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Cancer

OESCA Supported Research Studies

For information on the OESCA supported Lymphoma, Osteosarcoma and Hemangiosarcoma Research Project, click here.

Too Many of Our Dogs Have Cancer

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in Old English Sheepdogs. Sadly, this fact does not surprise us since cancer is also a leading cause of death in people and many species of animals. The challenge of cancer looms large. Canine cancer is a painful and tragic disease for the dogs and for the families who cherish them.

As members of the Old English Sheepdog Club of America (OESCA) Health and Research Committee, we are determined to aggressively pursue this disease by supporting cancer research for our breed. To achieve our goals, we have collected and earmarked dollars for cancer research, and at the same time continued to gather information from OES owners and breeders to determine the frequency of cancer and the types of cancer that affect our breed. In September 2008, OESCA launched a comprehensive Health Survey to remain current on the breed's health information. Cancer is being reported as a part of that survey. We are closely monitoring the data as the surveys are being submitted and tabulated.

While advances in cancer research are rapidly expanding, a need still remains for specific, breed-related information on cancer. This is where OES owners and breeders can be of greatest help. The better informed our research decisions, the sooner we can improve the quality of life for dogs and their owners.

What can we do to help our dogs?

If you currently have a dog that has been diagnosed with cancer we encourage you to share your dog's health data by completing the following steps:

Step One: OESCA Supported Cancer Research

If your dog has been diagnosed with a cancer covered by an OESCA supported research study (listed at top of page), please support the applicable research. Every research study has its own protocol for participation. Click on the link to the study in question and follow the instructions.

Step Two: CHIC DNA Repository

Send a sample of your dog's blood to the CHIC DNA Repository. The DNA Repository collects and stores DNA samples along with the dog's pedigree and a health history to facilitate future research and testing aimed at reducing the incidences of inherited diseases in dogs. The procedure for collecting and submitting your dog's blood follows:

1) Ask your veterinarian to collect a blood sample from your dog

2) Include a copy of your dog's pedigree and a completed health survey form

3) Package the blood sample with cold packs, and ship with the pedigree and health history form via overnight express to the DNA Repository.

You will find that many veterinarians prefer to package and ship the sample for you.

To participate, complete the following application form and submit to the OFA. You will receive the appropriate swab or blood collection kit in the mail. The health survey below may be completed online, printed, and mailed to the OFA with the DNA samples.

DNA Application Form
Instructions for submission of DNA samples via Blood Sample
Instructions for submission of DNA samples via Cheek Swab
Health Survey for DNA Repository


By donating blood to the DNA Repository, you will help collect and maintain health information essential to research in cancer and other canine diseases. Most importantly, you will provide health information capable of preserving and protecting the health of our breed.

Thank you in advance for your support.

OESCA Health and Research Committee
October 2008
(Revised May 2011)