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Breeding cancer out of the lines?

1089 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  lindberg4220
Is it possible to breed cancer out of the lines?

There's a lot of cancer in the danish lines and i am not the only one here in DK that really would like to get rid of that cancer :!:
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Cancer can have genetic causes so I would assume its possible to breed it out of lines. I can imagine it being very difficult though. You would have to keep all of your adults which have been bred from and if they develope cancer then you would ahve to cull back all through their related lines. It would be a massive undertaking and probably quite distressing.

I personally try to keep a few adult does from my breeding lines and keep them in a big tank for my favorite retired does. I haven't had any tumours crop up yet (and I dont think I would cull back even if they did-unless they all did at a very young age) but it would help to be aware of health problems.
Many cancers have a genetic component to them, and as such there are differences between different lines and it is possible to reduce its appearance and increase the age of onset. Also, take a look at the environmental factors (food etc.) just to be safe.

"You would have to keep all of your adults which have been bred from"
Absolutely. I do this anyway.

Another thing you can do is to use bucks as old as possible. They do "keep," so if you have the facilities use bucks that are still healthy at 12(+) months. It goes without saying that with does you can use this strategy only upto a point.

You say you're not the only breeder who'd like to get rid of cancer in their lines, so make it a group effort. Even if you breed completely different varieties you can probably benefit from each others experiences, and the more breeders you get to pay attention to predisposition to cancer as a breeding factor the better chances you have to get "cancer-free" outcrosses in the future. When you get new breeding animals make it a point to inquire about cancer in their lines. It is easy to undo a lot of hard work by bad / badly used outcrosses.

And do keep records, I sincerely believe it helps.
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Thanks for the answers.

it was very informative - i've got something to think about now :)
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