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According to a Purdue study, dog cancer risk is increased by cigarette smoke



Indianapolis, Indiana – Humans may be able to comprehend bladder cancer better thanks to a Purdue University study on the disease’s prevention and understanding in Scottish Terriers.

Dr. Deborah Knapp, a veterinarian at Purdue University, and her research team tracked 120 Scottish Terriers for three years to determine what could be done to stop the cancer that is frequently fatal in this breed. Using that data, the scientists hoped to determine what factors might influence cancer rates in people and other breeds.

According to a study by Knapp and colleagues that was published in “The Veterinary Journal,” dogs who were exposed to cigarette smoke had a six-fold increased risk of bladder cancer.

According to Knapp, Scottish Terriers are predisposed to cancer due to their genetic makeup. Their incidence of bladder cancer is 20 times greater than that of other dog breeds. The researchers were able to more effectively identify the variables that influence a dog’s or person’s risk of developing cancer by studying Scotties.

“Cancer is a combination of what you are born with, your genetics, and what you are exposed to, your environment,” Knapp said, “In this case, we studied these dogs for years at a time, and then we went back and asked, ‘What was different between those that developed cancer and those that did not develop cancer? What were the risk factors?”

According to Purdue, the outcomes are not clear-cut. While some dogs who were not exposed to smoke did not get cancer, other dogs who were exposed to smoke did. This also applies to people: although not all smokers develop bladder cancer, smoking is the primary cause of bladder cancer in people.

According to Knapp, this is a novel discovery that could provide future pet owners with improved protection for their animals.

“What we hope pet owners will take from this is that if they can reduce the exposure of their dogs to smoke, that can help the dogs’ health,” Knapp said. “We hope they stop smoking altogether, both for their health and so they will continue to be around for their dogs, but any steps to keep smoke from the dogs will help.”

The Scottish Terrier Club of America, the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health, and donations made to Purdue University for canine bladder cancer research all provided funding for Knapp’s study.






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