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Can Hemangiosarcoma be prevented?

New research suggests that, yes, hemangiosarcoma in our beloved Golden Retrievers can be prevented. One in five Golden Retrievers currently die of hemangiosarcoma!

While I'm not a scientist, this new information is so important that I'm going to try to translate this scientific paper into lay terms. If you want all the facts you can find the original article at

The secret lies in the connection between a bacteria called bartonella and the highly malignant cancer, hemangiosarcoma. Bartonella invades and hides in blood rich areas such as the heart, spleen, and bone marrow. It doesn't show up on blood tests. Therefore it can grow undetected and metastasize to virtually any organ.

These are the clinical signs of Bartonellosis





Swollen or inflamed lymph nodes



Unfortunately, the cancer is usually advanced by the time that it's discovered.

But let's talk about the good news.

Tissue samples of dogs with hemangiosarcoma show that 73% of them were infected with Bartonella. So how did the dogs become infected with Bartonella? It's a vector born bacteria. The vectors that transmit it are primarily fleas, ticks, sand flies and lice. This is something that we can control!

Normally, I like to avoid subjecting my dogs to any unnecessary chemicals. But this research shows that flea and tick preventative has become a necessary chemical to prolong their life.

There are lots of flea and tick preventatives. They include:

Spot-On preventatives

Oral preventatives

Flea & tick collars

Talk to your vet, but find something that you're comfortable with, particularly if you live in an area with lots of fleas and ticks. While we don't have lots of them in Colorado, trust me, it's possible to get a flea infestation here too. All Peyton Goldens are on monthly heartworm preventative with flea and tick prevention as well. (Except when pregnant or lactating.)

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