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Dog breeds and body conformations with predisposition to osteosarcoma in the UK: a case-control study

Edmunds, Grace L., Smalley, Matthew J. ORCID:, Beck, Sam, Errington, Rachel J. ORCID:, Gould, Sara, Winter, Helen, Brodbelt, David and O'Neill, Dan 2021. Dog breeds and body conformations with predisposition to osteosarcoma in the UK: a case-control study. Canine Medicine and Genetics 8 , 2. 10.1186/s40575-021-00100-7

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Background Osteosarcoma is an aggressive and painful bone neoplasm in dogs. Previous studies have reported epidemiological associations suggesting that large body mass, long bone length and the genetics of certain breeds including the Rottweiler are associated with elevated osteosarcoma risk. However, these studies were often limited by selection bias and confounding factors, and have rarely offered insights into breed-associated protection for osteosarcoma. The current study includes 1756 appendicular and axial osteosarcoma cases presenting to VPG Histology (Bristol, UK) compared against a control population of 905,211 dogs without osteosarcoma from primary care electronic patient records in the VetCompass™ dataset. Methods and study design Retrospective, case-control study. Multivariable logistic regression analysis explored associations between demographic risk factors (including breed, chondrodystrophy, age, sex/neuter status, skull-shape, and body mass) and osteosarcoma of all anatomical sites. Results We identified several breeds with increased and reduced odds of osteosarcoma. At highest risk were the Rottweiler and Great Dane, with > 10 times the odds of osteosarcoma compared with crossbreds, and the Rhodesian Ridgeback, which has not featured in previous lists of at-risk breeds for osteosarcoma, and had an odds ratio of 11.31 (95% confidence interval 7.37–17.35). Breeds at lowest risk of osteosarcoma (protected breeds) included the Bichon Frise, the French Bulldog and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, all with odd ratios of less than 0.30 compared with crossbreds. Body mass was strongly associated with osteosarcoma risk; dogs over 40 kg exhibited osteosarcoma odds of 45.44 (95% confidence interval 33.74–61.20) compared with dogs less than 10 kg. Chondrodystrophic breeds had an osteosarcoma odds ratio of 0.13 (95% confidence interval 0.11–0.16) compared with non-chondrodystrophic breeds. Conclusions This study provides evidence of strong breed-associated osteosarcoma risk and protection, suggesting a genetic basis for osteosarcoma pathogenesis. It highlights that breeds selected for long legs/large body mass are generally overrepresented amongst at-risk breeds, whilst those selected for short leg length/small body mass are generally protected. These findings could inform genetic studies to identify osteosarcoma risk alleles in canines and humans; as well as increasing awareness amongst veterinarians and owners, resulting in improved breeding practices and clinical management of osteosarcoma in dogs.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute (ECSCRI)
Publisher: BMC
ISSN: 2662-9380
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 2 February 2021
Date of Acceptance: 29 January 2021
Last Modified: 07 May 2023 05:47

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