I write in response to the Washington Post article in the Sun Journal (Dec. 27) about canine cancer and a research project involving golden retrievers. The project involves some $32 million, to be spent on studies on what they will eat, where they sleep, whether their lawn is safe, whether their teeth are brushed, etc.

Most of those studies are nothing but smoke screens designed to steer people away from the real 800-pound gorilla in the room — the huge amount of vaccines and prescribed substances people are putting into and onto their pets. What I found of particular interest was the mention of hemangiosarcoma (originating in the lining of blood vessels).

I would much rather see a study done on the interaction of chemical substances in pets’ bodies than any of the studies mentioned in the article. Dogs have been eating anything they can get into their mouths forever, from twigs to rocks to kitty poop and have managed quite well.

The next time a pet owner is prescribed a pharmaceutical for their pet, I suggest looking it up in the physician’s desk reference and read all the warnings, side effects, contra-indications and more before agreeing to give those chemical substances to their pet.

I have a golden and I will now make the effort to take him to the local dog wash, spend the $5 and give him a flea and tick bath (which he loves). It is ultimately better for him and for my wallet.

John Reeder, Lewiston

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