ArticlePDF Available

Methods and mortality results of a health survey of purebred dogs in the UK

Authors:
  • The Seeing Eye Inc.

Abstract and Figures

To collect information on the cause of death and longevity of dogs owned by members of the numerically largest breed clubs of 169 UK Kennel Club-recognised breeds. A cross-sectional study was carried out. Approximately 58,363 questionnaires were sent out to breed club members in 2004 (nine clubs failed to report the exact number of questionnaires sent out). Owners reported age at death and cause(s) of death for all dogs that had died within the previous 10 years. A total of 13,741 questionnaires (24% response rate) containing information on 15,881 deaths were included in the analysis. Breed-specific response rates ranged from 64·7 to 4·5%. The median age at death was 11 years and 3 months (minimum=2 months, maximum=23 years and 5 months) and it varied by breed. The most common causes of death were cancer (n=4282, 27%), "old age" (n=2830, 18%) and cardiac conditions (n=1770, 11%). Clinical This survey shows breed differences in lifespan and causes of death, and the results support previous evidence that smaller breeds tend to have longer lifespan compared with larger breeds. Although many of the breeds in the study may not be representative of the general pedigree dog population in the UK, the results do contribute to the limited information currently available.
Content may be subject to copyright.
PAPER
512 Journal of Small Animal Practice Vol 51 October 2010 © 2010 British Small Animal Veterinary Association
Veterinary Epidemiology Consultant,
PO Box 80, Bury-St Edmunds, Suf folk,
IP28 9BF
*Animal Health Trust, Kentford, Suffolk,
CB8 8UU
†Kennel Club, 1-5 Clarges Street, Piccadilly,
London W1J 8AB
‡Cambridge Infectious Diseases Consortium,
Department of Veterinar y Medicine, University
of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge
CB3 0ES
V. J. ADAMS, K. M. EVANS*,
J. SAMPSONAND J. L. N. WOOD
Journal of Small Animal Practice (2010)
51, 512–524
DOI: 10.1111/j.1748-5827.2010.00974.x
Accepted: 15 June 2010
Methods and mortality results
of a health survey of purebred dogs
in the UK
INTRODUCTION
Baseline data on canine mortality provide
an important frame of reference for future
research into the mechanisms of disease.
The wide variety of pedigree dogs that
exists today underlies the need for breed-
specific information. Recently developed
genetic and molecular techniques that are
available to study the causes of death and
disease require knowledge of the pattern
of occurrence of diseases within the breed
of interest.
There have been few population stud-
ies on canine longevity and causes of
death. Many studies have used veterinary
teaching hospital populations that
invariably include a high proportion of
referral cases. For example, Patronek and
others (1997) reported on mortality data
for 23,535 dogs taken from the Veteri-
nary Medical Data Base in North Amer-
ica. Another study reported age at death
and cause of death taken from necropsy
data from 1962 to 1976 for 2002 dogs
from the Angell Memorial Animal Hos-
pital in Boston (Bronson 1982). A Japa-
nese study reported expected lifespans
from pet cemetery data (Hayashidani and
others 1988). A Swedish group reported
mortality risks and causes of death for
over 200,000 dogs based on records of
a Swedish pet insurance company (Bon-
nett and others 1997; Egenvall and oth-
ers 2000a). This group also reported the
age patterns for risk of death in selected
breeds of dogs insured for life (Egen-
vall and others 2000b). Michell (1999)
reported the results of a questionnaire
survey of UK pet owners in 1999 that
included age at death and cause of death
for 3126 dogs. Longevity estimates for
UK dogs have also been reported using
information from a Pedigree Masterfoods
survey of pet ownership (Reid and Peter-
son 2000). A recent study reported cause
of death and age at death data for 2928
dogs from a survey of members of the
Danish Kennel Club (KC) carried out
in 1997 (Proschowsky and others 2003).
Unfortunately, none of these studies
address longevity and cause of death in
the general canine population and, as
such, have inherent sampling biases.
Results from these studies provide wide-
ranging estimates of lifespan and must be
interpreted with caution.
This survey was initiated follow-
ing meetings with the KC/British Small
Animal Veterinary Association Scien-
tific Committee in order to provide bet-
ter evidence upon which to base advice
to breeders, funding bodies and policy
makers. The overall aims of the survey
were to identify important breed-specif-
ic problems for future genetic research
and to provide baseline information
against which the success of future con-
trol schemes could be measured. The
OBJECTIVES: To collect information on the cause of death and
longevity of dogs owned by members of the numerically largest
breed clubs of 169 UK Kennel Club-recognised breeds.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study was carried out. Approximately
58,363 questionnaires were sent out to breed club members in
2004 (nine clubs failed to report the exact number of question-
naires sent out). Owners reported age at death and cause(s) of
death for all dogs that had died within the previous 10 years.
RESULTS: A total of 13,741 questionnaires (24% response rate)
containing information on 15,881 deaths were included in the
analysis. Breed-specific response rates ranged from 647 to 45%.
The median age at death was 11 years and 3 months (minimum=2
months, maximum=23 years and 5 months) and it varied by breed.
The most common causes of death were cancer (n=4282, 27%),
“old age” (n=2830, 18%) and cardiac conditions (n=1770, 11%).
CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: This survey shows breed differences in lifespan
and causes of death, and the results support previous evidence that
smaller breeds tend to have longer lifespan compared with larger
breeds. Although many of the breeds in the study may not be rep-
resentative of the general pedigree dog population in the UK, the
results do contribute to the limited information currently available.
htt
p:
//
www.
b
sava.com
/
Journal of Small Animal Practice Vol 51 October 2010 © 2010 British Small Animal Veterinary Association 513
Results of a health survey of UK purebred dogs
specific aim of this study was to collect
information on the cause of death and
longevity of UK pedigree dogs. Addi-
tional health information, including the
occurrence of disease in 36,006 live dogs,
will be reported separately.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Sampling frame and data
collection
A cross-sectional study was carried out
to collect health information on pedigree
dogs owned by members of the numeri-
cally largest (“parent”) breed clubs in the
UK. There are over 700 breed clubs in
the UK with a lot of overlap in mem-
bership, particularly among regional
and national clubs. Therefore, to limit
the probability of individual breed club
members receiving multiple question-
naires, only the numerically largest club
for each breed was included in the sur-
vey. The KC also recommended send-
ing out questionnaires to 18 additional
breed clubs for 11 breeds to improve
coverage of those breeds that had a very
small number of clubs and few annual
registrations with the KC or where the
clubs were very large or regionalised. As a
result, one additional club was included
for the beagle, Bernese mountain dog,
border terrier, Finnish spitz, Scottish
terrier and West Highland white terrier
breeds, and two additional clubs were
included for the akita, collie, golden
retriever, Staffordshire bull terrier, Welsh
corgi and Yorkshire terrier breeds.
Packages were sent out to 170 UK KC-
recognised breeds via 188 breed club sec-
retaries. The initial mailing to the breed
club secretaries took place in December
2003 with individual clubs mailing out to
their members starting in January 2004.
The number of questionnaires sent out to
each breed club was based on numbers of
members reported to the KC plus 10%.
Monthly reminders were sent out from
the UK KC via the dog press from Janu-
ary to April with a deadline for return
of completed questionnaires of April 31,
2004. This was extended to June 30 to
allow for slow responders, and completed
questionnaires returned by October 2004
were included.
Owners were sent a postal question-
naire with a self-addressed prepaid return
envelope and they were asked to complete
the questionnaire for all dogs of the breed
for which they belonged to the breed club
that mailed them the questionnaire. The
survey was anonymous in that the ques-
tionnaire did not ask for the owners name
or any other identifying feature.
Questionnaire
The questionnaire consisted of four sec-
tions containing 22 questions in total.
Section A asked about all dogs that were
alive and currently owned by these own-
ers and contained 14 questions cover-
ing 12 body systems, cancer and other
conditions. Section B contained seven
questions on breeding of females that
had been owned and bred in the previ-
ous 10 years and included questions on
the numbers of litters and puppies born.
Section C contained one question on the
occurrence of birth defects and conditions
affecting puppies in the first 8 weeks of
life during the previous 10 years. Section
D contained one question on the age at
death and cause(s) of death of all dogs that
had died within the previous 10 years.
Questions were developed, pretested and
refined for use in a pilot study of two
breeds (Norfolk terrier and German spitz).
Owners were asked to be as specific as pos-
sible when describing a disease condition,
cause of death or congenital condition,
using the diagnosis made by their veteri-
nary surgeon whenever possible. We also
suggested that owners consider contacting
their veterinary surgeon to ask for help if
they had difficulty remembering the diag-
nosis. Veterinary surgeons in the UK were
informed of the survey via a letter to The
Veterinary Record at the start of the study.
An appendix list of names and synonyms
of example conditions was included for
each body system question in section A as
well as for congenital conditions in section
C. The questionnaire, appendix, over-
all results and breed-specific reports are
available on the UK KC website at http://
www.the-kennel-club.org.uk/.
Data processing
Specialised information capture software
(Verity [was Cardiff ] TELEform®) was
used to scan the returned questionnaires.
Data entry involved scanning and verify-
ing of the electronically acquired data. The
scanned and verified data were exported
into an Access® (Microsoft) database for
checking and recoding. When the verifier
module of Teleform checks and codes the
scanned data, the software is set so that if
the system reads a number with a certain
accuracy, it will not ask for the informa-
tion to be verified. For example, with age
at death, when the software was 90% cer-
tain that what it had scanned in was the
number 4, then it recorded the number
scanned as a 4 and did not bring the num-
ber up for verification. For the numerical
information, during the initial scanning of
the forms, almost 100 forms were scanned
and verified several times, allowing us to
look at the reliability of the scanning soft-
ware. Although the exact error rates were
not recorded, the software appeared to be
very reliable in that it recorded the same
information each time a form was repeat-
edly scanned. For the free text boxes, what
was written in the box was entered manu-
ally during the verification process as the
system did not reliably scan handwritten
text. The coding of the causes of death
was done by choosing a cause of death
from a drop down list developed by the
first author before data entry began. As
data entry progressed and the first forms
were repeatedly scanned, the list of pos-
sible causes of death was lengthened and
refined as necessary by the first author.
When it was not clear what the cause of
death should be coded as, the form was
marked “for review” and the first author
reviewed and coded these causes of death
and added any required new terms to the
list used for coding. This was an itera-
tive process that continued through the
first several days of data entry and then
as needed throughout the remainder of
data entry. A similar system of using lists
of diagnoses for the various body systems
was used for the disease conditions affect-
ing live dogs.
Diagnostic categories were devel-
oped for cause of death by firstly group-
ing diseases by organ system affected.
Organ system categories included car-
diac, cardiovascular, cerebral vascular,
dermatologic, endocrine, gastrointestinal,
hepatic, musculoskeletal, neurologic, ocu-
lar, reproductive, respiratory and urologic
V. J. Adams and others
514 Journal of Small Animal Practice Vol 51 October 2010 © 2010 British Small Animal Veterinary Association
as used on the questionnaire. When a
cause of death was interpreted to affect
more than one body system and a diag-
nosis could be attributed to such a cause,
separate categories were included for these
specific causes of death. Thus, additional
categories were created for behaviour,
cancer, collapse, drowning, hyperther-
mia, immune-mediated, infection, inter-
nal haemorrhage, perioperative, pining,
poisoning, portosystemic shunt, senility,
septicaemia, sudden death, systemic and
trauma. A category for combinations was
used when two or more specifically code-
able causes of death were stated for one
dog. A category for “old age” was used
when either age or “old age” was stated
as the sole cause of death or when age
was stated together with another condi-
tion such as heart failure, kidney failure,
arthritis, incontinence, colitis or senility.
Dogs with senility or dementia stated
as the sole cause of death were coded as
senility. A category called unknown was
created when the stated cause of death
could not be categorised into any one of
the above groups (“uncodeable” causes of
death) or when the words “unknown,”
“undiagnosed,” “died” or “sudden death
were used. Uncodeable causes of death
included those conditions reported by
owners that could not be placed into any
of the other categories, such as weakness,
loss of limb function or weight loss.
Statistical analysis
Longevity results, as overall and breed-
specific age at death, are reported as
median (range), as is appropriate for
skewed data. Age at death for groups of
dogs was compared using non- parametric
tests (Wilcoxon rank sum for two
groups). The association between age
at death and the size of the breed was
assessed using published values for aver-
age “ideal” bodyweight (Alderton 1993).
Linear regression was used to examine the
association between median age at death
and ideal bodyweight with the hypoth-
esis being that larger dog breeds would
have a shorter average lifespan compared
with smaller dog breeds. Descriptive sta-
tistics and hypothesis testing were per-
formed using SPSS (Statistical Package
for the Social Sciences v. 13.0, SPSS
Inc. 2004, Chicago, IL, USA). The level
of significance was set at P<005 for all
hypothesis tests.
The most common causes of death
are reported overall and as breed-specific
proportional mortalities for the four most
commonly affected organ systems/catego-
ries. Breed-specific proportional mortali-
ties were calculated as the number of deaths
affecting a specific organ system divided by
the total number of deaths for a specific
breed and are reported with 95% confi-
dence limits. Breeds with a response rate of
>15% and having had >50 deaths reported
were included as separate breeds, and the
remaining breeds were combined into
“other breeds” in order to avoid reporting
less accurate results for breeds with very
low response rates and/or very few deaths
reported. Proportional mortality computa-
tions were performed using SAS (version
8, SAS Institute 2000, Cary, NC, USA).
RESULTS
Response rate
A total of 72,832 questionnaires were
sent out to breed club secretaries, and
approximately 58,363 questionnaires
were sent out to their members. As nine
clubs failed to report the exact number
of questionnaires sent out to their mem-
bers, the exact number of questionnaires
sent out was unknown. Approximately
600 (4%) questionnaires had data that
were unuseable and not entered (due to
failure to report the breed, reporting on
>1 breed on a questionnaire or unsolicited
photocopied questionnaires). A total of
13,791 questionnaires were entered (24%
response rate), of which 13,759 were use-
able (32 questionnaires were entered in
duplicate and were removed from the
database). The responses for the German
shepherd dog were excluded from further
analyses as 1425 questionnaires were sent
out to the British Association for German
shepherd dogs, but only 18 question-
naires were returned and the breed club
did not report how many questionnaires
were sent out. After excluding German
shepherd dogs, 13,741 questionnaires
were available for further analysis. Breed-
specific response rates ranged from a high
of 647% to a low of 45% with a median
of 239% (Table 1).
There were 13,367 questionnaires
with information on 36,006 live dogs,
7125 of which also reported deaths, and
there were 374 questionnaires that only
reported deaths to give a total of 7499
forms with information on 15,881 deaths.
Deaths were reported for 165 breeds with
the Bergamasco, Bolognese, Ibizan hound
and Lagotto Romagnolo each having no
reported deaths. There were 72 breeds
with a response rate of >15% and with >50
deaths reported, and there were 93 breeds
included in the “other breeds” category
for estimation of proportional mortalities.
Overall, 931 of the 15,881 reported deaths
(59%) had a post-mortem examination.
For those dogs that underwent a post-
mortem examination, the median age at
death was 717 years (00·17 to 20·00), and
20% (191) were made up of five breeds:
flatcoated retriever (50), golden retriever
(42), Labrador retriever (35), cavalier King
Charles spaniel (34) and Bernese moun-
tain dog (30). The median age at death for
those dogs that underwent a post-mortem
examination was significantly lower than
the median age at death for those that
did not (115 years, P<00001). The most
commonly reported cause of death in
those dogs that underwent a post-mortem
was cancer (337), although the majority of
these were still reported as type unspeci-
fied. Only 17 of the 597 dogs that were
reported to have died due to a stroke, and
19 of 291 dogs that were reported to have
died of a heart attack, underwent post-
mortem examination and it was not clear
from what was reported whether the post-
mortem confirmed the diagnosis. Owners
did not indicate whether the post-mortem
helped to provide the reported cause of
death or not.
Lifespan
The overall median age at death was
11 years and 3 months (2 months to 23
years and 5 months; Fig 1). Only 20% of
dogs remained alive at 14 years of age and
this had fallen to <10% by 15 years. Breed-
specific age at death is shown in Table 1.
Median age at death was significantly
negatively correlated with average ideal
bodyweight with 40% of the variability in
age at death explained by bodyweight for
81 breeds with published values for ideal
bodyweights (P<00001; Fig 2).
Journal of Small Animal Practice Vol 51 October 2010 © 2010 British Small Animal Veterinary Association 515
Results of a health survey of UK purebred dogs
Table 1. For each of the 165 breeds experiencing a total of 15,881 deaths over the 10 years before 2004: the number of
questionnaires sent out and returned for each breed, br eed-specific questionnaire response rates, number and percent of
deaths, and minimum, median and maximum age at death as well as the Kennel Club breed group
Breed name Questionnaires Deaths Age at death
Breed weight
group†
Numbers
sent
Number
of returns % RR*
Number
of deaths
% of all
deaths Minimum Median Maximum
Affenpinscher 225 66 29321010 025 1142 1517 2
Afghan hound 206 58 282 143 090 083 1192 1658 4
Airedale terrier 260 66 25481050 067 1075 1617 3
Akita 176 23 13128020 033 992 1367 4
Alaskan Malamute 185 57 30814010 217 1071 1353
American cocker spaniel 198 33 16760040 017 1033 1733 3
Anatolian/Karabash 180 22 12223010 442 1075 1342 4
Australian cattle dog 83 22 26511010 151167 1592 3
Australian shepherd 132 49 37122010 3 9 15 3
Australian silky terrier 37 7 1895000 1108 1425 1533 1
Australian terrier 74 12 16211010 392 1208 15 1
Basenji 171 40 23446030 092 1354 1752
Basset Fauve de Bretagne 125 41 32815010 092 1042 1392 3
Basset Griffon Vendeen 306 135 44176050 125 1204 1733 3
Basset hound 500 88 176 142 090 025 1129 1667 3
Beagle 585 177 303 241 150 117 1267 1775 2
Bearded collie 729 239 328 278 180 033 1351953
Bedlington terrier 200 61 30548030 117 1338 1842 2
Belgian shepherd 339 98 289 113 070 151251817 4
Bergamasco‡ 14 4 286‡ ‡ 4
Bernese mountain dog 1200 361 301 394 250 042 8 1517 4
Bichon frise 161 34 21134020 325 1292 1642 1
Bloodhound 180 46 25682050 092 679 1208 5
Bolognese‡ 36 2 56‡ ‡ 3
Border collie 558 96 172 106 070 017 1225 1733 3
Border terrier 528 152 288 177 110 017 14 2208 2
Borzoi 182 42 23187050 058 908 1425 4
Boston terrier 110 25 22742030 517 1092 1575 2
Bouvier Des Flandres 140 45 32139020 075 1133 1833 4
Boxer 450 68 151 130 080 033 1025 1525 4
Bracco Italiano§ 43 11 2561000 267§3
Briard 238 75 31571040 1 1117 1675 4
Brittany 225 59 26228020 067 1288 1608 3
Bull terrier 864 156 181 209 130 05101853
Bulldog 841 143 170 180 110 083 629 1442 3
Bullmastiff 491 80 16396060 133 746 1354
Cairn terrier 397 96 242 124 080 025 14 1833 2
Canaan dog 35 15 4292000 1308 1463 1617 3
Cavalier King Charles
spaniel 1150 306 266 682 430 017 1138 1852
Cesky terrier 65 13 2009010 558 842 1267 2
Chesapeake Bay retriever 277 58 20945030 075 1075 1567 3
Chihuahua 407 37 9171040 017 1242 1983 1
Chinese crested 68 13 19114010 483 1008 1617 1
Chow Chow 345 23 6780050 033 938 1417 3
Clumber spaniel 388 54 13969040 092 1033 16 4
(continued overleaf)
V. J. Adams and others
516 Journal of Small Animal Practice Vol 51 October 2010 © 2010 British Small Animal Veterinary Association
Cocker spaniel 1000 206 206 289 180 042 1117 1725 3
Collie 329 42 12879050 017 1267 1708 3
Curly coated retriever 100 35 35040030 092 1075 15 4
Dachshund 810 155 191 245 150 033 1267 19 2
Dalmatian 686 210 306 199 130 017 125174
Dandie Dinmont terrier 207 65 31462040 4 1217 1775 2
Deerhound 570 238 418 287 180 017 867 1675 5
Dobermann 300 58 193 100 060 108 1051654
Dogue de Bordeaux 249 41 1655000 067 383 16 4
English setter 952 254 267 384 240 083 1158 20 4
English springer spaniel 353 71 20190060 117 12 1953
English toy terrier 152 28 18419010 142 12 1592 1
Estrela mountain 35 14 4003000 975 975 1283 3
Field spaniel 235 56 23868040 125 1163 1725 3
Finnish Lapphund 180 28 1565000 067 733 1025 2
Finnish spitz 133 51 38342030 151113 1592 3
Flat-coated retriever 1556 472 303 610 380 033 983 1692 4
Fox terrier 239 45 18844030 083 1313 1725 2
French bulldog 334 72 21671040 042 9 1467 2
German longhaired
pointer 42 12 2862000 8 105133
German pinscher 55 24 436240
20 592 1138 1792 2
German shor thaired
pointer 680 192 282 159 100 092 12 17 4
German spitz 165 55 33343030 108 1133 1633 2
German wirehaired pointer 58 66 113841030 092 10 1558 4
Giant schnauzer 190 69 36339020 067 10 1692 4
Glen of Imaal terrier 93 35 3766000 775 1042 1453
Golden retriever 3282 538 164 927 580 042 1225 1725 4
Gordon setter 545 126 231 157 100 033 1108 1625 3
Grand Bleu de Gascoigne 21 7 3336000 25454 1008 3
Great Dane 360 72 200 171 110 033 651417 5
Greenland dog 11 3 2732000 75846 942 3
Greyhound 75 33 44069040 033 908 1417 4
Griffon Bruxellois 207 72 34871040 042 12 1975 1
Hamiltonstovare 60 15 2506000 367 1013 1608 3
Havanese 50 11 2203000 4 1025 1817 3
Hovawart 110 33 30019010 7 1292 1475 3
Hungarian Puli 98 30 30626020 1 1242 1792 3
Hungarian vizsla 300 36 12038020 051292 17 4
Hungarian wirehaired
vizsla 136 54 39715010 2 983 15 3
Ibizan hound‡ 44 2 45‡ ‡ 2
Irish red & white setter 215 139 647 179 110 092 1142 1753
Irish setter 1298 235 181 451 280 033 12 1708 4
Irish terrier 150 11 732000 1451483 1517 2
Irish water spaniel 210 90 42995060 058 933 1717 4
Irish wolfhound 261 40 153 112 070 117 704 1183 5
Italian greyhound 287 42 14646030 05135181
Table 1. (Continued)
Breed name Questionnaires Deaths Age at death
Breed weight
group†
Numbers
sent
Number
of returns % RR*
Number
of deaths
% of all
deaths Minimum Median Maximum
(continued overleaf)
Journal of Small Animal Practice Vol 51 October 2010 © 2010 British Small Animal Veterinary Association 517
Results of a health survey of UK purebred dogs
Italian Spinone 376 122 32447030 058 9 16 4
Japanese Chin 158 25 15838020 058 925 1408 1
Japanese spitz 100 8 8010010 1 1229 15 1
Keeshond 275 78 284 104 070 183 1221 1608 3
Kerr y Blue terrier 120 16 13320010 3 1151517 3
King Charles spaniel 170 24 14150030 1 1004 2342 2
Komondor 27 10 37010010 3 913 1317 5
Kooikerhondje 35 9 2577000 05392 1392 3
Labrador retriever 1775 369 208 574 360 017 1225 19 4
Lagotto Romagnolo‡ 205 33 161‡ ‡ 3
Lakeland terrier 183 26 14214010 208 1546 1808 2
Lancashire heeler 208 66 31730020 017 1175 2183 2
Large Munsterlander 220 99 45069040 151133 1658 4
Leonberger 350 109 31147030 042 708 1267 5
Lhasa apso 225 52 23184050 1 1433 1842 2
Lowchen 75 12 1609010 108 10 1651
Maltese 247 37 15042030 108 1225 1917 1
Manchester terrier 178 59 33132020 092 1283 1751
Maremma sheepdog 64 13 20319010 117 10 1454
Mastiff 424 51 12080050 075 683 1633 5
Miniature bull terrier 95 25 26320010 067 608 1317 2
Miniature pinscher 249 30 12027020 25131792 1
Miniature poodle 81 26 32123010 651392 1852
Miniature schnauzer 583 289 496 214 130 058 1208 1817 2
Neopolitan mastiff 80 9 1137000 067 233 1608 4
Newfoundland 890 233 262 269 170 042 967 1583 5
Norfolk ter rier 598 233 390 189 120 1511172
Norwegian buhund 84 29 34517010 351267 1617 2
Norwegian elkhound 268 71 26571040 025 1317 1717 3
Norwich ter rier 200 71 35556040 133 1338 1675 2
Nova Scotia duck tolling
retriever 175 60 3439010 075 8 1433 3
Old English sheepdog 66 32 48565040 133 1075 1508 4
Otterhound 139 20 14454030 1 1021 15 4
Papillon/butterfly dog 475 78 16457040 125 1308 19 1
Parson Russell terrier 248 37 14917010 025 13 1717 2
Pekingese 174 33 19087050 1 1142 1817 1
Pharoah hound 30 8 26715010 3 1183 1717 3
Pointer 386 93 241 145 090 051242 1642 3
Polish lowland sheepdog 134 21 15711010 283 958 1508 3
Pomeranian 141 22 15629020 058 967 1725 1
Portuguese water dog 46 11 2396000 425 1142 1525 3
Pug 1200 196 163 163 100 017 11 17 2
Pyrenean mountain dog 539 74 13766040 075 958 16 5
Pyrenean sheepdog 22 3 1364000 367 579 7 4
Rhodesian ridgeback 535 172 321 183 120 1 11 1617 4
Rottweiler 252 67 266 137 090 042 892 1675 4
Russian black terrier 111 23 2074000 025 179 1153
Table 1. (Continued)
Breed name Questionnaires Deaths Age at death
Breed weight
group†
Numbers
sent
Number
of returns % RR*
Number
of deaths
% of all
deaths Minimum Median Maximum
(continued overleaf)
V. J. Adams and others
518 Journal of Small Animal Practice Vol 51 October 2010 © 2010 British Small Animal Veterinary Association
Saluki/gazelle hound 232 74 319 132 080 192 12 1633 4
Samoyed 425 173 407 223 140 033 125174
Schipperke 109 21 19336020 05131752
Schnauzer (standard) 860 76 8852030 1 1196 2008 3
Scottish terrier 278 47 16959040 051025 1752
Sealyham terrier 100 21 21012010 217 1225 1492 2
Shar pei 447 47 10560040 192 629 1653
Shetland sheepdog 1003 207 206 364 230 017 125192
Shiba Inu (Japanese) 78 17 2183000 45792
Shih-tzu 265 63 23883050 151317 1933 2
Siberian husky 956 188 197 129 080 042 1258 1808 3
Skye terrier 130 28 21537020 192 11 1558 2
Sloughi§ 30 8 2671000 500§ 4
Soft coated wheaten
terrier 824 380 461 111 070 05125173
St Bernard 130 24 18553030 0571275 5
Staffordshire bull terrier 833 132 158 117 070 117 1275 1717 3
Standard poodle 237 83 350 118 070 125 12 18 4
Sussex spaniel 191 60 31442030 108 1113 1653
Swedish vallhund 71 16 22517010 4 1442 1883 2
Tibetan mastiff 60 23 38310010 358 1192 1717 4
Tibetan spaniel 314 99 315 125 080 151442 1908 2
Tibetan terrier 314 103 32895060 051217 1825 2
Toy poodle 48 11 22920010 175 1463 1892 1
Weimaraner 1296 357 275 242 150 067 1113 1883 4
Welsh corgi Cardigan53 030 408 1217 1652
Welsh corgi Pembroke416 95 228 116 070 142 1221 1758 2
Welsh springer spaniel 560 190 339 157 100 1 1258 1667 3
Welsh terrier 238 66 27723010 051267 18 2
West Highland white
terrier 628 89 142 127 080 058 13 1817 2
Whippet 846 374 442 486 310 017 1279 1817 2
Yorkshire ter rier 276 26 9446030 025 1267 1733 1
Total 15,881 10000 017 1125 2342
*RR = response rate = (number of returned forms/number of forms sent out)×100
†1 = toy; 2 = small; 3 = medium; 4 = large; 5 = giant for breed weight group
‡Bergamasco, Bolognese, Ibizan hound and Lagotto Romagnolo each had no repor ted deaths
§Bracco Italiano and Sloughi each had only one reported death
Questionnaires were sent out to the Welsh Corgi Club and League but returns were separated into Welsh Corgi Cardigan and Welsh Cor gi Pembroke for further analysis
Table 1. (Continued)
Breed name Questionnaires Deaths Age at death
Breed weight
group†
Numbers
sent
Number
of returns % RR*
Number
of deaths
% of all
deaths Minimum Median Maximum
Of the 14 breeds with the highest medi-
an age at death (135 years), 21% were
toy, 64% were small and 14% medium
(Table 2). Long-lived breeds were reported
to die of diseases normally associated with
ageing, including cancer and chronic renal
failure. Of the 11 breeds with the lowest
median age at death (<8 years), it is not
unexpected that 6 (55%) were giant and
2 (18%) were large (Table 3). Addition-
ally, 2 (18%) were medium breeds, the
British bulldog and the shar pei, both
with a median age at death of only 63
years. Short-lived breeds succumbed more
frequently to cardiac diseases, particularly
cardiomyopathy and valvular disease, and
gastrointestinal diseases, particularly gas-
trointestinal dilatation/volvulus.
Causes of death
The three most commonly reported
causes of death overall were cancer
(n=4282, 27%), “old age” (n=2829, 18%)
and cardiac conditions (n=1770, 11%).
The most common causes of death overall
are presented in Table 4. A category called
“other” was used for the remaining causes
of death that affected 3% of dogs and
included, in descending order, senility,
internal bleeding, collapse, infection, ocu-
lar, dermatologic, portosystemic shunt,
septicaemia, systemic, cardiovascular, pin-
ing, hyperthermia and drowning. Greater
Journal of Small Animal Practice Vol 51 October 2010 © 2010 British Small Animal Veterinary Association 519
Results of a health survey of UK purebred dogs
242220181614121086420
Age at death in years
2,000
1,800
1,600
1,400
1,200
1,000
800
600
400
200
0
Number of dogs
FIG 1. Histogram of the overall longevity for 165 breeds with reported deaths: overall median age
at death was 11 years and 3 months (minimum=2 months, maximum=23 years and 5 months);
mean age at death was 10 years and 6 months (sd=4 years)
706050403020100
Avera
g
e published ideal bod
y
wei
g
ht (kilo
g
rams)
16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
Median age at death (years)
FIG 2. Association of median age at death with average ideal bodyweight by breed (age at death in
years = 126−008×bodyweight in kilograms, r=04, P<00001)
than 75% of the cancers were reported as
having an unspecified type (3319 of 4282;
Table 4). For these tumours of unspecified
type, the most common locations were
the liver (339), mammary glands (278)
and brain (234) with the location being
unspecified in 545 dogs. When the type
of tumour was specified, lymphosarcoma
was the most frequently reported type
(368 dogs), followed by carcinoma (128
dogs). Owners did not report whether
they had contacted their veterinary sur-
geon to ask for help if they had difficulty
remembering a specific diagnosis of cause
of death.
Breed-specific proportional mortali-
ties are presented for the four most com-
mon causes of death in 72 breeds (Table
5). The breeds with the highest propor-
tional mortalities for cancer included, in
descending order, Irish water spaniel, Flat-
coated retriever, Hungarian wirehaired
vizsla, Bernese mountain dog, Rottweiler,
Italian Spinone, Leonberger, Stafford-
shire bull terrier, Welsh terrier and giant
schnauzer. Breeds with “old age” as the
highest breed-specific proportional mor-
tality included, in descending order, Lhasa
apso, Manchester terrier, border terrier,
Norwich terrier, cairn terrier, papillon,
Tibetan spaniel, Dalmatian, whippet and
bearded collie. Breeds with a cardiac con-
dition as the highest breed-specific pro-
portional mortality, in descending order,
included cavalier King Charles spaniel,
Norfolk terrier, deerhound, Griffon Brux-
ellois and British bulldog.
Discussion
The median age at death in the pres-
ent study of 1125 years is similar to the
median age at death of 12 years found
in an earlier UK study (Michell 1999)
and 10 years found in a Danish KC sur-
vey (Proschowsky and others 2003). All
of these median ages at death are higher
than the mean of 64 years found in
USA necropsy study (Bronson 1982),
and this is likely due to the much differ-
ent population of dogs that would have
been presented to a Veterinary Teaching
Hospital for post-mortem examination.
Such a population would be likely to have
included more sudden deaths and deaths
due to trauma which often occur at a
younger age.
V. J. Adams and others
520 Journal of Small Animal Practice Vol 51 October 2010 © 2010 British Small Animal Veterinary Association
Similar to other studies, smaller breeds
such as the terriers, beagle, bearded collie,
bichon frise, dachshund, miniature pin-
scher, miniature poodle, toy poodle and
whippet lived longer, and giant breeds
such as Bernese mountain dog, deer-
hound, Leonberger, Irish wolfhound,
St Bernard, mastiff and bloodhound had
shorter lifespan (Bronson 1982; Michell
1999; Proschowsky and others 2003).
These results and the negative correlation
of age at death with bodyweight were as
expected based on previous studies. The
ideal bodyweight was used here as there
are no published studies that report aver-
age bodyweights for the breeds included in
this study. The same results were obtained
when the breeds were categorised accord-
ing to body size into giant, large, medium,
small and toy breeds (breed weight group
in Table 1). Interestingly, three medium-
sized breeds had the shortest lifespan with
a median age at death of 63 years for the
british bulldog (180 deaths) and shar pei
(60 deaths) and 608 years for the minia-
ture bull terrier (20 deaths).
Due to the difficulties associated
with random sampling of the pedigree
dog population in the UK, this study
took the approach of obtaining a conve-
nience sample. Thus, the results of this
study cannot necessarily be generalised
to all dogs or breeds. The breed-specific
response rates were highly variable and
affect the generalisability of the results
on a breed by breed basis. The limita-
tions of owner-reported causes of death
means that some of the results must be
interpreted with caution. For example,
reported causes of death due to a stroke
or cerebral vascular accident were not
supported by a post-mortem examination
in 975% of cases in this study. Strokes are
relatively uncommon with less than 50
cases of brain infarction in dogs reported
in the veterinary literature to date (Garosi
and others 2005). The prognosis for brain
infarction is considered to be fair to good
as more than 66% of the 33 dogs reported
in the study by Garosi and others (2005)
either returned to normal or experienced
considerable improvement in their neu-
rologic status. Although it appears that
a stroke rarely kills, a suspected or con-
firmed stroke could leave a dog in a con-
dition where euthanasia was chosen as the
most humane method of treatment. The
same could also be said for the reporting
of heart attack as an unconfirmed cause of
death in this study. Since only a small pro-
portion of the dogs that were reported to
have died due to a stroke or heart attack
underwent post-mortem examination and
it was not clear whether the post-mortem
confirmed the cause of death, these diag-
noses must be considered with caution.
Given that the most commonly reported
cause of death overall and in those dogs
that underwent a post-mortem was cancer
and that the majority of these were still
reported with an unspecified cell type,
this suggests that either tissues were not
sent to a laboratory for histopathologi-
cal diagnosis or that the owners were not
told of the final diagnosis. An additional
limitation is the bias associated with ask-
ing owners about dogs that had died in
the previous 10 years (recall bias). We
attempted to minimise the effect of recall
bias by asking owners to be as specific as
possible and to contact their veterinary
surgeon if they had difficulty remember-
ing the cause of death. The final limita-
tion is that the survey was anonymous
in order to encourage participation and
this meant that we were not able to verify
cause of death information with the own-
ers or their veterinary surgeons. The three
most commonly reported causes of death
in the present study, cancer, “old age” and
cardiac conditions, were slightly different
from the top three causes of death in the
Danish KC study, age (n=609, 208%),
cancer (n=425, 145%) and behaviour
(n=188, 64%) based on 2650 purebred
and 278 mixed breed dogs (Proschowsky
Table 2. The 14 breeds with the highest median age at death (>
135 years)
showing the Kennel Club breed group that these breeds belong to, the
published values for average “ideal” bodyweight (Alderton, 1993), number of
deaths in each breed and median age at death
Breed group Breed Average
bodyweight (kg)
Median age at
death (year)
Number of
deaths
Small Lakeland terrier 551546 14
Small Irish terrier 1151483 2
Medium Canaan dog 2051463 2
Toy Toy poodle 501463 20
Small Swedish vallhund 1301442 17
Small Tibetan spaniel 551442 125
Small Lhasa apso 651433 84
Toy Australian silky terrier 451425 5
Small Border terrier 601400 177
Small Cairn terrier 701400 124
Small Miniature poodle 1301392 23
Small Basenji 1001354 46
Medium Bearded collie 2251350 278
Toy Italian greyhound 401350 46
Table 3. The 11 breeds with the lowest median age at death (<8 years) showing
the Kennel Club breed group that these breeds belong to, the published values
for average “ideal” bodyweight (Alderton, 1993), number of deaths in each
breed and median age at death
Breed group Breed Average
bodyweight (kg)
Median age at
death (year)
Number of deaths
Large Bullmastiff 500746 96
Giant Leonberger 420708 47
Giant Irish wolfhound 475704 112
Giant St Bernard 700700 53
Small Shiba Inu (Japanese) 115700 3
Giant Mastiff 830683 80
Giant Bloodhound 430679 82
Giant Great Dane 500650 171
Medium Bulldog 240629 180
Medium Shar pei 180629 60
Large Dogue de Bordeaux 475383 5
Journal of Small Animal Practice Vol 51 October 2010 © 2010 British Small Animal Veterinary Association 521
Results of a health survey of UK purebred dogs
Table 4. The most frequently reported causes of death overall for 165 breeds experiencing 15,881 deaths
Cause of death N % Specific causes reported
Cancer*4282 270Unspecified type (3319), lymphosarcoma (368), carcinoma (128), other (467)
“Old age” 2829 178Either “age” or “old age” or one of these in combination with another cause
Cardiac† 1770 111Failure (815), unspecified defect (310), attack (291), CMP (136), MVD (102), cardiomegaly (78), congenital
defect (18), murmur (11), other (9)
Unknown 828 52“Unknown,” “undiagnosed,” “died,” “sudden death” (71), other uncodeable causes of death
Urologic 783 49Unspecified urinary tract disease (468), chronic or unspecified renal failure (232), acute renal failure (21),
other (62)
Combinations 723 46 Combinations including kidney (181) ± cardiac (164) ± liver (151) most commonly
Neurologic 673 42Seizure disorder (328) – [“epilepsy” (174), unspecified seizures (154)], interver tebral disc disease (62),
Wobblers (15), unspecified (129), other (139)
Gastrointestinal‡ 652 41Bloat/GDV (388), pancreatitis (53), unspecified (35), foreign body (24), colitis/diarrhoea (23), HGE (21),
unspecified GE (20), megaoesophagus (16), other (72)
Cerebrovascular 615 39Stroke or cerebral vascular accident or CVA
Trauma 385 24Road traffic accident (195), unspecified (133), spinal trauma (29), attacked by dog (17)
Hepatic 336 21Chronic or unspecified failure (232), unspecified disease (71), acute failur e (21), other (12)
Musculoskeletal 272 17Ar thritis/osteoarthritis/DJD (167), hip dysplasia (54), other (51)
Endocrine 234 15Hyperadrenocor ticism (106), diabetes mellitus (76), hypoadrenocor ticism (38), other (14)
Perioperative 222 14Perioperative or anaesthetic-related (121), postoperative (101)
Behaviour 209 13Aggression (151), unspecified (55), other (3)
Respiratory 192 12Unspecified disease or failure (61), pneumonia (46), larnygeal paralysis (30), choked (14), bronchitis (11),
tracheal collapse (8), other (22)
Immune mediated§ 159 10Unspecified (88), AIHAe (42), ITPf (12), Evans’ syndrome (3), other (14)
Reproductive 144 09Pyometra (106), prostatic disease (18), other (20)
Poisoning 84 05Unspecified
Subtotal 15,392 969
Other489 31Other causes of death that did not fit into any of the above categories
Total 15,881 100
*Cancer: lymphosarcoma includes lymphoma and leukaemia
†Cardiac: MVD = mitral valve disease
‡Gastrointestindal: GDV = gastric dilatation/volvulus; HGE = haemorrhagic gastroenteritis
§Immune mediated: AIHA = autoimmune haemolytic anaemia; ITP = immune-mediated thrombocytopaenia
Other included the following reported causes of death in descending order: senility, internal bleeding, collapse, infection, ocular, dermatologic, por tosystemic shunt, died, septicaemia,
systemic, cardiovascular, pining, hyperthermia and drowning
and others 2003). The proportional mor-
tality of 269% for cancer in the present
study is higher than that found in the
Danish KC study (145%; Proschowsky
and others 2003) and the earlier UK
study (157%; Michell 1999), but it is
similar to that found in other studies
such as the USA necropsy study (23%;
Bronson 1982) and a German study of
life expectancy (273%; Eichelberg and
Seine 1996). The breeds with the highest
proportional mortalities for cancer in the
present study are similar to those breeds
that have been reported previously. The
overall proportional mortality of 178%
for “old age” in the present study is simi-
lar to that found in the Danish KC study
(208%; Proschowsky and others 2003)
and the earlier UK study (207%; Michell
1999). Deaths were coded as “old age” in
this study even when another condition
was reported since many of the additional
causes of death given were non-specific
and appeared to be a reason for eutha-
nasia, such as arthritis, incontinence or
colitis. It would have been useful to know
whether the dog had died or had been put
to sleep so that the causes of death and
euthanasia could be separated but, unfor-
tunately, this was not asked on the ques-
tionnaire. Although behaviour has been
reported to be a much more common
cause of death as a reason for euthanasia
in other studies (Patronek and Dodman
1999), behaviour problems had a very
low proportional mortality in this study
of 13% as well as in the Danish KC study
(64%; Proschowsky and others 2003).
There are many potential reasons why
behaviour problems were not a common-
ly reported cause of death. It may be that
in our study and the Danish study, own-
ers of pedigree dogs were more commit-
ted to continuing to care for their dogs
in spite of behaviour problems or it may
have been that the dogs were surrendered
for rehoming if they had behaviour prob-
lems. The median age at death due to a
behaviour problem was low at 458 years
and this is consistent with other studies.
Further work is continuing in the UK
using breed-specific surveys to gather
confidential health information on dogs.
There are many diseases, particularly
those complex diseases such as the vari-
ous forms of valvular heart disease, car-
diomyopathy, cruciate ligament injury
and immune-mediated diseases, that have
both genetic and environmental com-
ponents to their causation. These com-
plex diseases require a combination of
research efforts that include input from
veterinary surgeons in practice and in
research, epidemiologists and geneticists.
Research requirements for future disease
surveillance measures include the need
for clear case definitions of disease and
accurate and validated data collection
on the health status of clinically affected
and non-affected dogs that can be linked
to the pedigree for analysis and future
work on estimated breeding values. This
work must be done in cooperation with
the breed club health coordinators and
the KC.
V. J. Adams and others
522 Journal of Small Animal Practice Vol 51 October 2010 © 2010 British Small Animal Veterinary Association
Table 5. Overall and breed-specific proportional mor talities for the four most common causes of death in 72 breeds,
excluding the 828 (5.2%) of deaths due to unknown/unreported causes
Breed All
deaths
Cause of death
Cancer Old age Cardiac Urologic
N N % 95% CI N % 95% CI N % 95% CI N % 95% CI
Afghan hound 143 44 3082323832920313726915105551557491484
Airedale terrier 81 32 39528950211136612106741713178625148
Alaskan Malamute 14 5 35710660821430032600000000000000
Basset Griffon Vendeen 76 25 329223435182371413325661012245302103
Basset hound 142 44 31023438619134781901177331218561894
Beagle 241 79 3282693873815811220430124831668331156
Bearded collie 278 54 1941482417225920731016583085227947111
Belgian shepherd 113 26 230152308151337019565312943270056
Bernese mountain dog 394 180 457408506246137852051297216412160
Border collie 106 25 23615531719179106252766191134380174
Border terrier 177 34 192134250543052373735280453126831105
Boxer 130 50 38530146828215145286969261131080023
Briard 71 27 380267493685201495701113045603110
Brittany 28 5 17937320621462366136001040000000
Bull terrier 209 48 2301732872712984175301449619131148100197
Bulldog/British bulldog 180 33 183127240168947130362001422584220144
Bullmastiff 96 36 3752784724420282663141115520897
Cairn terrier 124 24 19412426335282203361118939139108133129
Cocker spaniel/English
cocker 289 85 2942423475017312921727936012715522677
Dachshund (all) 245 41 16712121453216165268351439918712492276
Dalmatian 199 38 1911362465427121033313653110010502081
Dandie Dinmont terrier 62 14 226122330711334192697231702320076
Deerhound 287 54 1881432333512284160702441942946210437
Dobermann 100 26 2601743462222013930115150802203300063
English setter 384 126 328281375721881482272770459618472668
English springer spaniel 90 24 2671753581617899257556081034440287
Field spaniel 68 20 294186402121768626734400932290070
Finnish spitz 42 9 21490338495061843710014937100149
Flat-coated retriever 610 331 543503582548966111386243818130422
French bulldog 71 27 3802674936852014911400411140041
German shor thaired
pointer 159 47 2962253673018912824963808671060019
German spitz/klein or
mittel 43 7 16352273102331063596140362430000000
German wirehaired
pointer 41 10 24411237581957431612400721240072
Giant schnauzer 39 16 4102565654103071986154412671260075
Golden retriever 927 360 388357420 172 1861612115054396836392651
Gordon setter 157 46 2932223642616610722423146912027451277
Hungarian wirehaired
vizsla 15 7 4672147192133003052133003050000000
Irish red & white setter 179 54 30223436934190132247147839118126730104
Irish setter 451 123 273232314 101 22418526245100721279200733
Irish water spaniel 95 53 558458658101054416711100311110031
Italian Spinone 47 21 447305589714947251121006348505165
Keeshond 104 33 317228407272601753446581310376719115
Labrador retriever 574 179 312274350 132 2301962644273529411190830
Lancashire heeler 30 8 2671084258267108425267001561330098
(continued overleaf)
Journal of Small Animal Practice Vol 51 October 2010 © 2010 British Small Animal Veterinary Association 523
Results of a health survey of UK purebred dogs
Large Munsterlander 69 17 246145348811640191458031131140043
Leonberger 47 21 44730558912100635106181950000000
Lhasa apso 84 15 1799726027321222421336007567116127
Manchester terrier 32 7 2197636210313152473131009239400195
Miniature schnauzer 214 46 2151602703616811821825117741607330957
Newfoundland 269 73 27121832552193146240431601162046220540
Norwegian elkhound 71 23 3242154331622512832381133918645603110
Norwich ter rier 56 12 2141073221730418342471253821235400113
Nova Scotia duck
tolling retriever 9 3 3332564100000001111003160000000
Pointer 145 30 2071412733524117231164109747481383
Rhodesian ridgeback 183 56 30623937333180125236116026955270451
Rottweiler 137 62 453369536141025115375114884290157
Saluki/gazelle hound 132 47 356274438171297218619144842042150036
Samoyed 223 59 26520732246206153259114921786270648
Shetland sheepdog 364 81 2231802655414811218528775010463173134212
Shih-tzu 83 12 145692201720511829215181982641315778235
Siberian husky 129 41 3182373982116399226862201044310161
Soft coated wheaten
terrier 111 29 26118034323207132283436017198130132
Staffordshire bull
terrier 117 52 44435453423197125269868231146511191
Standard poodle 118 35 2972143792117810924765111905420679
Sussex spaniel 42 8 190723098190723096143372490000000
Tibetan spaniel 125 29 2321583063427219435014112571674320163
Tibetan terrier 95 30 316222409212211383049953615488428140
Weimaraner 242 58 240186293331369318028116751564170033
Welsh corgi Cardigan 53 15 2831624041324512936123800891190055
Welsh corgi Pembroke 116 33 2842023672622414830097829126108635137
Welsh springer spaniel 157 42 268198337291851242457451277127635118
Welsh terrier 23 10 435232637521749386000000014300127
Other breeds (n=93) 4524 806 178 811 179 808 179 268 59
Total 15,881 4282 270 2829 178 1770 111 783 49
Table 5. Continued
Breed All
deaths
Cause of death
Cancer Old age Cardiac Urologic
N N % 95% CI N % 95% CI N % 95% CI N % 95% CI
This study shows breed differences
in lifespan and causes of death, and the
results support previous evidence that
smaller breeds tend to have longer lifes-
pan compared with larger breeds. The
long-lived breeds died of diseases appro-
priate to their longevity with cancer, old
age and chronic renal failure represent-
ing the highest proportional mortalities
for these breeds. Although many of the
breeds in the study were not representative
for the breed club or the general pedigree
dog population in the UK, the results do
contribute to the limited information cur-
rently available on canine mortality.
Acknowledgements
The authors wish to thank the UK KC
Charitable Trust for funding this sur-
vey as well as the KC/British Small
Animal Veterinary Association Scientific
Committee and the participating breed
club secretaries and members for their
assistance in this study.
Conflict of interest
None of the authors of this article has a
financial or personal relationship with
other people or organisations that could
inappropriately influence or bias the con-
tent of the paper.
References
ALDERTON, D. (1993) Dogs. London: Dorling Kindersley
BONNETT, B. N., EGENVALL, A., OLSON, P. & HEDHAMMAR, A.
(1997) Mortality in insured Swedish dogs: rates
and causes of death in various breeds. Veterinary
Record 141, 40-44
BRONSON, R. T. (1982) Variation in age at death of dogs
of different sexes and breeds. American Jour nal of
Veterinary Research 43, 2057-2059
EICHELBERG, H. & SEINE, R. (1996) Life expectancy
and cause of death in dogs: the situation in
mixed breeds and various dog breeds. Berliner
und Münchener tierärztliche Wochenschrift 109,
292-303
EGENVALL, A., BONNETT, B. N., SHOUKRI, M., OLSON, P. &
HEDHAMMAR, A. (2000a) Gender, age, breed and
distribution of morbidity and mortality in insured
dogs in Sweden during 1995 and 1996. Veterinary
Record 146, 519-525
EGENVALL, A., BONNETT, B. N., SHOUKRI, M., OLSON, P.,
HEDHAMMAR, A. & DOHOO, I. (2000b) Age pattern
of mortality in eight breeds of insur ed dogs in
V. J. Adams and others
524 Journal of Small Animal Practice Vol 51 October 2010 © 2010 British Small Animal Veterinary Association
Sweden. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 46,
1-14
GAROSI, L. S., MCCONNELL, J. F., PLATT, S. R., BARONNE, G.,
BARON, J. C., DE L AHUNTA, A. & SCHATZBERG, S. J. (2005)
Results of diagnostic investigations and long-term
outcome of 33 dogs with brain infarction (2000-
2004). Journal of Veterinar y Internal Medicine 19,
725-731
HAYASHIDANI, H., OMI, Y., OGAWA, M. & FUKUTOMI, K. (1988)
Epidemiological studies on the expectation of
life for dogs computed from animal cemetery
records. Japanese Journal of Veterinary Science
50, 1003-1008
MICHELL, A. R. (1999) Longevity of British breeds of
dogs and its relationship with sex, size, cardio-
vascular variables and disease. Veterinary
Record 145, 625-629
PATRONEK, G. J. & DODMAN, N. H. (1999) Attitudes,
procedures, and deliver y of behavior services by
veterinarians in small animal practice. Journal of
the American Veterinary Medical Association 215,
1606-1611
PATRONEK, G. J., WATERS, D. J. & GLICKMAN, L. T. (1997)
Comparative longevity of pet dogs and humans:
implications for gerontology research. The Journals
of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and
Medical Sciences 52, B171-B178
PROSCHOWSKY, H. F., RUGBJERG, H. & ERSBOLL, A. K. (2003)
Mortality of purebr ed and mixed-breed dogs in
Denmark. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 58, 63-74
REID, S. W. J. & PETERSON, M. M. (2000) Methods
of estimating canine longevity. Veterinar y Record
147, 630-631
... One of the leading causes of mortality in dogs is cancer, accounting from 14% to 27% of all deaths in previous studies (Adams et al., 2010;Dobson, 2013). The quantity of diagnosed tumors is continuously rising since improved health care for pets currently broadens their life expectancy, allowing for the diagnosis of late-in-life diseases, such as cancer (Adams et al., 2010;Villamil et al., 2011;Dobson, 2013;Grüntzig et al., 2015;Śmiech et al., 2017, 2019. ...
... One of the leading causes of mortality in dogs is cancer, accounting from 14% to 27% of all deaths in previous studies (Adams et al., 2010;Dobson, 2013). The quantity of diagnosed tumors is continuously rising since improved health care for pets currently broadens their life expectancy, allowing for the diagnosis of late-in-life diseases, such as cancer (Adams et al., 2010;Villamil et al., 2011;Dobson, 2013;Grüntzig et al., 2015;Śmiech et al., 2017, 2019. One of the most frequently diagnosed tumors are skin tumors, and approximately 7%-21% are mast cell tumors (MCTs) (Welle et al., 2008;Grüntzig et al., 2015). ...
Article
Background: Skin tumors are the most frequently diagnosed lesions, of which 7%-21% are mast cell tumors (MCTs). There is a great effort to identify factors that can influence the prospective course of MCTs. Although, the histological grade is considering an important predictor helping to determine the malignancy and metastatic potential of MCTs. Aim: In this study, an epidemiological analysis of risk factors (breed, age, sex, and anatomical site) for dogs having MCTs was evaluated considering the respective MCTs histological grade in comparison to other skin tumors. Methods: The study included 244 dogs affected by cutaneous MCTs from a universe of 1,185 dogs diagnosed with skin tumors. A univariable analysis with Fisher exact test was performed to determine the odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Results: Boxers had a higher predisposition to Patnaik's grade I (OR = 5.9, 95% CI 2.648-13.152) and to Kiupel's low-grade MCTs (OR = 2.6, 95% CI 1.539-4.447). Labrador retrievers (OR = 2.1, 95% CI 1.423-3.184), and pugs (OR = 12.9, 95% CI 2.336-70.931) had a predisposition for Patnaik's grade II MCTs and Kiupel's low-grade lesions (OR = 2.3, 95% CI 1.478-3.597; OR = 17.1, 95% CI 3.093-94.377, respectively). French bulldogs had a higher risk to grade III MCTs (OR = 7.9, 95% CI 2.381-26.072). Pit bulls had a predisposition to grade III MCTs and Kiupel's high-grade tumors (OR = 4.4, 95% CI 1.221-16.1 and OR = 4.962, 95% CI 1.362-18.077, respectively). Bull terriers (OR = 12.7, 95% CI 2.098-76.818) presented higher risk for having low-grade MCTs. The perigenital area and trunk exhibit a greater risk for high grading lesion (OR = 6.6, 95% CI 2.679-16.334; OR = 1.9, 95% CI 1.028-3.395, respectively) and the limbs had a predisposition to grade II tumor (OR = 1.6, 95% CI 1.134-2.395). A decreased risk of having MCT was seen in older dogs (from 7-10 years to 11-18 years) compared to that in the reference group (4-6 years). Conclusion: When comparing to canine skin tumors, this study showed a relationship between MCT histological grading and the risk factors, age, breed, and topography of canine MCTs. The variations noted in the clinical presentation of MCTs amongst predisposed dog breeds reinforces the relevance of the genetic background in MCTs carcinogenesis.
... With rapid development in medicine and diagnosis for companion animals, infections are no longer the major cause of mortality in humans and companion animals because of the use of antibiotics, but the prevalence of malignancies is increasing (1,2). Tumors have been a major threat to animals' life. ...
Article
Full-text available
Tumors are becoming a serious threat to the quality of life of human and dogs. Studies have shown that tumors have caused more than half of the deaths in older dogs. Similar to human, dogs will develop various and highly heterogeneous tumors, but there are currently no viable therapies for them. In human, immunotherapy has been used widely and considered as an effective treatment for tumors by immune checkpoint targets, which are also expressed on canine tumors, suggesting that immunotherapy may be a potential treatment for canine tumors. In this work, we developed a sandwich ELISA method to detect the concentration of recombinant canine PD-1 fusion protein in canine serum and investigated pharmacokinetics in canines after intravenous infusion administration. After being validated, the ELISA method showed an excellent linear relationship in 25.00–3,200.00 ng/ml in serum, and the R ² was more than 0.99 with four-parameter fitting. The precision and accuracy of intra-assay and inter-assay at the five different concentrations met the requirements of quantitative analysis. At the same time, no hook effect was observed at the concentration above ULOQ, and the stability was good under different predicted conditions with accuracy > 80%. The pharmacokinetic study in dogs has shown that the recombinant canine PD-1 fusion protein exhibited a typical biphasic PK profile after intravenous infusion administration, and the linear pharmacokinetic properties were observed between 1.00 and 12.00 mg/kg. Meanwhile, the T 1/2 after intravenous infusion administration with non-compartmental analysis was about 5.79 days.
... In 1901, seven years was considered 'quite an old age' for a Bulldog; in 1954, critics debated why the breed had 'a shorter expectation of life' than others [46,47]. More recently, Kennel Club surveys of English Bulldog mortality in 2004 and 2014 respectively reported median and mean ages of death of just over six years [48,49]. Analysis of mortality data from primary-care veterinary clinical records reported a median longevity of 7.2 years for English Bulldogs in the UK [50]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background The English Bulldog has risen sharply in popularity over the past decade but its distinctive and extreme conformation is linked to several serious health conditions. Using multivariable analysis of anonymised veterinary clinical data from the VetCompass Programme, this study compared the odds of common disorders between English Bulldogs and all remaining dogs in the UK during 2016. Results From 905,544 dogs under veterinary care during 2016, the analysis included a random sample of 2,662 English Bulldogs and 22,039 dogs that are not English Bulldogs. English Bulldogs had 2.04 times the odds of diagnosis with ≥ 1 disorder than dogs that are not English Bulldogs (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.85 to 2.25). At a specific-level of diagnostic precision, English Bulldogs had increased odds of 24/43 (55.8%) disorders. These included: skin fold dermatitis (odds ratio [OR] 38.12; 95% CI 26.86 to 54.10), prolapsed nictitating membrane gland (OR 26.79; 95% CI 18.61 to 38.58) and mandibular prognathism (OR 24.32; 95% CI 13.59 to 43.53). Conversely, English Bulldogs had significantly reduced odds of 6/43 (14.0%) disorders. These included: retained deciduous tooth (OR 0.02; 95% CI 0.01 to 0.17), lipoma (OR 0.06; 95% CI 0.01 to 0.40) and periodontal disease (OR 0.23; 95% CI 0.18 to 0.30). At a grouped-level of diagnostic precision, English Bulldogs had significantly increased odds of 17/34 (50.0%) disorders. These included: congenital disorder (OR 7.55; 95% CI 5.29 to 10.76), tail disorder (OR 6.01; 95% CI 3.91 to 9.24) and lower respiratory tract disorder (OR 5.50; 95% CI 4.11 to 7.35). Conversely, English Bulldogs had significantly reduced odds of 3/34 (8.8%) disorders. These were: dental disorder (OR 0.25; 95% CI 0.20 to 0.31), spinal cord disorder (OR 0.31; 95% CI 0.14 to 0.71) and appetite disorder (OR 0.43; 95% CI 0.20 to 0.91). Conclusions These results suggest that the health of English Bulldogs is substantially lower than dogs that are not English Bulldogs and that many predispositions in the breed are driven by the extreme conformation of these dogs. Consequently, immediate redefinition of the breed towards a moderate conformation is strongly advocated to avoid the UK joining the growing list of countries where breeding of English Bulldogs is banned.
... Life cycle trajectories with varying health span in dogs. Antiaging therapies can increase life span (years lived) and health span (years lived in good health) by delaying the onset of age-associated disease and disability (life span ranges are drawn from limited available studies reporting canine longevity data[9][10][11][12] ). ...
Article
Full-text available
Aging is the single most important cause of disease, disability, and death in adult dogs. Contrary to the common view of aging as a mysterious and inevitable natural event, it is more usefully understood as a set of complex but comprehensible biological processes that are highly conserved across species. Although the phenotypic expression of these processes is variable, there are consistent patterns both within and between species. The purpose of this feature is to describe the patterns currently recognized in the physical and behavioral manifestations of aging in the dog and how these impact the health and welfare of companion dogs and their human caregivers. Important gaps in our knowledge of the canine aging phenotype will be identified, and current research efforts to better characterize aging in the dog will be discussed. This will help set the context for future efforts to develop clinical assessments and treatments to mitigate the negative impact of aging on dogs and humans.
... According to the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program, cancer describes a group of over 100 pathological conditions that are characterized by uncontrolled cellular proliferation. 1 Even including deaths due to COVID-19 in 2020, cancer is the most common or the second most common cause of death for humans in Europe 2 and in the United States, [3][4][5] and it is believed that cancer is also the leading cause of disease-related death for older companion and working dogs in the developed world. [6][7][8][9][10][11][12] In a remarkable thesis of how cancer was transformed from an obscure and mystical condition to a medical problem, 13 Koblenz notes that the death rate from cancer increased by almost 20-fold from the years 1850 to 2009, although it is apparent that a major portion of the cancer epidemic of the 20th century was driven by tobacco. 14 For humans living in the United States in 2020, the lifetime probability of being diagnosed with an invasive cancer is approximately 40% (an approximate lifetime risk of 1 in 2.5). ...
Article
Full-text available
Cancer is among the most common causes of death for dogs (and cats) and humans in the developed world, even though it is uncommon in wildlife and other domestic animals. We provide a rationale for this observation based on recent advances in our understanding of the evolutionary basis of cancer. Over the course of evolutionary time, species have acquired and fine‐tuned adaptive cancer‐protective mechanisms that are intrinsically related to their energy demands, reproductive strategies, and expected lifespan. These cancer‐protective mechanisms are general across species and/or specific to each species and their niche, and they do not seem to be limited in diversity. The evolutionarily acquired cancer‐free longevity that defines a species’ life history can explain why the relative cancer risk, rate, and incidence are largely similar across most species in the animal kingdom despite differences in body size and life expectancy. The molecular, cellular, and metabolic events that promote malignant transformation and cancerous growth can overcome these adaptive, species‐specific protective mechanisms in a small proportion of individuals, while independently, some individuals in the population might achieve exceptional longevity. In dogs and humans, recent dramatic alterations in healthcare and social structures have allowed increasing numbers of individuals in both species to far exceed their species‐adapted longevities (by two to four times) without allowing the time necessary for compensatory natural selection. In other words, the cancer‐protective mechanisms that restrain risk at comparable levels to other species for their adapted lifespan are incapable of providing cancer protection over this recent, drastic, and widespread increase in longevity.
... Among canine cancers, osteosarcoma is a highly metastatic and intractable cancer, and about 80% of dogs with osteosarcoma die from lung metastases [10,31,32]. Because canine osteosarcoma shares various molecular and clinical similarities with human osteosarcoma, canine osteosarcoma can be used for identifying biomarkers and developing treatments for human osteosarcoma [11]. ...
Article
Full-text available
The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) contributes to tumor malignancy via gene amplification and protein overexpression. Previously, we developed an anti-human EGFR (hEGFR) monoclonal antibody, namely EMab-134, which detects hEGFR and dog EGFR (dEGFR) with high sensitivity and specificity. In this study, we produced a defucosylated mouse–dog chimeric anti-EGFR monoclonal antibody, namely E134Bf. In vitro analysis revealed that E134Bf highly exerted antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity and complement-dependent cytotoxicity against a canine osteosarcoma cell line (D-17) and a canine fibroblastic cell line (A-72), both of which express endogenous dEGFR. Moreover, in vivo administration of E134Bf significantly suppressed the development of D-17 and A-72 compared with the control dog IgG in mouse xenografts. These results indicate that E134Bf exerts antitumor effects against dEGFR-expressing canine cancers and could be valuable as part of an antibody treatment regimen for dogs.
... Breeds that are described to have high occurrences with cancer may vary due to the geographical location of the study suggesting environmental factors and the breed prevalence within the population influence the outcome of the study (Dobson, 2012). Several studies have identified pure breeds to be more prone to cancer development such as the Irish Water Spaniel, Wirehaired Vizsla, Labrador retriever, Bernese mountain dog, Rottweiler, Staffordshire bull Terrier, and the Giant Schnauzer to have an increased risk of developing cancer (Proschowskt, et al., 2003;Bonnett, et al., 2005;Adams, et al., 2010;Dobson, 2012;Lewis, et al., 2018). Incidences of mammary cancer development have been associated with pure breed dogs such as particularly in smaller breeds such as Poodles, Chihuahuas, Dachshunds, Yorkshire Terriers, Maltese, and Cocker Spaniels are frequently; and larger breeds that are also at higher risk, includes the English Springer Spaniel, English Setters, Brittany Spaniels, German Shepherds, Pointers, Doberman Pinschers, and Boxers (Sorenom, et al., 2013;Sleeckx, et al., 2011;Sales, et al., 2015). ...
Thesis
Full-text available
Mammary Cancer is the most prevalent form of malignancy to occur in female dogs. With metastasised malignancies representing 50% of diagnosis, current treatments produce little efficacy towards survival and induce harsh adverse side effects, thus there is need for novel therapeutics. Venoms have been shown to exploit anti-cancer properties with specific selective effects towards many forms of human cancers, thus, the prospect of anti-cancer inhibition towards Canine Mammary Cancer is a feasible hypothesis. Utilising in-vitro cell viability assays, panels of venoms from snake, scorpions and spiders were profiled against canine mammary cancer cells lines, CMT28 and CMM26, and an immortalised normal canine kidney cell line, MDCK. Screening of these venom fractions identified selectivity towards the cancerous cells utilising venoms from the Naja genus by >70% inhibition. Mass spectrometry data of 5 fractions identified them as 3-finger toxins with 3 of the fractions identifying as novel cytotoxins and 2 matched to sequence in the database of the same species. Epidermal Growth factor receptor- 2 (HER2) is a key antigenic target in Human breast cancer and has been shown to be as a potential therapeutic target for Canine Mammary Cancer. Utilising computational modelling and molecular docking simulations, the identified cytotoxins obtained from mass spectrometry have been predicted to bind to the dimerisation loop of the extracellular domain of HER2, that is hypothesised to inhibit dimer formation. In practice Canine HER2 demonstrated to have a high binding affinity for proteins in whole snake venoms, signifying the potential of HER2 being a therapeutic target for the treatment of Canine Mammary Cancer.
... Cancer is a leading cause of death in dogs [17], so could we benefit from joining forces with our human medic counterparts in a "One Health" approach? Perhaps reflecting common physiology, lifestyle, and environmental exposure to carcinogens, the range of spontaneously occurring tumours in dogs and humans display striking similarities, and these tumours arise and evolve in the presence of an intact immune system [18,19]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Canine oral melanoma (COM) is a highly aggressive tumour associated with poor prognosis due to metastasis and resistance to conventional anti-cancer therapies. As with human mucosal melanoma, the mutational landscape is predominated by copy number aberrations and chromosomal structural variants, but differences in study cohorts and/or tumour heterogeneity can lead to discordant results regarding the nature of specific genes affected. This review discusses somatic molecular alterations in COM that result from single nucleotide variations, copy number changes, chromosomal rearrangements, and/or dysregulation of small non-coding RNAs. A cross-species comparison highlights notable recurrent aberrations, and functionally grouping dysregulated proteins reveals unifying biological pathways that may be critical for oncogenesis and metastasis. Finally, potential therapeutic strategies are considered to target these pathways in canine patients, and the benefits of collaboration between science, medical, and veterinary communities are emphasised.
Article
Cancer is one of the major causes of mortality, accounting for ∼9.5 million deaths globally in 2018. The spectrum of conventional treatment for cancer includes surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Recently, cold plasma therapy surfaced as a novel technique in the treatment of cancer. The FDA approval of the first trial for the use of cold atmospheric plasma (CAP) in cancer therapy in 2019 is evidence of this. This review highlights the mechanisms of action of CAP. Additionally, its applications in anticancer therapy have been reviewed. In summary, this article will introduce the readers to the exciting field of plasma oncology and help them understand the current status and prospects of plasma oncology.
Article
Full-text available
A life table is a tabulated expression of life expectancy and mortality-related information at specified ages in a given population. This study utilised VetCompass data to develop life tables for the UK companion dog population and broken down by sex, Kennel Club breed group, and common breeds. Among 30,563 dogs that died between 1st January 2016 and 31st July 2020, life expectancy at age 0 was 11.23 [95% confidence interval (CI): 11.19–11.27] years. Female dogs (11.41 years; 95% CI: 11.35–11.47) had a greater life expectancy than males (11.07 years; 95% CI: 11.01–11.13) at age 0. Life tables varied widely between breeds. Jack Russell Terrier (12.72 years; 95% CI: 12.53–12.90) and French Bulldog (4.53 years; 95% CI: 4.14–5.01) had the longest and shortest life expectancy at age 0, respectively. Life tables generated by the current study allow a deeper understanding of the varied life trajectory across many types of dogs and offer novel insights and applications to improve canine health and welfare. The current study helps promote further understanding of life expectancy, which will benefit pet owners and the veterinary profession, along with many other sectors.
Article
Full-text available
The effect of breed and body weight on longevity in the pet dog was analyzed, and a method was developed to standardize the chronological age of dogs in terms of physiological time, using human year equivalents. Mortality data from 23,535 pet dogs were obtained from a computerized data base of North American veterinary teaching hospitals, and the median age at death was determined for pure and mixed breed dogs of different body weight. Body size in the dog was inversely related to longevity. Within each body weight category, the median age at death was lower for pure breed dogs compared with mixed breed dogs. The difference between the standardized physiological ages of mixed breed dogs of the same chronological age in the smallest and largest body weight categories varied from 8 to > 15 years, and between large and small pure breed dogs, the disparity was even greater. Laboratory research to explore the biological basis for these breed and body weight specific differences in life span among dogs may provide additional clues to genetic factors influencing senescence.
Article
Full-text available
Data on over 222,000 Swedish dogs enrolled in life insurance in 1992 and 1993 were analysed. There were approximately 260 deaths per 10,000 dog-years at risk. Breed-specific mortality rates and causes of death are presented for breeds with more than 500 dogs at risk that had consistently high or low rates. Breed-specific mortality ranged from less than 1 per cent to more than 11 per cent. True rates and proportional statistics for the cause of death were calculated for the entire insured population (250 breeds) and cause-specific mortality rates were calculated for the breeds with the highest risk of dying of the most common causes. Trauma, tumours and problems related to the locomotor system together accounted for more than 40 per cent of all deaths or euthanasias. Although limited to insured dogs, these data cover approximately one-third of all Swedish dogs and provide baseline mortality data for further population-based studies on health and disease.
Article
More than 200,000 dogs insured by one Swedish company at the beginning of either 1995 or 1996 were included in a retrospective, cross-sectional study. They could be covered for veterinary care at any age, but were eligible for life insurance only up to 10 years of age. Accessions for veterinary care that exceeded the deductible cost were used to calculate the risk of morbidity. The morbidity and mortality data have been stratified by gender, age, breed, location and human population density. In each year, 13 per cent of the dogs experienced at least one veterinary care event and the mortality risk was 3.0 per cent. The risk of morbidity varied with age, gender, breed, and location. The risk of mortality increased principally with age. It was possible to derive population-based risks of morbidity and mortality from these insurance data.
Article
The objective of this study was to use several methods to describe the age patterns for risk of death in selected breeds of dogs insured for life in a Swedish animal-insurance company in 1996. Data on eight breeds were analyzed for age at death (including euthanasia). If dogs left the insurance for reasons other than death, they were regarded as censored. Dogs were only insured up to 10 years of age. Four analytical approaches were used. First, descriptive statistics of age distributions (e.g. breed-specific median ages at death, breed- and age-specific mortality risks) were computed. Second, age-specific estimates of survival were calculated using the formula: survival=(1−riskage<1 year)(1−riskage 1<2 year)⋯(1−riskage 9<10 year). Third, Cox regression (proportional-hazards model) was used to estimate survival and hazard functions. Finally, hierarchically coded Poisson regression was used to determine age-specific cut-points in the risk of death. The hazards from Cox and the incidence-density rates from the hierarchically coded models were transformed to estimates of risk: risk=1−exp{−(hazard)} or 1−exp{−(incidence-density rate)}.The breeds studied were Beagle, Bernese mountain dog, Boxer, Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Drever, German shepherd dog, Mongrel and Poodle, together representing over 50 000 dogs each year. The yearly breed-specific mortality risk varied between 1.7% (Poodle) and 6.5% (Bernese mountain dog). In all breeds, the risk of death increased with age but the pattern varied by breed. The probability of survival at 5 years of age varied between 94% (Cavalier King Charles spaniel and Poodle) and 83% (Bernese mountain dog, Drever, German shepherd dog) and the survival at 10 years between 83% (Poodle) and 30% (Bernese mountain dog). The survival estimates from Cox and those derived using the combined-risk formula were similar. The cut-point risk estimates provided a simplified picture of when the risk of death changed significantly compared to previous age categories. As anticipated, breeds differed widely in survival up to 10 years of age and there were marked differences in age patterns of mortality. The implications of these findings should be considered in multivariable analyses, where the confounding effect of age is often controlled for using a single age variable common to several breeds.
Article
Based on the Chiang's method, the life table for dogs was constructed from the death data composed on 4915 dogs. They died in the Kanto area and were buried in an animal cemetery in Tokyo from June 1981 through May 1982. This life table seems to be the first one for domestic pet dogs. A fundamental pattern of probability of dying for dogs, which is the base of a life table, is similar to that for man. Therefore, this life table for dogs seems to present the mortality and survival experience of the current population of the dogs accurately. The expectation of life for dogs was 8.3 years at age 0, 8.6 years at age 1, 6.1 years at age 5, 3.5 years at age 10, and 1.6 years at age 15. The expectation of life at age 1 (e1) seems to be more suitable indicator of health of dogs than that at age 0 (e0), because the e0 is more sensitive to an artificial influence by the dog's owner than e1. The life table was constructed for different breeds and localities. Comparing the e1 of two populations divided into breeds and localities, there were significant differences in the e1 among different breeds and localities. These facts suggest the existence of some factors which may influence the life span of dogs among different breeds and localities.
Article
A retrospective study of necropsy data for 2,002 dogs showed that the mean age at death of neutered dogs of both sexes exceeded that of intact dogs, but the differences were not significant. A wide variation in mean age at death of 56 breeds and cross breeds, 3.0 to 9.9 years, was found. This variation was not correlated with mean breed body weight. An attempt was made to explain the variability by finding diseases to which dogs of the short-lived breeds were particularly susceptible. This was not possible in general, since the samples of each breed were small and the total number of diseases from which they died so large. Dogs of long-lived breeds died of diseases appropriate to their age, particularly cancer, 39% of the sample. In the sample as a whole, cancer accounted for 20% of deaths at 5 years and increased to and remained between 40% and 50% from 10 to 16 years of age.
Article
The present study on life expectancy and cause of death is based upon data from 9,248 dogs. The entire sample showed a life expectancy of 10.0 years. The most frequent cause of death was tumors (27.3%), followed by cardiac and circulatory ailments (16.3%). The causes of death also showed a breed-specific distribution. The mean age attained in various breeds differed, ranging from 6.8 years in the Berner Sennenhund to 13.0 years in the Pudel. Dogs of mixed breeding tended not to differ from purebreds either in their life expectancy or in their cause of death.
Article
The results of a questionnaire provided data about owners' perceptions of the cause of death of over 3000 British dogs. The mean age at death (all breeds, all causes) was 11 years one month, but in dogs dying of natural causes it was 12 years eight months. Only 8 per cent of dogs lived beyond 15, and 64 per cent of dogs died of disease or were euthanased as a result of disease. Nearly 16 per cent of deaths were attributed to cancer, twice as many as to heart disease. Neutered females lived longer than males or intact females, but among dogs dying of natural causes entire females lived slightly longer. In neutered males the importance of cancer as a cause of death was similar to heart disease. Mongrels lived longer than average but several breeds lived longer than mongrels, for example, Jack Russells, miniature poodles and whippets. There was no correlation between longevity and cardiovascular parameters (heart rate, systolic, diastolic, pulse and mean arterial pressure, or the combination of heart rate and pulse pressure) but smaller dogs had longer lifespans. The results also include breed differences in lifespan, susceptibility to cancer, road accidents and behavioural problems as a cause of euthanasia.
Article
The objective of this study was to use several methods to describe the age patterns for risk of death in selected breeds of dogs insured for life in a Swedish animal-insurance company in 1996. Data on eight breeds were analyzed for age at death (including euthanasia). If dogs left the insurance for reasons other than death, they were regarded as censored. Dogs were only insured up to 10 years of age. Four analytical approaches were used. First, descriptive statistics of age distributions (e.g. breed-specific median ages at death, breed- and age-specific mortality risks) were computed. Second, age-specific estimates of survival were calculated using the formula: survival=(1−riskage<1 year)(1−riskage 1<2 year)⋯(1−riskage 9<10 year). Third, Cox regression (proportional-hazards model) was used to estimate survival and hazard functions. Finally, hierarchically coded Poisson regression was used to determine age-specific cut-points in the risk of death. The hazards from Cox and the incidence-density rates from the hierarchically coded models were transformed to estimates of risk: risk=1−exp{−(hazard)} or 1−exp{−(incidence-density rate)}.