Morris Animal Foundation funds study on environmental toxins and lymphoma


New study focuses on looking for link between environmental toxins and lymphoma in dogs

SasaStock /

SasaStock /

A new study funded by Morris Animal Foundation (MAF) will try to see if there is a connection between environmental toxins and the development of lymphoma in dogs. According to MAF, lymphoma is a common cancer in dogs, but there is little known about how it occurs.1 The foundation hopes that this new study can help be a step toward early detection and prevention.

The study is set to be conducted by researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, led by Lauren Trepanier, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (SAIM), DACVCP, professor of internal medicine and assistant dean for clinical and translational research. The study will analyze blood and urine samples from 60 golden retrievers from a previous MAF study: Golden Retriever Lifetime Study.2 Samples will come from participants diagnosed with lymphoma and the 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 in the MAF release. “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.”1

In Trepanier’s opinion, 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.1


  1. Study aims to uncover link between environmental toxins and lymphoma in dogs. News release. Morris Animal Foundation. June 1, 2023.
  2. Golden Retriever Lifetime Study. Morris Animal Foundation. Accessed June 1, 2023.
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