Gearing Up to Learn More About Canine Cancer
Dr. Katy Hazzard laughs as she talks about the long route she took to get to Falmouth Veterinary Hospital in Falmouth, Maine, from her childhood home of Idaho.
“I remember ordering gear from the L.L. Bean store when I was a youngster, and having the company logo on my backpack,” she says, “never realizing I’d be living right down the road from the company one day.”
Dr. Hazzard gets serious when she discusses participating in the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study. Five of her patients enrolled last year, and another is awaiting approval.
“In January 2014, at the North American Veterinary Conference, I was compelled to go to the presentation on Morris Animal Foundation’s Canine Lifetime Health Project,” Dr. Hazzard says. “I grew up with two very special Golden Retrievers, and Goldens are a treasured breed within my veterinary practice in Maine. Growing up, my Golden Retrievers were my constant companions.”
As Dr. David Haworth, Morris Animal Foundation president and CEO, talked about the study, Dr. Hazzard emailed her client and friend Jill Simmons. Dr. Hazzard knew Jill would be the perfect owner and breeder to participate in the study. Their combined efforts resulted in five enrolled patients, including Jill’s own dog, Mystic.
Dr. Hazzard says the owners who participate in the study are “a notch above” the average pet owner.
“These owners are motivated and detail–oriented. They are people who really care and want to do everything possible to help future generations of dogs,” she says.
She adds that the owners who enroll their dogs have been well-equipped with supplies and knowledge when they come into her veterinary clinic; although Dr. Hazzard did acknowledge that the blood draws, while necessary, can be a challenge.
Dr. Hazzard is eagerly awaiting the results of the study. She hopes the study helps to clarify any correlations between cancer and diet, vaccinations and preventatives. She notes that today’s clients want to know things such as whether a raw diet works better than an organic kibble or a regular store brand, or if there is a difference at all. They want to know if the number of vaccinations given over a lifetime matters.
Just as Dr. Hazzard equipped herself for the outdoors as a youngster, the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study Team is well-equipped to support the participating veterinarians and owners, and discover the answers to these questions over the course of the study.
”I’m excited to see what we can do better as veterinarians and Golden Retriever guardians to prolong their lives, as healthy and vibrantly as possible!” Dr. Hazzard says, adding. “Negative correlations are just as important as positive ones.”
Join Dr. Hazzard, Mystic, and Morris Animal Foundation in the quest for answers at www.MorrisAnimalFoundation.org.