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Has anyone had experience with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in Irish Setters?

I have recently been questioned about inheritance of osteosarcoma in Irish Setters. Fortunately this is not something I have personal experience of. I do know some medium to large breeds are more prone to this form of cancer. The view generally seems to be that cancer is on the increase, but I do not know if there is scientific evidence to support this.
I was surprised by the opininon that osteosarcoma was linked with being female. This does not make sense to me - but I'm no expert.

I'd be pleased to hear your views.

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Hello Susan,
My first Irish Setter Lord Rex, went out for a run on a property, and hit his knee, and it swelled up to double the knees size. Within 2 weeks he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, amputation of the front leg was an option. It would take him a couple of months to get used to no front leg, they only gave him 6 months all told. Through the trauma, cancer had spread to his lungs, this was in the the 80's. He was only 9 years and one day old when I had to make the decision to end his suffering. It was awful one minute he was running free and 2 weeks later I didn't have him anymore. I'm sorry I can't talk about it anymore I am still not over his loss. I was told we all have cancer cells, and sometimes it happens that like Lord Rex, he only bumped his knee, it was enough to start it. I know it is hard and I searched all avenues there is more that can be done now, and there is more hope. It is the quality of his life that is the number one priority, god bless you both I know what you are going through. Please do not let Max suffer, it is the hardest decision you will ever make, it was all so quick when it happened to me, like I said I'm still not over losing him.
Slievemish Irish Setters
Hi Annelies,

I can understand your feelings and I know that even when what happened lies a long way back the memory and pain remain, dulled maybe by time. Our dogs are family which makes loosing them so tragic. Sometimes treatment allows us to share a few extra months, maybe even a few years with our friend. And sometimes we owe them relief from suffering, hard as it seems at the time. Looking back we know the decision was the right one, but this does not make it any easier...

I’ve seen your problem with osteosarcoma, and sorry to hear about. I’d like o help, but I can´t.
keep trying.
In over 40 years of owning Irish setters I have lost 1 bitch to osteosarcoma. She was the most in bred Irish I have ever owned. I am not breeding any more but the breeders of the future need to be careful of the decline of the gene pool. I think we need to open the stud books and do some carefull out crossing for the health and well being of our dogs
I abslutely agree with you Dianne.
Dianne wrote: I think we need to open the stud books and do some carefull out crossing for the health and well being of our dogs

Sounds like commonsense wins here at last.
You may find more answers about scientific proof via http://www.irishsetterclub.org/current_research.html

In it is stated: "The Health Committee has recommended that ISCA (Irish Setter Club of America) become part of a new study into the genetic causes of certain types of cancer in canines. Osteosarcoma is a major cause of death in large breed dogs, Irish Setters among them."
According to the 1997 Irish Setter Club of America Health Survey, osteosarcoma (OSA) affected around 4% of all Irish Setters.

Age plays a big role: 75% of affected Irish Setters were between the ages of 8 and 13 years. Read more in http://vetmedicine.about.com/library/viewers/ucosa-a.htm

"Hardly a month goes by without learning of another affected Irishman and his owner's heartbreak over the thought of losing a beloved companion", the author Jan Ziech writes.

For discussions on coi please chose that topic.
Sorry I'm late to this discussion, but I also came across the article mentioned above on osteosarcoma.
Apparently it is common in Irish Setters, but perhaps is not as well known in Europe as it is in the
States. I've visited many setters sites, and hadn't before seen this reported as a health problem in
Setters. The Irish Setter club is currently supporting some studies in this I believe (see here
Osteosarcoma Study).

I lost my beautiful Irish, Nellie to this horrible disease. Aparently, it is more common in
taller dogs (Nellie was very tall). It's also very aggressive.
Hello Tony,
It is very aggressive, it was 2 weeks between the diagnosis and by the time I lost Lord Rex, it had already spread to his lungs that was in 1989. I have never had it again, and I never bred with him. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss him, he was my first Irish.




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