Scientists have uncovered why little dogs live longer and it is not due to being more prone to diseases.
Researchers at the University of Washington found both groups suffer from the same amount of illnesses, but those that plague smaller canines are not nearly as severe.
The looked at 238 different breeds and discovered larger dogs were more prone to suffering from cancer, gastrointestinal problems and infections.
While those of smaller stature were prone to eye condition, liver problems and respiratory issues.
Researchers at the University of Washington found both groups suffer from the same amount of illnesses, but those that plague smaller canines are not nearly as severe
Researchers looked at 238 different breeds and found that larger dogs were more prone to suffering from cancer, gastrointestinal problems, and infections.
The researchers surveyed 27,541 dog owners who had to complete a web-based Health and Life Experience Survey through the Dog Aging Project.
Owners were asked to provide their dog’s age, exact weight, any health issues or conditions, and their location including whether they lived in an urban, suburban, or rural area.
They were also questioned about any previous medical diagnosis’s across 13 disease categories.
The team stressed that more research is needed to clarify links between dog age, size, and disease prevalence.
Researchers at the University of Washington looked at 238 different breeds and discovered larger dogs, like the Japanese warrior dog tosa inu, were more prone to suffering from cancer , gastrointestinal problems and infections
The results showed that dogs weighing more than 44 pounds suffered from the more extreme illnesses while smaller dogs had respiratory issues, liver or pancreas diseases, and ocular and cardiac issues.
Researchers separated the dogs into subcategories based on health conditions and the dog’s sex, location, and whether they were a pure or mixed breed.
The study determined the difference in the dog’s gender and purity versus mixed breed didn’t make a difference in the results, but said the ‘results align with the reduced lifespan in larger dogs for most of the disease categories.’
Lead author Yunbi Nam said: ‘This study does not confirm any causal relationship between dog size, age, and disease.
‘However, the findings could help lead to deeper understanding of the types of conditions that may underlie the lower lifespan of larger dogs.
‘For instance, within the disease categories explored in this study, future research could home in on age and size patterns associated with specific conditions.
‘These results provide insights into the disease categories that may contribute to reduced lifespan in larger dogs and suggest multiple further avenues for further exploration.’
According to the Dog Aging Project (DAP), the study’s results could help veterinarians treat dogs in the future by calling attention to some of the most common medical conditions large breeds suffer from.
‘This information is also useful to help dog owners think about some of the health concerns that their dogs may experience throughout their lifetime,’ the DAP said.