Effect of Metabolism on Developing Bladder Cancer (Transitional Cell Carcinoma) in Dogs

The University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine is currently recruiting dogs with bladder cancer (transitional cell carcinoma or TCC) as well as healthy dogs for a clinical research study investigating the role of exposure to household chemicals, pesticides, and herbicides in the development of bladder cancer.

  • Inclusion Criteria: We are recruiting 4 groups of dogs:
    1. Scottish terriers diagnosed with TCC
    2. Middle aged to older Scottish terriers without TCC
    3. Dogs of other breeds diagnosed with TCC  (breeds not predisposed to TCC)
    4. Healthy middle aged to older dogs of breeds not predisposed to TCC
  • Procedures: A blood and urine sample will be collected from your dog to screen for the presence of chemicals linked to cancer as well as identify genetic changes that may affect your dog’s metabolism of certain chemicals. We will ask questions regarding your dog’s exposure to various chemicals and toxins.
  • Cost: The cost of the blood and urine screening tests for the study are covered. No other costs will be covered.
  • Contact:  Amandine Lejeune, DACVIM (Oncology), Principal investigator; 352-392-2235; alejeune@ufl.edu

Background:

Dogs are exposed to household chemicals, pesticides, and herbicide in their homes and environment. Chemical exposure may contribute to the development of cancer, especially in specific breeds of dogs with a genetic makeup that makes them susceptible to particular forms of cancer. We are investigating the unusually high rates of bladder cancer (Transitional Cell Carcinoma, aka TCC) in Scottish Terriers, which may be related to their environmental chemical exposure. We suspect that the Scottish Terriers may process chemicals from the environment differently than other dog breeds and this may contribute to a higher risk of developing bladder cancer.

As a first step toward understanding if there is a link between chemical exposure and bladder cancer in Scottish Terriers, we will identify the environmental chemicals found in urine of many dog breeds to look for specific chemicals that have been linked to development of cancer. Our goal is to determine if there is increased exposure to these specific environmental chemicals in Scottish Terriers who develop bladder cancer compared to other breeds that do not develop the disease. In an effort to identify changes in the genetic makeup of the Scottish Terriers that develop bladder cancer, we will collect blood samples from multiple breeds of dogs with or without TCC.