Scottish Canine Cancer Registry Feasibility Project

This project is a collaboration between researchers, vets, and pathologists located around Inverness in the Scottish Highlands. It is a feasibility project, aiming to explore the practical and legal implications of developing a canine cancer registry for Scotland. We are trying to understand the most effective way to gather useful data about cancer in dogs in Scotland, in order to understand more about how different cancers affect dogs.

What is a cancer registry?

Registries exist in human and veterinary medicine. A registry is a database which is designed to store specified information about every case of the disease(s) of interest in a specified population. This population could be every patient attending a particular hospital, for example, or every person living in a particular country. For this project, we are interested in potentially every dog in Scotland that is diagnosed with any type of cancer.

Why are registries useful?

Registries act as valuable banks of evidence. They contain information about large numbers of cases of disease along with information about the patients that are affected. In this case, a registry of cancer cases in dogs could allow researchers to investigate whether certain types of cancer are more common in certain breeds of dog, for example. This is useful information for research because it helps us to understand more about different types of cancer. It is also useful information for vets and dog owners because it can help with cancer diagnosis. Registries can also collect information on survival times after diagnosis, which is often very valuable information to dog owners and their vets. As there are similarities between some cancers in dogs and some cancers in humans, findings from research into canine cancers could also help us to understand more about human cancer.

What type of data are we hoping to collect?

We hope to collect data describing the age, sex and breed of each dog as well as the type of cancer that has been diagnosed. We would also like to gather some location information, linking the dogs to the approximate location of the vet practice that they attend. Finally, we want to collect information on the length of time that each dog survives after its cancer diagnosis.

How can you get involved?

We are currently seeking vet practices to contact to discuss possible options for a Scottish canine cancer registry. If you work for a vet practice, please consider completing our simple online questionnaire, which will help us to explore some of the practical aspects required for a Scottish canine cancer registry, and to determine the level of interest in such a project.

If you are not a vet but you have interest in the project, please feel free to contact us directly, or to mention this project to your vet.