Breed prevalence of canine lymphoma in South Africa

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Lymphoma is a common haematopoietic neoplasm in dogs. Several breeds have been shown to have a predisposition to lymphoma; however, very little information exists regarding the South African dog population. This study assessed whether any breed had increased odds of developing lymphoma compared with others, and also investigated the effects of age, sex and neutering status on disease prevalence. Two study populations and their corresponding reference populations were studied retrospectively. Odds ratios (ORs) for lymphoma in 49 dog breeds, together with their 95% confidence intervals (CI), were calculated. Age effect was assessed by calculating ORs for different age categories in one of the populations. The chi-square test was used to evaluate differences in the prevalence of the various sex and neutering categories in one lymphoma population compared with its reference population. Fourteen breeds had significantly increased odds of developing lymphoma, and one breed had significantly decreased odds (p < 0.050). The median ages of the two lymphoma populations were 6.5 and 8.0 years, with the 6.1-9.0 year category having significantly increased odds of developing lymphoma (OR 1.61, CI 1.2-2.16, p = 0.002). In one of the lymphoma populations, higher proportions of males (p = 0.033) and neutered females (p = 0.006) were found when compared with the reference population. These findings suggest that certain breeds in South Africa have a higher risk of developing lymphoma, and that sex hormones may play a role in lymphoma pathogenesis. The findings may provide useful information for pet owners and veterinarians.




Van Rooyen, L. J., Hooijberg, E., & Reyers, F. (2018). Breed prevalence of canine lymphoma in South Africa. Journal of the South African Veterinary Association, 89.

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