Features June 2011 Issue

A Study of Breed-Related Causes of Death in Dogs

It helps to know what disease is most likely to afflict your dog’s breed, or which organ system is most prone to problems.

A Study of Breed-Related Causes of Death in Dogs

Study revealed the most common causes of mortality in dogs – by breed, age, and size.

A new 20-year retrospective study from the University of Georgia examined causes of death in dogs between 1984 and 2004. Researchers looked at records of 74,566 dogs from the Veterinary Medical Database, which includes data from 27 veterinary teaching hospitals. These results may be biased toward more severe, complicated, or unusual causes than the general dog population, but are fascinating nonetheless. The study grouped deaths by organ system and by disease category (“pathophysiological process”), and analyzed results based on age, breed, and average breed size. Eighty-two breeds with at least 100 representatives were included in breed-based analyses; mixed-breed dogs were considered as one group.

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