Does COI (Coefficient of Inbreeding) Play a role in the high rate of cancer in Golden - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Unread 06-04-2019, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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Does COI (Coefficient of Inbreeding) Play a role in the high rate of cancer in Golden

After losing Sadie at 10 years old in January and now losing Tucker at 8 years old to cancer, we started pouring through the vast amount of information that this site has provided to us which we are very appreciative. Our sadness has turned into anger as we now know that as naive dog owners we were sold beautiful, delightful dogs that captured our hearts that had high levels of in breeding. Purely to make a buck. At first we felt that they may have not known that they were creating a huge problem then we were advised by a number of breeders that they did. Yes, our wonderful puppies were of the Gold Rush line. I will not post the breeders name because we are still looking for her in order to get clearances for puppies she sold to both our children.

In finding the K9 data we found high levels of COI. My question is if you all feel that high levels of COI raise the risk of cancer occurring in Goldens? When clicking on the "view the genetic information" line on the K9data website, it states that the average COI for a Golden to be around 8%. Our puppies were ranging closer to 30%.

Even after our loss, we will continue to have Goldens because frankly there are no substitutes for us. This time we would like to improve the odds because although we understand that they will probably all die from cancer, it shouldn't be at 8 years old. We are also looking at our well water and our fertilizer as culprits.

We are located in western NJ and have feelers out for a new family member. We will travel 4 to 5 hours if need be to find a puppy. Our current strategy is to make sure that the COI is under 8%. I would love your thoughts on this issue and if you disagree with our position please be gentle. We're still coping with our loss.

Thank you for all the help we have received in our other posts.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Unread 06-04-2019, 12:59 PM
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I'm interested too as my current golden has quite a few health issues that he's had since he was a very young puppy (hypothyroid, allergies, anxiety) and has a 14% COI.



Looking forward to responses!


RIP Sweet Molly (11/14/2001 - 4/7/2014)
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Unread 06-04-2019, 03:33 PM
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I think where you need to focus is on the pedigree(s) and talking to the breeders.

I know of dogs who died very young (younger than 8) from cancer who had low COI's - and it was DEFINITELY hereditary because some of the related lines had cancer all over the place.

One that I'm thinking about... the dog had shown in obedience one day and died I believe the next day. Only 7 years old. COI on this dog was 5% and 6%.

This was less about dogs far behind in the pedigree and more about close up matchups in the past 15-20 years. Sometimes breeders produce litters which look right on paper, but lead to big problems immediately or down the road. Bad luck. Sometimes by the time cancer shows up, 2 or 3 generations of litters have been produced....

Other things to keep in mind w/r to Gold Rush...

She's a big breeder. And unfortunately what that means is the more litters you produce, the more exposure you have to problems if/when they happen.

And problems do happen regardless of pedigree...

A lot of people live in urban areas that are heavily polluted. And I mean the air outside their homes is acrid and people are just used to breathing in fumes...

But even if they live in suburban or rural areas - you still have a strong likelihood of the dogs getting TBD's which messes up their immune system leaving them more prone to developing cancer... and then the air in a lot of areas can reek of fertilizers and chemicals.

My point is depending on where you live - there can be other causes besides pedigree.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Unread 06-04-2019, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Megora View Post
I think where you need to focus is on the pedigree(s) and talking to the breeders.

I know of dogs who died very young (younger than 8) from cancer who had low COI's - and it was DEFINITELY hereditary because some of the related lines had cancer all over the place.

One that I'm thinking about... the dog had shown in obedience one day and died I believe the next day. Only 7 years old. COI on this dog was 5% and 6%.

This was less about dogs far behind in the pedigree and more about close up matchups in the past 15-20 years. Sometimes breeders produce litters which look right on paper, but lead to big problems immediately or down the road. Bad luck. Sometimes by the time cancer shows up, 2 or 3 generations of litters have been produced....

Other things to keep in mind w/r to Gold Rush...

She's a big breeder. And unfortunately what that means is the more litters you produce, the more exposure you have to problems if/when they happen.

And problems do happen regardless of pedigree...

A lot of people live in urban areas that are heavily polluted. And I mean the air outside their homes is acrid and people are just used to breathing in fumes...

But even if they live in suburban or rural areas - you still have a strong likelihood of the dogs getting TBD's which messes up their immune system leaving them more prone to developing cancer... and then the air in a lot of areas can reek of fertilizers and chemicals.

My point is depending on where you live - there can be other causes besides pedigree.
Thank you. we do keep hearing that with Goldens it's not whether they will get cancer but a matter of when. we have heard from various breeders that a low COI reduces the probability.

BTW, your Goldens look identical to our guys.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Unread 08-20-2019, 01:46 AM
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Where do you find the COI on the k9 website?




Just kidding I found it.
The sire I'm looking at is 0.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Unread 08-20-2019, 09:08 AM
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So, a zero COI generally means a loss of breed type... since you are doing quick study and trying to get educated.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Unread 08-20-2019, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Miranda Gallegos View Post
Where do you find the COI on the k9 website?




Just kidding I found it.
The sire I'm looking at is 0.
In your case, 0 COI is because the pedigree is unknown beyond a couple generations back. You need many, many generations to establish COI.

For instance, if you look at the K9data page for any of my dogs, and start clicking on ancestors and then ancestors of ancestors, you can trace my dogs back to Marjoribanks in Scotland in the 1890s. That's a lot of data to analyze when calculating COI.

But when the K9data page says "unknown" about ancestors after just a few generations, there is no way to calculate COI.

So, I wouldn't brag about your 0 COI. It means either that there is a lack of data or, as Prism intimates, you don't have a Golden Retriever, just a mutt that shares 0 ancestors.

Try this to compare, so you can see what pedigrees with COI look like. Here's the K9data page for my current young boy, Deuce: http://k9data.com/pedigree.asp?ID=891143. Just start clicking on ancestors and see how far back it goes. To do it quickly, click the great-grandfather on the upper right side of the pedigree, and then just keep clicking that upper right dog on each page to see how far back the pedigree goes. (You can do it with any dog in the pedigree, but just picking the upper right dog makes it quick and easy. But you can try the same exercise with every dog on the great-grandparent level.)

Now, do the same thing with the dam's pedigree you're considering that Prism posted in your "wait list" thread. http://www.k9data.com/pedigree.asp?ID=1005305. You get a hard stop on all ancestors just three generations back. There is no way to calculate COI from that. So it's not that the dog has a 0 COI, it just means that no one knows what the COI is.

Last edited by DanaRuns; 08-20-2019 at 12:05 PM.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Unread 08-20-2019, 12:26 PM
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I like this article for its explanation of COI.

https://www.instituteofcaninebiology...-of-inbreeding.

I am often reminded of my own vet's words on cancer. Cancer is simply an uncontrolled growth of cells that have bad intentions. Your dogs ability to fight it off depends in part on their existing health and vitality. Health and vitality can be determined in part by their level of inbreeding but also by diet, environment and other factors.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Unread 08-20-2019, 05:50 PM
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If you're using k9data to look for genetic information, besides the COI it will show you the top 5 ancestors contributing to the COI. You can click on each of those ancestors to see their k9data page and look for their DOD and COD. In addition you can look at the 5 generation longevity pedigree for your dog and click on any of the dogs ancestors, again looking for DOD and COD. I find this approach helpful to get a general sense of longevity and health problems behind a dog. Of course not all owners or breeders enter DOD and COD information but a lack of this information may be telling you something also. I'm not an expert but a higher than normal COI without good longevity or with little to no information on DOD and COD would be concerning for me.


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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Unread 08-20-2019, 08:24 PM
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I see that since I made my post earlier today, Robin and someone named Brian Curry have filled out the pedigree for Miss Harley Quinn. So, now that there are generations of ancestors listed, the next time they get around to running COIs, she will have one.

Also, responding to TheZ's' post above, only owners are permitted to enter DOD and COD information, so that's why it may be missing for many dogs, especially those who may have passed some time ago. With everything else, anyone can make changes to the dog's K9data page. But COD and DOD are supposed to be reserved for only the owner to input.
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