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Canine Lifetime Health Project is an online community of dog lovers willing to have their dogs participate in studies that will improve the health of dogs. By participating in the project, dog lovers further Morris Animal Foundation's efforts to support science that advances veterinary care for dogs.

The Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, first study of the Canine Lifetime Health Project, is a pioneering study focusing on identifying risk factors for development of cancer and other diseases in Golden Retrievers.

Enrollment is going on now for eligible Golden Retrievers who are between the ages of six months and two years. If you live in the United States, own a Golden Retriever between these ages and can provide pedigree information, and are interested please visit this website to get further information and sign up: https://www.caninelifetimehealth.org/

Here are a few FAQs from this website (cut and pasted- see above link for source) to help you decide if you are eligible or wish to participate:

Who Is Morris Animal Foundation?
Morris Animal Foundation is a nonprofit organization that helps animals enjoy longer, healthier lives. We advance health and welfare research that protects, treats and cures companion animals, horses and wildlife worldwide. Founded by a visionary veterinarian in 1948, Morris Animal Foundation today is a world leader in advancing veterinary research that protects, treats and cures animals. Our vision is simple: a healthier tomorrow for animals.

What is expected of owners who enroll their dogs in the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study?
The study's success depends on recruitment and retention of highly committed Golden Retriever owners in the continental United States. Participating owners must:
• Be at least 18 years of age and a resident of the continental United States.
• Agree to participate for the life of the dog
• Provide registration/pedigree information
• Select a veterinarian who agrees to participate
• Complete online questionnaires regarding the dog's nutrition, environment, behavior and health
• Visit the dog's veterinarian for annual examinations and sample collection ((blood, urine, feces, hair and toenail clippings)*
• Agree to microchip the dog
• When applicable, allow collection of tumor samples for evaluation
• Be willing to consider a necropsy (post-mortem examination) when the dog's life ends

• Note: The owner is responsible for all costs associated with the annual examination, sample collection and laboratory tests. Morris Animal Foundation will reimburse owners for up to $75 of these costs per year after verification that the questionnaire, examination and sample collection have been completed.

My Golden Retriever just turned two years of age. Is my dog still eligible to apply for the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study?
No. Enrollment in the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is limited to dogs under two years of age when you begin your application.

What does it mean when you say my dog must be "healthy" to enroll in the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study?
The Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is an observational study that will be following dogs from youth to old age. In order to capture if and when a study dog develops a disease or health condition, it is important to begin with young, healthy dogs. We are defining healthy as a dog that is confirmed free of any major health disorders or diseases by the initial veterinary screening exam and laboratory results.

What is a three-generation pedigree?
A three-generation pedigree is a registration document, such as American Kennel Club registration papers, that identifies your dog's parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.

Why do you want only Golden Retrievers with a three-generation pedigree?
One of the goals of the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is to identify genetic risk factors for cancer. Enrolling dogs with known pedigrees will simplify the genetic analysis.

Does my dog have to be registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC) to qualify for the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study?
No. You must be able to provide a three-generation pedigree for your dog, but that does not have to come from the American Kennel Club. An alternative registration organization, such as the United Kennel Club or a national guide dog breeding program, is acceptable. If you have not registered your dog, you may provide the registration information on its parents (sire and dam) to satisfy this requirement.

Why do you want my dog to have a microchip for the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study?
Every dog in the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is a valuable contributor to the study. It is important to have measures in place to help recover your dog should it become lost. Microchips are a common and frequently checked form of identification.

You say the study will last 10-14 years. Do I have to enroll my dog for the full 10-14 years?
Yes. We ask that your dog participate in the study for the length of the entire study. This study will be monitoring dogs from youth to old age. In order to identify if and when a study dog develops a disease, it is important to collect data over the entire life of the dog. Valuable information may be obtained that will significantly improve the health of future generations of Golden Retrievers and will provide the basis for creating a healthier tomorrow for all dogs.

Do I have to go to a specific veterinarian?
No. Owners can choose any veterinarian who is willing to provide health data and collect samples for the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study.

Owners can choose any veterinarian who is willing to do the following:
• Register for the Canine Lifetime Health Project
• Communicate online and by email and in a timely manner with the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study Team
• Perform a health screening examination to determine the dog's eligibility
• Conduct annual physical examinations and report the findings online
• Collect annual samples of blood, urine, feces, hair and toenail clippings and send them to the partipating laboratories
• Submit health information online from any additional veterinary visits that take place throughout the year
• Open an ANTECH Diagnostics account, at no charge (if they do not already have an existing account)
• Take tumor tissue samples and ship them per the tumor handling instructions for evaluation
• Inform the owner about the value of and the available options for necropsy. Once a veterinary visit is scheduled, the veterinarian will receive further information regarding what is required.

Why does my veterinarian also have to register for the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study?
The information for this study is gathered online. Your veterinarian must have Internet access and register online for the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study to access all reports and tools that he or she will need to upload information for the study. If your veterinarian is unable to meet this or other requirements, you will need to select a veterinarian who is willing to do so to participate in this study.

What is an "observational study"?
An observational study is a type of research study in which a group is observed, and information is collected on that group. The Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is an observational study. This study does not directly affect how owners care for their dogs, but it does gather information on their dog's genetics, nutrition, health and environment. The study is expected to provide valuable information on how to better prevent, diagnose and treat cancer and other diseases.

If my dog is accepted into the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, will I receive compensation?
Yes. The owner is responsible for all costs associated with the examination, sample collection and laboratory test results. Morris Animal Foundation will reimburse the owner up to $75 per year toward these costs. Owners may choose to donate this money back to the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study to help support the cost of the study.

How will I receive compensation for my participation in the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study?
If you choose not to donate the reimbursement back to the study, you will be sent a reloadable credit card. Please hold on to this card so annual reimbursement compensation can be added to it each year. Annual reimbursements will be loaded after each year's requirements (annual questionnaire, exam and sample collection) are verified completed by the Study Team.

At what point is my dog considered "enrolled" in the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study?
Application to the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is a multi-phase process.
Register for the Canine Lifetime Health Project
You will receive notification if your dog qualifies to apply for the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study.
Apply online for the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study
The first part of the application process is completed online. This includes Owner Consent and the Questionnaire.
Schedule a Veterinary Appointment for your Dog
Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian for your dog's health screening examination and sample collection. This will determine your dog's health status and eligibility for the study. After the exam, your veterinarian will complete an online health report and ship the samples to the national laboratory for analysis.
Enrollment
The Golden Retriever Lifetime Study Team will review the application results and notify you if your dog has been accepted into the study. This entire process can take a few weeks. It will take longer if your dog is under the age of six months because you will need to wait until the puppy is six months old for the blood sample requirements.

What must I do prior to the veterinary appointment?
• To obtain accurate results from the lab samples, we ask that you fast your dog prior to your appointment. Please remove all food at least 12 hours prior to your scheduled appointment. Your dog may have free choice access to water up until the time of your appointment. We suggest scheduling your appointment in the morning to decrease the impact of this requirement.
• Try to keep your dog from urinating prior to the veterinary appointment. If your dog urinates close to the time of the appointment, it may be difficult to acquire the required amount for the study.
• Bring a fresh sample of your dog's stool in a zip-closure bag to your veterinary appointment. The sample should be collected the morning of your dog's scheduled appointment.

What type of laboratory tests will be performed for the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study?
The blood and urine samples that your veterinarian will collect from your dog will be sent to a laboratory for chemistry analysis, blood cell counts and urinalysis (test results will be sent to your veterinarian). Your veterinarian will then interpret these results and report them back to you. Additional samples (blood, urine, feces, hair and nail clippings) will also be sent to a sample storage facility to be preserved for future analysis.

How much blood volume is required for the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study?
Although the amount of blood required for this study is more than a routine blood draw, it is less than 20% of the maximum safe amount to draw from an average 6-month old Golden Retriever.

Does this study require any experimentation or testing on my dog
No. The Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is an observational study. We require that your dog receive annual health exams and that all veterinary appointments made for your dog are reported to the study. We do not ask you to try any products, medications or diets, nor do we suggest any lifestyle changes for this study. The information collected will help provide insight into risk factors that may lead to the development of cancer and other canine diseases.

What happens if my dog gets sick?
Because the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is an observational study, you would care for your enrolled dog as you would normally and schedule veterinary visits at your discretion. You and your veterinarian would be required to provide information for any additional veterinary visits that occur. Please login to your owner homepage and provide scheduled appointment dates. If the visit is the result of an emergency, this information can be entered after the event.

What if I suspect my dog has a mass or a tumor?
If you find a mass and your veterinarian suspects that your dog has cancer, acquiring a tissue sample is essential for this study. We ask that your veterinarian (or a veterinary oncologist) take a biopsy (sample) of the suspected tumor tissue to send for examination by a veterinary pathologist. If you are referred to a veterinary oncologist for this task, the oncologist will need to work with your veterinarian to ensure that the study requirements are met.
Your veterinarian can request a Tumor Sample Kit that can be shipped to the clinic overnight.
• When possible, please ask your veterinarian to request a Tumor Sample Kit at least 3 days prior to your dog's veterinary appointment.
• Please request that the veterinary clinic schedule additional time for your dog's study-related health exam. We recommend an additional 15-20 minutes.
• Instructions for your veterinarian will be included in the Tumor Sample Kit. These instructions will detail how the samples should be collected, preserved and shipped. Instructions can also be found on the veterinarian homepage of the website

There are more FAQs on the website for veterinarians.


If you have any questions, please contact the Morris Animal Foundation or feel free to send a Visitor Message or Private Message to me or any of the other members who have joined. The Social Group for participants in the study is here: http://www.goldenretrieverforum.com/groups/98-golden-retriever-lifetime-study-participant-group.html
 

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Thanks!
I just want to clarify something based on my experience.
The wording in the information makes is seem like owners will have a big financial burden to participate.
You are responsible for the cost of the exam, but all of the bloodwork and other tests are paid for by the study.
The study will send a box with all of the tubes and vials needed, plus prepaid fed ex envelopes for mailing. They will provide a cost code to use for the study so your vet clinic will not be billed.
I believe it is okay for your vet to charge you for reviewing the results to give to you, but my vet didn't charge me. All in all, this study has not cost me anymore than the annual exam fee, which I would do anyway. I chose to donate the $75 reimbursement back to the study, but that would have even covered the exam fee!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Okay, I made it on. It was pilot error. I was typing in an old password. I, too, spent some time where I had to reset my password and/or call them on the phone every time. But now it's working! :)
I'm glad I'm not alone!

Do you have any contact info for the Morris Animal Foundation people you met at the specialty? I was thinking perhaps they might want to become acquainted with GRF and designate someone to post here about the study and answer questions. That might generate new enrollees. I know if they became a "supporting vendor" they could do some advertising on the site.
 

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Esquire Golden Retrievers
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I'm glad I'm not alone!

Do you have any contact info for the Morris Animal Foundation people you met at the specialty? I was thinking perhaps they might want to become acquainted with GRF and designate someone to post here about the study and answer questions. That might generate new enrollees. I know if they became a "supporting vendor" they could do some advertising on the site.
I took their contact information, but I'm not sure what I did with it. :eek: That's a good idea, though, and I'll see if I can get in touch with them. :)
 

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• Note: The owner is responsible for all costs associated with the annual examination, sample collection and laboratory tests. Morris Animal Foundation will reimburse owners for up to $75 of these costs per year after verification that the questionnaire, examination and sample collection have been completed.
I think this is the part that confuses me. Does the owner pay for the testing as it states here or does the study? From what I'm understanding from participants owners only pay for the visit, and any fee the vet might charge for doing the collection, but the study pays for the testing? Is this correct??
 

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Esquire Golden Retrievers
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I think this is the part that confuses me. Does the owner pay for the testing as it states here or does the study? From what I'm understanding from participants owners only pay for the visit, and any fee the vet might charge for doing the collection, but the study pays for the testing? Is this correct??
That is exactly correct, insofar as it goes. The part you left out is that the study refunds $75 for each of the annual visits where the collection takes place. My vet charged me $45 for the annual visit, and the study gave me $75. So being in this study has not cost me a penny. I will either return the rest of the money to the study or give it to my vet for additional compensation; after all, she charged me only for an office visit when she spent much more time than that.
 

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I always have trouble logging on, but they are wonderful if you contact them by phone. I did talk with someone today and expressed my concern over the web site. She said it is something they are working on and hopes to have fixed soon. And yes, I have to make a new password each time too.:confused:
Jordan was a champ today at her exam,even though it wasn't until 11:30 and she was starving. She got a blueberry muffin as a reward :D
 

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I was charged more, but it was because Kenzie was only 6 months old and much to wiggly for the blood draw so we needed to sedate her.
But, other than the sedation, they just charged me the normal exam fee that I would pay anyways for her yearly checkup.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I actually paid $100 for my exam. For some people, there will be costs.
Thanks for spending the extra $25 to participate. If you think about it though, you got the lab tests done for free and would have paid much more for those! That is how I looked at it (and I donated my $75 reimbursement back to Morris). I actually believe you saved money if you factor in the costs you would incur for urinalysis, blood work and fecal testing.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I always have trouble logging on, but they are wonderful if you contact them by phone. I did talk with someone today and expressed my concern over the web site. She said it is something they are working on and hopes to have fixed soon. And yes, I have to make a new password each time too.:confused:
Jordan was a champ today at her exam,even though it wasn't until 11:30 and she was starving. She got a blueberry muffin as a reward :D
I usually send them an email with my question and Nancy Kay Clark, who is a GRF member participating in the photo thread, answers within 24 hours- consistently and reliably!

I truly believe as more dogs join in the kinks of the system will get worked out and things will go very efficiently!
 
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