College of Veterinary Medicine

Research in Veterinary Clinical Sciences

Golden Retriever Lifetime Study 

"The WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital is proud to announce that Dr. Farnsworth, Dr. Mickas, and Dr. Turbeville of our Community Practice Service have signed up to participate in the Morris Animal Foundation Golden Retriever Lifetime Study."

GRLS Announcement

Morris Animal Foundation

Purpose of Study

The purpose of this study is to identify risk factors for cancer and other major health problems in Golden Retrievers by gathering genetic, environmental and nutritional information about participating dogs.  Information gained from this study will help veterinarians learn how to better prevent, diagnose and treat cancer and other diseases.  Morris Animal Foundation hopes to enroll 3,000 dogs in the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study (GRLS).  This study will continue for 10 to 14 years and while it only includes Golden Retrievers, all dogs will benefit from the information gained.


Participants will help to make history by being a part of the longest and largest study ever designed to gather information about the health of Golden Retrievers over their entire lifetimes. This information will, in turn, help to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer and other diseases in dogs.  Morris Animal Foundation will reimburse owners $75 per year to help offset the costs associated with annual exams and sample collection.

Enrollment Requirements

In order to qualify for GRLS, Golden Retrievers need to be under two years old and healthy at the time of application.  They must be purebred with a verifiable three-generation pedigree.  Owners of qualifying dogs must be over 18 years old and living in the contiguous United States.

Treatment Methods

Each year, when enrolled dogs have their annual exam and vaccinations, blood, urine, feces, hair and nail samples will be collected by the veterinarian and sent to the Morris Animal Foundation laboratory.  If, in the event that an enrolled dog becomes ill or injured, relevant samples will also be collected and sent for evaluation.

Owner Responsibilities

Owners are asked to microchip their dog upon entrance into the study and to participate in the study for the lifetime of their dog.  They are required to complete yearly online questionnaires about their dog's diet and environment and bring their dog to WSU-VTH for annual examinations and sample collections.  If participating owners move, Morris Animal Foundation requests that they try to locate a veterinarian who is willing to participate in the study.  In the event that their dog gets cancer, owners need to agree to allow Morris Animal Foundation to have tumor samples.  Owners are responsible for the costs associated with their dog’s microchip, annual exams, sample collection and laboratory tests.

Contact Information

For more information please contact Valorie Wiss, Clinical Studies Coordinator.  (Office: 509-335-0798, Cell: 509-432-5345 or

Additional Note

If you are interested in participating in the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study and do not live near the WSU-VTH, you can ask your local veterinarian to participate.  For information on how your veterinarian can sign up, please visit

Last Edited: Jun 18, 2014 3:24 PM

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