Purebred Cancer Rates You Need to Know About

Columbus, Ohio – In findings presented today at the Western Veterinary Conference in Las Vegas alongside the release of the second in a series of white papers on cancer in dogs, Nationwide’s pet health insurance team said analyzed policy and claims data from 1.61 million dogs to help answer a question pet parents and veterinary teams think:

Are thoroughbreds more likely to get cancer than non-purebreds?

The answer is yes, but the picture varies greatly when looking at each of the top 25 breeds individually. While pure breeds taken as a whole are nearly twice as likely to have a cancer claim as non-pure breeds, some breeds fare much better than average and others far worse.

“With 40 years of policy and claims data since our inception as America’s premier pet health insurer, we feel compelled to use this information to pioneer positive change in healthcare. veterinarians,” said Dr Jules Benson, chief veterinarian for Nationwide. “By analyzing the millions of claims over a six-year period (2015-21) and making that information public, we use our data to help pet owners and veterinary teams make more informed decisions about pet care. animals, both in terms of detection and treatment.

Among the discoveries:

  • Purebred dogs as a group have a higher risk of cancer claims than crossbred and mixed breed dogs, at 1.9 times the relative risk.
  • The relative risk of cancer claims in purebred dogs varies widely:
    • By breed. While some purebreds have a very high relative risk, the data shows considerable variation among the 25 most popular breeds.
      • The top three breeds for cancer claims: Boxer, Beagle and Golden Retriever.
      • The three least claimed breeds for cancer: Pomeranian, Chihuahua and French Bulldog.
    • By breed and body system affected. The literature has long established that some thoroughbreds are overrepresented in specific cancer types. Nationwide data allows us to quantify these risks and identify other breeds and body systems most at risk. For example, analysis shows that Rottweilers are 10 times more likely to have a bone cancer claim than the average dog.
    • By breed and age. Looking at which bodily systems are most commonly affected by cancer early in a dog’s life, data shows that some breeds are seeing significantly younger average ages for cancer claims.

For more details, the white paper is available at www.PetInsurance.com/petdata.

“We insure hundreds of breeds, but we’ve focused on the 25 most popular breeds in our whitepaper because they make up about 70% of all purebreds insured nationally,” Dr. Benson said. . “Despite the higher relative cancer risk of purebreds as a group exhibit, the top 25 breeds also contain breeds – all relatively small in stature – that have a relative risk of cancer claims not only lower than other breeds. pure, but also below average risk for all dogs.

“The link between dog size and cancer risk is the subject of our next canine cancer study, to be published later this year,” he said.

In 2021, Nationwide reached the milestone of actively protecting over one million pets in the United States. At the same time, the company has established a dedicated veterinary analytics team with the goal of using insurance data to promote better health for all pets. This analysis is the second in 2022, along with other topics on pet health and the finances of veterinary care.

About National Pet Insurance
With over one million insured pets, Nationwide is the first and largest provider of pet health insurance in the United States. National pet health insurance plans cover dogs, cats, birds, and exotic animals for multiple medical issues and conditions related to accidents, illnesses, and injuries. Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Products underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (CA), Columbus, OH; National Casualty Company (all other states), Columbus, OH. Registration Agency: DVM Insurance Agency. All are subsidiaries of the Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. Pet owners can find National Pet Insurance at Facebook or follow Twitter. For more information about National Pet Insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit petinsurance.com.

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Jeanetta J. Stewart