told him. "All the bugs are allowed to live here in our yard," I said. "You aren't getting my money today, sorry" were my final words as he walked away. If I want a bug dead, I step on it. (black and/or brown widows only)