WASHINGTON – Dog owners who love a lush lawn might have a problem.
Exposure to lawn care chemicals has been associated with a higher risk for bladder cancer in dogs. And in work done by Purdue University and the University of North Carolina, researchers found common lawn care chemicals in dogs’ urine.
Dogs can lick their paws and ingest the chemicals, according to a Yahoo!/Mother Nature Network report. Even if an owner’s lawn isn’t sprayed, the chemicals may still get on paws from walks around the neighborhood where other homes have chemicals.
Chemicals also could drift from one lawn to another.
“In addition to affecting the health of pet dogs, a serious concern from the results of this study is that herbicide exposures detected in dogs could translate into human exposures as well,” researchers say.
Herbicides that remained on grass for at least two days were 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), 4-chloro-2-methylphenoxypropionic acid (MCPP) and dicamba.
In 2004, Purdue researchers also found that Scottish terriers had a higher occurrence of bladder cancer when they interacted with these chemicals compared to when they did not. Yahoo! reports other dog breeds with a genetic predisposition for bladder cancer include beagles, wire hair fox terriers, West Highland white terriers and Shetland Sheepdogs.
An animal poison control expert in the Yahoo! report advises that those using a lawn-care company let the company know about pets and ask how long a pet should avoid contact with the treated lawn.
This story has been modified.