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D2005-36

Dear Daisy Dog

My last dog died of bladder cancer. Is there anything I can do to prevent it in the dog I have now?

Daisy Responds

Canine bladder cancer occurs most frequently in older females and in certain breeds.

Breeds at higher-than-average risk include Scottish terriers, Shetland sheepdogs, Airedale terriers, collies and beagles.

Because you already have a dog, you can’t do much about the breed and gender risk factors.

But there are other risk factors you can control.

One is obesity. If you keep your dog lean, you’ll protect against bladder cancer as well as osteoarthritis and other chronic diseases.

Another risk factor for bladder cancer is exposure to herbicides on lawns and gardens. If you have been using chemical weed killers, talk with your extension service about safer methods of weed control.

A study of Frontline and Advantage showed that these topical insecticides do not increase the risk of bladder cancer. My mom is overly cautious, though, and she uses them only when we need them.

Finally, bladder cancer is relatively uncommon in dogs fed vegetables, particularly green leafy and yellow-orange vegetables. My brother Sam loves carrots, which he recommends you offer to your dog.

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