Lifetime prevalence of malignant and benign tumours in companion dogs: Cross-sectional analysis of Dog Aging Project baseline survey. Academic Article uri icon


  • Although cancer is widely regarded as a major contributor to canine morbidity and mortality, its frequency in companion dogs has only infrequently been characterised. We analysed cross-sectional data from the baseline survey of owners of 27541 living companion dogs enrolled in the Dog Aging Project as of 31 December 2020 to estimate the lifetime prevalence of malignant and benign tumours and several potentially-associated characteristics. Survey questions elicited information on history of 'cancer or tumors' including organ site and histologic type. Owners reported 819 malignant tumours (56% sited in the skin, muscle or other soft tissue) and 404 benign tumours (69% sited in the skin, muscle or other soft tissue). The lifetime prevalence of malignant tumours (29.7/1000 dogs) was approximately double the lifetime prevalence of benign tumours (14.7/1000 dogs). Lifetime prevalence of both malignant and benign tumours increased with dog age at survey completion. There were no statistically discernable differences in age-adjusted lifetime prevalence of malignant (prevalence ratio (PR)=0.93 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.82, 1.07] or benign tumours (PR=1.10, 95% CI 0.91, 1.34) in mixed vs. purebred dogs. The lifetime prevalence of malignant tumours increased with increasing dog size class; compared to toy and small dogs, the age-adjusted PRs (95% CIs) for medium, standard, large, and giant dogs were 1.65 (1.28, 2.11), 2.92 (2.35, 3.64), 3.67 (2.92, 4.62) and 2.99 (1.23, 4.02), respectively. Similar though less pronounced patterns in relation to dog size class were observed for benign tumours. Ongoing prospective data collection will permit future studies on risk factors for canine tumour incidence.

published proceedings

  • Vet Comp Oncol

altmetric score

  • 2.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Schwartz, S. M., Urfer, S. R., White, M., Megquier, K., Shrager, S., Dog Aging Project Consortium, .., & Ruple, A.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Schwartz, Stephen M||Urfer, Silvan R||White, Michelle||Megquier, Kate||Shrager, Sandi||Ruple, Audrey

publication date

  • January 2022