Increasing Rate of Canine Cancers Imposes Threat to Human Health

Published on Nov 14, 2022 12:00 AM
Increasing Rate of Canine Cancers Imposes Threat to Human Health

Pertaining to the increasing canine cancer rates, researchers at the University of Queensland are seeking data from dog owners on protecting pet and human health from environmental hazards. 

Professor Chiara Palmieri, a veterinary pathologist from UQ's School of Veterinary Science, said that some reasons for the rise of canine cancers are the same as in humans. 

Palmieri is examining risk factors for canine health in Australia, with a focus on environmental pollution, chemical exposure, and indoor and outdoor air quality.

As per Palmieri, pets are 'canary in the coalmine' when it comes to human health risks. She said that despite the fact that we love our dogs very much, unfortunately, they are the ones who often suffer first from environmental hazards.

The senior veterinary professional also stated that chemicals found in tobacco smoke or garden products also become the basis of common cancers in dogs, like lymphoma or bladder cancer. 

Professor Palmieri emphasized the importance of gathering data on canine exposure to environmental hazards to better understand the origin of cancers. 

"We're working on the principle that if it's toxic to our pets, it will be toxic to humans as well," she said.

The researchers working in Palmieri's team have articulated a brief survey for dog owners.

"We're compiling basic information about a dog's age, sex, breed, weight, vaccination status, grooming routine, and the flea/tick control products used," Palmieri said.

"But we're also noting the location of the house, whether anyone in the house smokes, and if the dog is exposed to herbicides and pesticides,” she said. 

“It's important to gather this data so we can better protect our canine companions while protecting ourselves at the same time," she added. 

Along with the survey, Palmieri’s team will also be noting the demographics of the house where the pet is living and whether anyone in the house smokes. 

The dog owners can fill out the following survey and help Palmieri’s team collect data.

Here is the link to the survey: