10.6 C
Byron Shire
July 18, 2024

Canine cancers provide clues about human health risks

Latest News

Ready for the meta-crisis?

The attempted assassination of Donald Trump has caused shock waves, but it’s sadly not surprising this would happen, with so much hate and vitriol being expressed in the US presidential race.

Other News

It’s Play School!

This year, your favourite Play School TV friends are stepping out of the screen and onto the stage for ‘Let’s Play Together’. Embarking on a thrilling national concert tour started this March in Victoria, they’ll be bringing a whirlwind of fun right across the nation.

Getting the word out on wildlife

The Young and Wild project by young women and run by Byron Youth Service (BYS) has produced wildlife stickers and murals, all to raise awareness of the plight of our native animals.

Traffic chaos?

I note that water mains replacement is soon to be undertaken on Bangalow Road, Byron Bay. Timeframe July to...

Tweed boating trip turns fatal

A boating venture on the Tweed River ended in tragedy on Saturday when the vessel capsized and a passenger died.

Get their houses in order

Well David Heilpern may be discombobulated (Echo, July 3), but his use of the word Zionist as a derogatory...

Dinner at Three Blue Ducks

A new dinner menu has arrived at Three Blue Ducks Byron Bay, taking advantage of seasonal winter produce and...

UQ researchers say dogs are a better proxy for human health than many people realise.

University of Queensland researchers are looking to dog owners across Australia for data on protecting pet – and human health – from environmental hazards.

Veterinary pathologist Professor Chiara Palmieri from UQ’s School of Veterinary Science is examining risk factors for canine health in Australia, with a focus on chemical exposure, indoor air quality and outdoor air pollution.

‘Pets can be the proverbial “canary in the coalmine” when it comes to human health risks,’ said Professor Palmieri. ‘We love our dogs, but sadly they’re often the first to suffer from environmental health hazards in our households.

‘A classic example is a dog developing mesothelioma after their owner’s house renovations reveal asbestos, or from over-application of certain flea repellents which can contain asbestos-like fibres,’ she said.

‘Chemicals like those found in tobacco smoke or garden products also put dogs at risk of common cancers like lymphoma or cancer of the bladder.’

Professor Palmieri said gathering data on canine exposure to environmental hazards is crucial to understanding the origin of spontaneous cancers. ‘We’re working on the principle that if it’s toxic to our pets, it will be toxic to humans as well,’ she explained.

Professor Palmieri said dogs are a better proxy for human health than many people realise.

‘Dogs get cancer at roughly the same rate as humans, or even more,’ she said. ‘We estimate that a quarter of dogs will develop cancer at some point, increasing to almost 50 per cent of dogs over the age of 10.’

Professor Palmieri says canine cancer rates are rising, and for some of the same reasons as humans, including things like longer lifespans, more focus on health indicators, increased use of diagnostic tests and the isolation of specific exposure risks.

‘If we can better understand the chronic exposures that are risky to dogs, we can do a better job of preventing them and decrease the incidence of certain tumours,’ she said.

Survey respondents wanted

Professor Palmieri’s research team has devised a brief survey for dog owners. ‘We’re compiling basic information about a dog’s age, sex, breed, weight and vaccination status, grooming routine and the flea/tick control products used,’ she said.

‘But we’re also noting the location of the house, whether anyone in the house smokes and if the dog is exposed to herbicides and pesticides. It’s important to gather this data so we can better protect our canine companions while protecting ourselves at the same time.’

The survey can be completed here.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Support Tweed’s rough sleepers in Tweed Heads and join the Community Sleepout

Vinnies and Fred’s Place are asking for the residents of the Tweed Shire to come together for a night and experience what it is like to be homeless.

Cr Dicker calls on Ballina Council to look at future options for Wollongbar pods 

Visiting the Wollongbar pod village over the weekend, after residents were given notice to leave the pods by November, Cr Kiri Dicker said: ‘It’s total waste of taxpayers’ money to tear it down when the shortage of housing is so severe’.

Maintenance work Blackwall Drive, Wardell

Maintenance work is being carried out on Blackwall Drive, Wardell starting Monday 22 July.

Byron’s foreshore future – a closer look

Plans for Byron Bay’s foreshore are on exhibition until July 31 – Council staff propose options and a ten-year vision for the much-used space, including the removal, or partial removal of the carpark around the pool and Fishheads restaurant.