The American Kennel Club Health Foundation sent out an alert today about research into canine osteosarcoma (OSA), the most common malignant bone cancer in dogs. It's common enough--particularly among large breeds-- that if you haven't dealt with it on one of your dogs, you probably know someone who has.
While one purpose of the news release is to show that the AKC Health Foundation is helping to fund this research and would like to have readers contribute, its other purpose is to request blood samples for the genome mapping project in which researchers are searching for the mutations in genes that make dogs susceptible to this disease.
The next time you take your dog for a check-up and have blood drawn, you might want to send a blood sample to the genome mapping project. The more dogs that are enrolled, the better chance the researchers have of getting reliable results.
From the link above, here's what they're looking for.
"Investigators are enrolling all purebred dogs that fall into any of the following categories:
1) Have been diagnosed with OSA
2) Over eight years old and without cancer
3) Have other types of cancer/hereditary diseases (see the comprehensive list at Dog DNA)"
It's a bit of a bother--you have to get the kit, get the blood, fill out forms, send it all in--but when has something been too much bother for our dogs' well-being?