No one spared

Pesticides linked to dog cancer

Published: Monday 31 May 2004

A recent study links exposure to lawn pesticides with bladder cancer in Scottish terriers. Researchers from US-based Purdue University surveyed 83 dogs suffering from the cancer. "As pets tend to spend a fair amount of time in lawns treated with herbicides and insecticides, we checked whether the chemicals were having any effect on their cancer frequency," says Larry Glickman, the lead author of the study. The risk was found to be four to seven times more in exposed animals (Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association, Vol 224, No 8, April 15, 2004). The researchers had earlier found that Scotties are 20 times more likely to develop bladder cancer than other breeds, as they are more sensitive to pollution.

"We now plan to identify genes in dogs that are vulnerable to the chemicals," informs Glickman. Humans and animals have genes that get mutated by the chemicals, thereby leading to cancer. Finding the genes in dogs could save the efforts as well as the funds required to search for them in humans, as genome of both are similar.

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.