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Lawn Chemicals Linked to Dog Cancer - U.S. Study


Reuters Health

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A study that links lawn chemicals to bladder cancer in Scottish terriers could help shed light on whether they cause cancer in some people, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday.

Purdue University researchers surveyed 83 owners of Scottish terriers whose pets had recently been diagnosed with bladder cancer for their report, published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medicine Association.

"The risk ... was found to be between four and seven times more likely in exposed animals," said Larry Glickman, professor of epidemiology and environmental medicine in Purdue's School of Veterinary Medicine.

"While we hope to determine which of the many chemicals in lawn treatments are responsible, we also hope the similarity between human and dog genomes will allow us to find the genetic predisposition toward this form of cancer found in both Scotties and certain people."

Glickman and his colleagues earlier found that Scotties are about 20 times more likely to develop bladder cancer than other breeds.

"These dogs are more sensitive to some factors in their environment," Glickman said in a statement. "As pets tend to spend a fair amount of time in contact with plants treated with herbicides and insecticides, we decided to find out whether lawn chemicals were having any effect on cancer frequency."

The National Cancer Institute says about 38,000 men and 15,000 women are diagnosed with bladder cancer each year. Humans and animals often share genes that can predispose them to cancer.

"If such a gene exists in dogs, it's likely that it exists in a similar location in the human genome," Glickman said. "Finding the dog gene could save years in the search for it in humans and could also help us determine which kids need to stay away from lawn chemicals."

Glickman's team plans to survey children, as well as dogs, in households that have treated lawns and compare the chemicals in their urine samples with those from households with untreated lawns.

"It's important to find out which lawn chemicals are being taken up by both children and animals," he said.


SOURCE: Journal of the American Veterinary Medicine Association, April 15, 2004.
 

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And the JAVMA abstract
April 15, 2004 (Vol. 224, No. 8)


Herbicide exposure and the risk of transitional cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder in Scottish Terriers

Lawrence T. Glickman, VMD, DrPH; Malathi Raghavan, DVM, PhD; Deborah W. Knapp, DVM, MS, DACVIM; Patty L. Bonney; Marcia H. Dawson, DVM  *

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether exposure to lawn or garden chemicals was associated with an increased risk of transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) of the urinary bladder in Scottish Terriers.

Design—Case-control study.

Animals—83 Scottish Terriers with TCC (cases) and 83 Scottish Terriers with other health-related conditions (controls).

Procedure—Owners of study dogs completed a written questionnaire pertaining to exposure to lawn or garden chemicals during the year prior to diagnosis of TCC for case dogs and during a comparable period for control dogs.

Results—The risk of TCC was significantly increased among dogs exposed to lawns or gardens treated with both herbicides and insecticides (odds ratio [OR], 7.19) or with herbicides alone (OR, 3.62), but not among dogs exposed to lawns or gardens treated with insecticides alone (OR, 1.62), compared with dogs exposed to untreated lawns. Exposure to lawns or gardens treated with phenoxy herbicides (OR, 4.42) was associated with an increased risk of TCC, compared with exposure to untreated lawns or gardens, but exposure to lawns or gardens treated with nonphenoxy herbicides (OR, 3.49) was not significantly associated with risk of TCC.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that exposure to lawns or gardens treated with herbicides was associated with an increased risk of TCC in Scottish Terriers. Until additional studies are performed to prove or disprove a cause-and-effect relationship, owners of Scottish Terriers should minimize their dogs´ access to lawns or gardens treated with phenoxy herbicides. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;24:1290–1297)


From the Departments of Veterinary Pathobiology (Glickman, Raghavan) and Veterinary Clinical Sciences (Knapp, Bonney), School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2027; and 3220 N County Rd 575 E, Danville, IN 46122-8689 (Dawson).
Supported in part by matching grants from the Scottish Terrier Club of America and the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation.
Address correspondence to Dr. Glickman.
[ April 23, 2004, 09:00 PM: Message edited by: Betsy Iole ]
 
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Frankly, I think lawn chemicals are a terrible thing. All that nitrogen and phosphorous run-off is killing our streams and rivers with the algae growth. How can it be so good if it poisons our dogs and other animals.
When I got Franny I gave up on lawn chemicals (much to my neighbors' disgust)but I compensate (or at least draw the eye away from the grass) by having lots and lots of flower gardens. The only fertilizer I use around here is cow manure.
 

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I've never really used herbicides, but have had to resort to ... something here, as I'm dealing with five acres that just plain were taken over by just about everything by the time I got in here. :D , I just don't like the idea of spending all that money on herbicides.

But what I've discovered is ... vinegar does horrible things to weeds and noxious stuff. Vinegar with a little salt (not too much because salt's not great, either) is almost as good as the most evil herbicide. And bleach --- cheap bleach --- will kill off almost anything. It's not the greatest thing in the world, but I figure noxious invasive plants are worse than a little bleach, and bleach is better than 99.9999999% of herbicides.

Although I do use a little Brush-B-Gone after I cut poison ivy vines.

So, for people desperate for their herbicides, you might try some carefully applied vinegar with a little salt or some bleach. They really do work.
 

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Do you have 'bull-briars'? I don't know if that's what they're really called but it's what my husband calls them. They're green vines with long, lethal thorns that can reach incredible lengths (or heights when they latch onto a tree). Around here they infest the second-growth woods (areas that may have been cleared at one point in the last two hundred years, but allowed to go wild again (like the land we live on :eek: ). When not climbing trees, eventually strangling them, they form an incredible nasty tangle that nothing can get through. Nothing but the most poisonous chemicals (now illegal) seem to kill them, or so the old-timers tell me. I have been cutting them every year in the hopes of eventually killing them but it takes years before they'll die that way. Also the cut vines don't seem to decay and are as nasty when dead as they are when alive. Store bought spot weed killers claim to work but don't, and it would be too expensive to buy enough even if they DID work. I would just give up but Moe and Tally get the thorns in thier feet sometimes, so I keep cutting. I wonder if vinegar and salt or bleach will kill them? I'll have to give it a try...

Terry
 
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Terry, We also have those d**n things in our yard and last year I tried bleach...nope! nada! nothing!! This year I want to try vinegar because I'm avoiding all "chemicals". If this doesn't work, I'll try to see what other natural things will kill it.
I think this is the northern version of kudzu.
 

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There's some kind of evil vine here that has thorns but I don't know what it is.

The vines I have the biggest problems with are poison ivy :D Do your bull briars have rose-like flowers on them? If so, that's what we call multifloras. :mad: They're as bad as poison ivy and, once they get going, you have to get tractors in to pull out the root system. :mad:

So my philosophy is, most things get the vinegar and bleach or get attacked by a weedeater. Poison ivy and multiflora, though, get vinegar, bleach, saws, loppers AND Brush-B-Gone on cuts in the vines and root systems.
 

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Okay, I just googled bull briar and yes, I've got it. :mad: I have a hollow I'm trying to clean out that has beautiful, majestic hickories, at least 16 dogwoods! ... and more bull briar and multiflora than you can shake a stick at.

:mad:

I've been lopping it, pouring bleach on it, stomping on it and everything else. :mad: I haven't tried Brush-B-Gone on it yet because I haven't located the bottom of it.

:mad:
 

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I work for a large exotic animal facility, and we have a professional weed abatement contractor who works within our strict safety guidelines in animal areas. He has been able to kill everything we are infested with, using biologically sound methods. One of these is castor bean, one of the toughest things to kill on the planet. Maybe you could consult one of these guys? Also - I had a problem with perennial morning glory, a horrible pest. I tried Round Up, which is a non toxic weed killer that you spray on, and it didn't work. The weed guy told me to get Round Up concentrate, and mix it double strength. He also said to mix in a little dish soap to help it cling better and to help penetrate the waxy coating on the leaves. It works like a charm, and is harmless to pets as soon as it has dried on the plant, and also does not harm the environment.
 

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!!! That's good to know!

Now I DO use Round-Up or a generic variety on some noxious invasive bushes here. Geeeeez, these things are unbelievable, they would take over the entire place, given half the chance and they have this amazing root system. But I limit my use of Round-Up (or a generic) to them because it's so expensive and the Round-Up hasn't been very successful with the multiflora or poison ivy. :mad:

However, I remember being hesitant about using it til I read several years ago it's actually passed the requirements for use in organic farming, I think, because it breaks down or isn't retained in the soil or something. It's basically a kind of salt, I think. Or something. :confused:
 
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