Against gastric carcinomas in the Belgian Shepherd



A very famous and beautiful male dog with a lot of offspring died of gastric carcinoma at a later age. This was a horrible scenario for everyone involved; for the owner of the dog, the breeders who have used this male, all the buyers who own one of the offspring, but also for the entire population of Belgian Shepherds. The Belgian Shepherd is a beautiful breed, which unfortunately has a high risk of developing this tumor.


We find gastric tumors in 2 to 4% of older dogs (from about the age of 6) in the Belgian Shepherd population, specifically the Tervuren Shepherd and the Groenendael. In some cases it is possible to keep the dogs stable for a while with medication, but unfortunately the disease is always fatal.


What we want to do


The disease is undeniably hereditary, so fighting the disease is very important. It is not uncommon for a breeding animal to develop the tumor at a later age, which meaning selecting for breeding dogs without the disease is currently hard to impossible, which is disastrous for an effective fight against it. This research focuses on finding and ultimately combating the mutation(s) that cause this condition.

By means of a genetic study we try to find the genetic cause so we can fight against this disease effectively. In the first step, we want to identify patients suffering from this condition and collect DNA material from the patient and the tumor tissue. The aim is to completely free the Belgian Shepherd from this terrible disease.


What we need


A DNA isolation costs 22.50 euros, and whole genome sequencing (WGS) costs approximately 800 euros per dog. To succeed with this project, we will need €10,000 per year.

We are grateful for every contribution, big or small! This way we can get closer to a solution for gastric carcinomas in the Belgian Shepherd!