Cancer & non-cancerous tumors FAQs


Has cancer become more common in Aussies than it used to be?

Yes.  During a longevity study done in the late 1990s Cancer was found to be the breed’s primary cause of non-accidental death.  This isn’t surprising in elderly dogs but more recent generations were developing cancer at younger ages, often under 10.  The 2007 ASHGI cancer survey found that two inherited cancers accounted for nearly half of all cancers in the breed and examination of pedigrees showed strong familial patterns for both of them.  Until that survey no one in the breed had any idea that any cancers might be inherited.

How common is cancer in Aussies?

The 2009-10 ASHGI health survey found that nearly 60% of deaths in the breed were due to cancer with 45% of deaths due to the inherited cancers, hemangiosarcoma and lymphoma.      16% of the dogs surveyed had cancer and seven out of ten of them died.  The 2018 longevity survey reaffirmed that cancer is the most common cause of death with 66% of those for which a specific cause of death was known being lost to cancer.  A time period breakdown indicated 11% of dogs born before 1990 died of cancer and 35% of those born 2000-2005 did so.

What cancers are known to be inherited in Aussies?

Hemangiosarcoma and lymphoma.

How common are these inherited cancers in Aussies?

The 2018 ASHGI Longevity Survey found that among dogs born 2000-2005  55% of those with a known cause of death died of cancer and about half of those will have been either lymphoma or hemangiosarcoma.