Cancer in Labradors- chocolate labrador puppy

Cancer in Labradors?

Is Cancer in Labradors found commonly?


We have been SO fortunate to have never experienced cancer in our labs, firsthand.  But I can’t tell you how many people come to us after losing their beloved lab to this horrible disease, or seeking advice after a diagnosis.  It’s just as heartbreaking as it is when we see the people we love fighting it.

Sleepy Amy- Endless Mt. Labradors

What should not be expected is cancer  in labradors, although I have had numerous people ask me if it should be.  What I can tell you, is that there is no “clearance” for cancer, as there is for EIC, PRA, and so many other things that we do genetically test against in our labs.  This is largely because there are not yet answers to what exactly causes cancer.  There can certainly be a genetic component, but it can also be caused environmentally, as within people.  The best thing you can do is build your dog’s immune system, focus on GOOD nutrition, love them dearly, and hope for the best…

Hattie pup- Endless Mt. Labradors

Oncologists actually recommend wheat free food to prevent cancer in labradors, or if they are already predisposed to cancer. Basically, corn and wheat were originally used in pet foods and as a cheaper source of filler than the wheat protein was. Many people prefer to not feed carbs because for one thing, cancer cells FEED OFF OF CARBS. In humans, the nations with higher carb consumption have a higher cancer rate. It’s FACT. Lower the carbs, and lower your risk for cancer, diabetes, etc. All things dogs get as well. They digest proteins and herbs/plants much better—that is what they were designed to digest. In wild dogs are carnivorous, BUT they also graze on greens (herbs, etc)… In these cases of predisposition to cancer or cancer diagnosis, we HIGHLY recommend pet owners go straight to a raw diet.

There is also scientific research supporting the fact that spaying or neutering at too young of an age can increase the chances of different cancers.

To those of you with labs battling cancer, and to those who have suffered the immense loss of your labby love to this terrible disease, our hearts and prayers go out to you…

“Dogs teach us about faith, trust and devotion. They teach us how to devotedly serve a higher master, how to attend and wait and how to let go of a grudge. But most of all, they teach us about the meaning and experience of unconditional love.”

Lama Surya Das, from Dog is My Co-Pilot



  1. My lab was diagnosed with a tumor that was cancer stage three. We had it removed and she has been pretty healthy for over two years. I think we caught it early. Therefore, I check all my dogs for lumps. I just want people know there is always hope as my Naktia is proof.

  2. Oats and brown rice are the only form of carb recommended for dogs which is found in Flint River Ranch dog food which is the kibble we wholeheartedly recommend

  3. I lost my Lab to Metastatic cancer this year she was 10,

  4. we lost our Bubbie at 2am Christmas morning when he was just 8. He had had melanoma on his paw four years before. I had seen the black dot, but truly thought it was tar from where I repaired the blacktop! At age 7 the vet just happened to notice a problem with his testicles. Turned out he had two types cancer, a different type in each. He was my first dog, I got him when I was 35 and we thought we could not have children. He is still missed, even though we’ve had two wonderful labs since.

  5. I still miss our lab Maggie Mt. got her from a Pet Savers organization, best dog I’ve ever had, and best friend, unfortunately she had non cancerous tumors that killed her anyway! I think she was God’s way of trying to heal me. Several years after she passed, I got Breast cancer, perhaps having her by my side night and day, saved my life in the long run! I’m 5+ years cancer free now! All glory to God who gave me this wonderful gift of a dog and best friend for those 10 short years.

  6. My yellow lab, Frisco, crossed the Rainbow Bridge, at age 8 with peri-rectal cancer. It was dx at his yearly checkup with a routine rectal exam. His brother, Leo, crossed the Rainbow Bridge at age 12 with the help of our kind vet in our home. Now I have a silver lab, Seamas, that is a wild thing. He’s a work in progress.

  7. My husband and I lost a 7 year old black lab named Tucker to testicular cancer about to years ago. The vet gave him a very outlook and we met up with an animal acupuncture lady who believes in Chinese herbs, between her help and the good Lord we were able to keep him around another 10 months. He had a bad night, and we figured the end was need you could feel his pads we getting cold due to lack of circulation. I slept on the floor with him and kept him warm all night. The next morning he woke me throwing up. He took two steps towards me, collapsed in my arms, took 3 more breaths and became a dog angel. He was a great dog and I miss him so much. I found Tucker at a very challenging time in my life, I was going through depression from being told my husband and I wouldn’t have children. Tucker seemed to be the spark I needed to help me three, only to have the rug pulled out a few years later finding out he was going to die soon. No dog has every been able to come close to his personality, or traits. But I keep looking hoping to find another Tucker one day.

  8. I have an EM Lab who has just been diagnosed with an aggressive malignant tumor in the hepatoid gland. He is 5.5 years old and has suffered from major allergies for the past few years. His tumor/condition is not curable and I am trying to decide what is the best course of action. This type of cancer is rare in labs from what I understand, especially when they have been neutered. Such an amazing pet and friend…..not sure what life will be like without him.

    1. I’m so sorry to hear this Robyn… 🙁 I just got your email. Not something we’ve seen but you all are certainly in our thoughts and prayers… I would recommend going to the raw diet like mentioned in this post. I would also increase his NuVet intake each day to help pump up the immune system. Please keep us posted! ((hugs))

    2. robyn,
      first, i lost my dog in late jan from amputation surgery due to bone cancer on his leg. He stroked after the surgery here at home, at least.
      But i was doing research about dog cancers and there are number of either vets or vet schools that specialize in dog cancers. I hope you do check them out as some were doing very incredible advanced work. I remember that LA area has entire vet hospital dedicated to cancer in cats and dogs but if back east or midwest there are others in those areas as well as i think in Colorado the vet school.
      But i know most of all you want to do what is best for you and your dog…enjoy the time you have as you would choose too.
      I also had a lab with severe allergies…she was almost bald! We tried making her food from scratch, doing the shots everything!! We say to people because she looked horrible that we are truly trying our best..spent thousands. SO i know how difficult that can be just on it’s own…than cancer on top.
      You both are in my prayers and hope that all goes as best as possible. much love lg

  9. We no longer use Flint River Ranch. The dog food went out of business last year. Got re-acquired…not the same owner, not the same food. We recommend Life’s Abundance food, All-Life Stages and have been feeding our dogs with it for a year and are delighted. To learn more:

    –Donna Stanley, Owner/Breeder, Admin

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