RottieFest - the place for Rotties to shake their Botties

Osteosarcoma (Bone Cancer) Testing at RottieFest

RottieFest was pleased to welcome Shareen to RottieFest 2013 and support her research project into testing why Rottweilers are prone to developing Osteosarcoma (Bone Cancer).

RottieFest was pleased to be able to donate £100.00 towards swabs from 2013's proceeds.

Shareen took swabs from RottieFest visitors Rottweilers mouths and asked them to fill out a questionaire.  This testing does NOT affect your dogs records or breeding information and will NOT affect any future showing or breeding you may want to do, so there was no reason not to help with this project.  And as a special thank you, everybody who helped Shareen with this project received a FREE RottieFest Magnet!


Here's a few words from Shareen:

Hello everyone!

My name is Shareen and I am a second year Veterinary student at the University of Nottingham. In our third year we have to undertake a 12 week research project starting in September. I am doing mine on why Rottweiler’s are so prone to developing Osteosarcoma's (Bone Cancer). I am doing this because I lost my own rottie, Kiza, to this deadly disease last year and if my project saves only one Rottweiler and one owner going through what I went through then that’s good enough for me.

My project involves getting as many DNA samples from Rottweiler’s over the UK as possible – this is done by rubbing a cotton swab inside their cheeks, it’s non-invasive, quick and absolutely pain free. All the samples will go into a genetic database to start looking at the DNA. The sample is NOT testing if your dog has cancer and will in no way tarnish your dog’s breeding status. At a previous show some owners thought this was the case, so just to clarify. The DNA will then be split into healthy unaffected dogs and dogs that have bone cancer, it will be analysed and the two compared (as well as against other breeds) to try and look for genetic links and the gene that is causing it.

I am then trying to get as many Rottweiler owners to complete my questionnaire which is looking at how you manage your dog (diet, exercise, sex, age etc) to identify the risk factors that will increase the chances of Rottweiler’s developing bone cancer in their life time. A questionnaire needs to be done for every Rottweiler you have had; Alive or not, old or young, pedigree or not.

So far, I have 180 swabs in the database and 400 swabs waiting to be sent out to owners that I am in the process of packaging up. The Kennel Club are supporting this research and have generously given me £700 to supply another 200 swabs which I am using now.

I have attended the Rottweiler Championship Show, LASER Show and the British Rottweiler Association Championship Show so far.  I have met some wonderful people and some gorgeous dogs.  I will be attending RottieFest (3rd August) and the Eastern Counties Rott Show (4th).  So please come over and say hello, get your dog swabbed and pick up a questionnaire.  Please help me help our breed.

If you want to know more about the Rottweiler Osteosarcoma Project there is a video of the talk I gave at the LASER show in Essex about it:

Once my dissertation is submitted I will ensure it is available in some form for every interested owner who would like to see the results and the advice given from it.

If you want to get involved in the project or have any questions please get in touch:
I am on facebook – Shareen Akhtar ( My profile picture is with a Bengal Tiger) or email me on or call me on 07769211014
Let’s fight back against Bone Cancer!

Shareen and Kiza x