14 Month with two different cancers. Genetics or not? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 12-20-2012, 10:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 14 Month with two different cancers. Genetics or not?

We just had to put down our Zenzi who was only 14 month old GSD. She was a case not seen before. She had cutaneous lymphoma and metastic lung disease. We were devastated. The breeder denies any cancer in the bloodlines. The oncologist begs to differ. I think if she was an old dog I might have taken it a little better but its hard to believe that there are no genetics involved with this breeder who is one AKC's top breeders to boot. I thought he was a little off when we picked her and he was trying to push the one with the hernia instead. Beautiful dog whose life went way to short. Our hearts are broken.
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm so sorry for your loss.
Can you find out the other pups the breeder has produced(or others from the stud/dams pedigree to see if there is a history? Are all the litters/pups accounted for or are there 'missing' links with what they've bred?
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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How awful and painful for you. I'm so sorry for your loss..
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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so sorry for this . Let's look at the genetics , if you could provide a pedigree.
Cancer can be caused by environmental exposures , including radon gas , contaminants in water , over exposure to vaccinations (polyvalent) , toxins - preservatives in food , agricultural chemicals including lawn fertilizers, weed control, pesticides , levels of folic acid in grain based foods (which is a synthetic vs folates which are natural ) present in vitamin premixes used for kibbles ---

"Individual breeds’ reduced genetic variety enables researchers to find those genes and gene-regulation sequences that are different in an individual with cancer. And, while most cancers are acquired, some genetic defects that predispose an individual to the disease are clearly inherited " --

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Old 12-21-2012, 12:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I am so sorry for your loss
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Old 12-21-2012, 01:05 AM   #6 (permalink)
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My heart goes out to you. Losing one so young is heartbreaking.

The thing about looking for an explanation that's hard is that even if it's genetic, it may not be a complete explanation. If it's environmental, it's too tempting beat yourself up over what might have caused it. When I lost mine to hemangio, I researched everything I could about it, trying to figure out where I failed my dog ... and there were no answers. The sad truth is no one knows why so many dogs are dying of cancer.

FWIW, I recall reading (maybe in the China Study?)a theory about cancer in humans that genes that are responsible for cancer lie dormant, and may never get turned on, until the right environmental or dietary trigger activates them. The same triggers wouldn't cause cancer in a person that lacked the gene, but they would in a person with the gene. So, if that theory is right, it may be that both your oncologist and Carm are correct--- the cancer genes were there, and something turned them on. If so, a lack of cancer in line so far doesn't necessarily mean the genes aren't there in littermates or other litters, just that their dormant cancer gene hasn't been activated.

There are others here who know far more about genetics and causes of cancer than I do. I just want to offer that it may not genetics or environment, but a complex interplay between them.
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Old 12-21-2012, 01:24 AM   #7 (permalink)
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this " If it's environmental, it's too tempting beat yourself up over what might have caused it." does not mean that the person who bought and raised the pup had the environment which contributed to cancer .
There are studies in epigenetics which show DNA changes and mutations that carry over from generation to generation which pre-dispose certain disease processes to take hold.
That is the genetic contribution .
There are studies which suggest that cancer is a form of universal , meaning total body sytem, inflammation . When cells are forced into rapid reproduction for repair and replacement there is an increased chance for error in the replication . That is why nutrition rich in antioxidants and compounds which encourage apoptosis or cellular death of rogue cells , such as ellagitannins and catechins and phenolic acids are of interest. I have a supplement where ingredient number one is raw organic red raspberry powder , later in the ingredient list is red raspberry seed flour, another not yet labeled food which lists split wall chlorella , then spirulina as second ingredient . Heal With Food: 26 Cancer Fighting Superfoods, 16 Diet Tips, and a Vast Collection of Anti-Cancer Recipes
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Old 12-21-2012, 01:28 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I had a litter out of a Sch3 female that was imported from Germany. She lived to be 12. The litter I had was out of an imported Sch3 male who lived to be 14. Out of 8 pups in that litter, 5 died of cancer before they were 5 years old (the first problems cropped up around 3 years). The two parents were not bred together again--but none of their other litters ever had a problem.

Was this a genetic problem? Was this some environmental exposure? I don't know the full family history on either of these dogs, but both of them were out of famous sires who lived to reasonable ages.

I guess my point is that it's entirely possible that this breeder is being honest. Sometimes problems crop up that can't be avoided and can't be predicted.

I'm very, very sorry for your loss--I'm glad you gave Zenzi a loving home while she was with you.
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Old 12-21-2012, 01:42 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Old 12-21-2012, 05:26 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Well we were bringing home a baby sister for her. End result we are bringing home a brother and sister from a different breeder, same litter. I have always had what a call a "four pack" at home. Regardless of genetics or not, things happen and hearts break. I guess if the breeder was a little more sympathetic to our situation or should I say empathetic, I might not feel so bad. But it's bitter sweet. The new pups are get their vet check today and shots, so they should be in our home within two weeks. My Zenzi was a beauty that had such a prance to her and never left my bed side. Our family will miss her greatly. I try not to beat myself up, but I think when we can't know the "why's" It makes it a little harder. I think if it's environmental, why aren't my other dogs sick? She was our first GSD and we fell in love. Best dog I have ever had. Her brother Sully is having a hard time since she is not here. He's a Pit/Shep mix. They were tied at the hip.The puppy was planned before she got sick so I couldn't help but pick two knowing I was putting my baby down. We are going tomorrow to watch Schutzhund training and as soon as we have our new babies in hand, they will be doing their obedience with the club and being evaluated. The new pups come from a German Bloodline. Just getting into the whole GSD world as we love the breed.
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