Life expectancy in a follow-up study of a birth cohort of boxer dogs from post weaning to 10-years of age

M.A.E. van Hagen, B.J. Ducro, B.W. Knol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective-To determine mortality rate over time, risk factors for death, and heritability of life expectancy in Boxers. Animals-1,733 purebred Boxers born in The Netherlands between January 1994 and March 1995. Procedure-Dogs were followed up from weaning (ie, 49 days of age) to 10 years of age through use of a written questionnaire sent to owners every 6 months. Mortality rate over time, risk factors potentially associated with death, and heritability of life expectancy were examined by use of a proportional hazards model based on the Weibull distribution. Results Estimated mortality rate during the 10-year study period for this birth cohort of Boxers was 45%. The probability of surviving to 5 years of age was 88%; the probability of surviving to 10 years of age was 55%. Estimated effective heritability of life expectancy was 0.076, meaning that in this population, an estimated 76% of the observed variation in life expectancy could be attributed to genetic differences among dogs that were passed from parents to their offspring. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance-Results suggest that cumulative incidence of death from weaning to 10 years of age among this birth cohort of Boxers was 45%. The estimated heritability of life expectancy suggested that life expectancy can be improved by use of selective breeding.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1646-1650
JournalAmerican Journal of Veterinary Research
Volume66
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Keywords

  • survival analysis
  • insured dogs
  • mortality
  • longevity
  • breeds
  • death
  • heritability
  • puppies
  • sweden

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