Water Fluoridation and Canine Osteosarcoma



July 2004 – Volume 15 – Issue 4 – p S83


Human epidemiological and animal toxicological literature regarding fluoride exposure and osteosarcoma, one of the potential risks of fluoridation, is inconsistent and equivocal. Canine osteosarcoma represents a naturally occurring animal model of this neoplasm. This important potential sentinel can contribute significantly to our understanding of the effects of community fluoridation. In humans and dogs, osteosarcoma is the most common primary malignant tumor of bone. It is the fourth most common cancer in people under 25 years of age and occurs in dogs with an incidence rate of 8 in 100,000, approximately eight times greater than that in humans. Every year, roughly 8000 new cases are identified in dogs.


This study explores the potential association between fluoride exposure and canine osteosarcoma. We conducted a case-control study in which individual dogs were selected from a large client base of a university veterinary teaching hospital with a significant cancer caseload. Two hundred and fifteen cases and an equal number of control dog owners completed a questionnaire in which they identified all residences where the dogs resided as well as home water treatment systems, consumption of bottled water, and use of fluoridated dental hygiene products. Individual residential histories and questionnaire data were linked with water utility data for fluoride, natural and adjusted, and an exposure matrix was created for lifetime estimates of fluoride exposure for both groups of dogs. Multiple logistical regression analysis is currently being performed to estimate risks associated with exposure to fluoridated water and other factors. Physical activity, rapid growth, age at neutering, and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke are being investigated as potential confounders.


This is the first epidemiologic study of the effects of fluoride in pet animals. It also represents one of only a few available case-control studies in any species designed to examine the potential association between exposure to fluoride and osteosarcoma. Canine osteosarcoma has been used as a model for the human counterpart to explore pathogenesis and evaluate treatment. In both species, the etiology remains unknown. If an association between fluoride and canine osteosarcoma is demonstrated, the findings of this study would give additional impetus to further research in humans, due to the pervasive nature of the exposure and potential health implications.


Comments and research links submitted by MRN Olenick:

Thanks for the info.  I happen to be in the process of doing research on this very subject: so frequent are amputations nowadays, there are actually support groups for owners of 3-legged dogs such as http://tripawds.com/. Along with accidents, osteosarcoma is the main reason for amputations in dogs.

I frequently notice 3-legged dogs on the streets now. The most recent, just a few days ago, was a golden retriever mix. I don’t know that pet’s story, but one of my friends has a Lab who lost a leg to osteosarcoma.

  1. Fluoride and Osteosarcoma | Environmental Working Group

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    Jun 30, 2009 – The Environmental Working Group has found that many brands of dog food contain high levels of fluoride. Find out what to do to keep your pet

  2. Water Fluoridation and Canine Osteosarcoma : Epidemiology

    journals.lww.com › Home › July 2004 – Volume 15 – Issue 4
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    by H Hannah2004
    This study explores the potential association between fluoride exposure and canine osteosarcoma. We conducted a case-control study in which individual dogs

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  5. Is Flouride Safe? – International Association of Animal Massage

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    Interestingly, the only study I could find about dogs, osteosarcoma and fluoride was one where they were investigating fluoridated drinking

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    Is it possible that osteosarcoma in dogs might be tied to fluoride consumption – like it is for boys? To date, no research has been done on this question. Pet food

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    This fluoride issue is discussed in The Dog Cancer Survival Guide in the osteosarcoma section on causes not addressed by conventional veterinary dogma.

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    Nov 14, 2012 – Boys 6-8 @ heightened risk of osteosarcoma from Fluoride…however dogs will be safe… Leave a reply. From: Patriot Ledger. 2/13/12

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    Dec 14, 2007 – This raises questions about a link of canine osteosarcomas to fluoride in the water supply as well. So is that it? Fluoride -> Osteosarcoma and

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    4 posts – 3 authors – Feb 8

    Worth a share PAW PRINTS: Fluoride in pet food: The link to osteosarcoma » Valley Life » News From Terre Haute, Indiana.

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    Jun 8, 2011 – Interesting reading re fluoride in pet food and water. Dogs, Osteosarcoma, Dysplasia and Pet Food Fluoride Content by George Glasser

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    Thus, nearly 10 times more osteosarcomas occur in dogs compared to people. A dog drinking adequate water would be exposed to 0.05-0.1 mg fluoride per kg

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    by W Brenner2003Cited by 113Related articles
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    Nov 13, 2009 – Have your views on fluoridation changed given new findings about osteosarcoma in dogs and studies linking fluoride to bone cancer in young

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    Apr 9, 2009 – I think I am just too numb from this stuff to cry. It upsets me tremendously, though. Rocks in pet food. My mother in law works for Hill’s and we

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    1 post – 1 author – Jan 29

    I just stumbled across the fluroide/osteosarcoma issue by accident Apparently, fluoride accumulates in animals’ bones, so when dogs eat

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  27. ja-jp.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=53159859753
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    Because of the association between osteosarcoma and drinking water fluoridation, I contacted people who’s dogs developed the cancer to see if the lived in

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