News Release

Study aims to uncover link between environmental toxins and lymphoma in dogs

Grant and Award Announcement

Morris Animal Foundation

Denver/June 1, 2023 – Lymphoma is a common cancer in dogs, but unlike human studies, which have associated the disease with environmental toxins, little is known about how it originates in dogs. A new Morris Animal Foundation-funded study from researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is focused on looking for links between toxins in the environment and the development of lymphoma in dogs as a step toward early detection and prevention.

The team, led by Dr. Lauren Trepanier, Professor of Internal Medicine and Assistant Dean for Clinical and Translational Research, will analyze blood and urine samples from 60 Golden Retriever Lifetime Study participants diagnosed with lymphoma. These dogs will be compared to a control group of 60 age- and sex-matched healthy dogs from the same study.

“Morris Animal Foundation’s Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is an invaluable resource,” Trepanier said. “These data allow us to look at the chemical exposures not only at the time of diagnosis, but a year prior to diagnosis to see whether there is early DNA damage that can be seen in the blood in association with chemical exposures. This might help us screen high-risk animals or understand the impacts the chemical exposures have on dogs.”

Trepanier added there is enough available data to suggest that people should avoid using herbicides on their lawns as some have been associated with bladder cancer and lymphoma. As the study progresses, she hopes to shed more light on risk factors for canine lymphoma to help dog owners minimize exposure to cancer-causing chemicals.

"Through the identification of potential modifiable risk factors for lymphoma in dogs, we hope to make substantial progress in preventing and treating this devastating disease,” Trepanier said.

Recently, Trepanier discussed her research on this topic on Morris Animal Foundation’s Fresh Scoop podcast, as well as in a virtual talk in collaboration with TEDxMileHigh.

About Morris Animal Foundation
Morris Animal Foundation’s mission is to bridge science and resources to advance the health of animals. Headquartered in Denver, and founded in 1948, it is one of the largest nonprofit animal health research organizations in the world, funding more than $149 million in critical studies across a broad range of species. Learn more at

Media Contact: Annie Mehl

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