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Screening urine samples from high-risk dog breeds for early bladder cancer

Principal Investigator

Dr Shelly Vaden


This study is screening urine samples from clinically healthy dogs at increased risk of bladder cancer, to determine if they test positive for a genetic marker of the disease (a specific mutation in the dog BRAF gene).

The goal is to determine whether this BRAF Mutation Detection test can identify dogs that have bladder cancer BEFORE they develop clinical signs (such as inappropriate urination, straining to urinate, blood in the urine).

Testing Requirements

Participants will be asked to collect a urine sample from their dog and submit it to the study for BRAF mutation testing (at no cost to the participant).

If the BRAF mutation is detected, participants will be asked to:
– bring their dog for an initial clinical evaluation at NC State College of Veterinary Medicine
– submit a urine sample from their dog to the study each month
– complete a short online questionnaire each month regarding their dog’s wellness
– periodic re-evaluation may be required at the discretion of the clinician

Enrollment Start


Enrollment Finish

01/01/2025 (recruitment may be extended beyond this date)


To be eligible for enrollment a dog must:
– have no prior diagnosis of bladder cancer/urothelial carcinoma
– have no clinical signs of the disease (such as straining to urinate, blood in the urine)
– be aged six years or older, and
– be from one of the following breeds
American Eskimo Dog, Beagle, Russell Terrier, Parson Russell Terrier, Scottish Terrier, Shetland Sheepdog, West Highland White Terrier, Wire Hair Fox Terrier

Study Benefits

The following may be provided at no cost to the owner:
– clinical evaluation of their dog for the presence of urothelial carcinoma/bladder cancer
– monthly screening of their dog’s urine with the BRAF Mutation Detection Test
– periodic clinical re-evaluation


View this study recruitment flyer for more information