Dog study will identify risk factors for cancer, other diseases

vets-80PULLMAN, Wash. – Three Washington State University veterinarians will participate in the largest and longest nationwide study of dogs to learn how to better protect them from cancer and other diseases.

The effort will last 10-14 years (the dogs’ lifetimes) and enroll up to 3,000 golden retrievers. Although the study is restricted to this breed, results will benefit all dogs.

For information about how to enroll a golden retriever at WSU’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital, see or contact Valorie Wiss, clinical studies coordinator, at 509-335-0798 or

Photo by Henry Moore, WSU Biomedical Communications Unit

Participating WSU veterinarians are Raelynn Farnsworth, Matt Mickas and Cariann Turbeville. They will perform examinations and sample collections required for the study, which intends to identify the genetic and environmental factors that contribute to cancer and other diseases in dogs.

“WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital is committed to advancing veterinary medical research for the benefit of our patients, and our participation in this study is just one example of that commitment,” said Debra C. Sellon, hospital director.

The study is sponsored by the Morris Animal Foundation as part of its Canine Lifetime Health Project, a nationwide online community of dog owners willing to participate in clinical studies to learn how to better prevent and treat major diseases affecting dogs. Learn more at

Learn more about WSU’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital at