May 19 2018

Genetic Testing – What You May Not Know

When Ziggy first came to Hawthorne Hills Veterinary Hospital he was just 4 months old. His owner adopted this mixed breed puppy because of his outstandingly sweet personality. Like many adopted pets the owner didn’t have any information about his parents or breed. Everyone throughout the hospital had a good time guessing what different breeds Ziggy was, and as we found out, many of us were wrong. During his first veterinary visit, the veterinarian discussed the possibility of genetic testing as a way to find out just what breeds Ziggy was.

Finding out what breeds make up your mixed breed dog is fun but there is also important medical information that can be found with genetic testing. Royal Canin has a test called the Genetic Health Analysis (GHA). They have over 250 breeds in their data base and it also tests for 152 genetic mutations that can cause disease.

One such mutation is the MDR1 gene this is a mutated gene that make dogs very sensitive to many drug classes. This is very common in certain breeds such as Collies and Australian Shepherds. It very important to have this information as using the wrong medication could be deadly for these dogs.

The GHA is a blood test that is only done by veterinarians.

Knowing your puppy’s breeds help predict its adult size and therefore will help guide you with feeding the appropriate amounts. Even more importantly, know your pup’s genetic make-up will ensure you and your veterinarian can monitor for diseases and conditions specific to certain breeds.

If your dog does have a genetic mutation on the panel, this does not necessarily mean he/she will get the disease. However, your veterinarian will recommend close monitoring with physical exams and/or lab tests as needed. This allows you and your veterinary team to intervene early in a disease process to ensure your dog have a happy and healthy life.

Ziggy’s Results

Ziggy did not have any genetic abnormalities with any of the genes tested. He is a happy and healthy boy!

Ziggy’ s parents were a Chihuahua X Poodle Mix and a Chihuahua X Miniature Pinscher X Shih Tzu Mix. If you look at the chart you can see what breeds Ziggy’s Great Grandparents were.

If you are interested in genetically testing your dog, contact your veterinarian!

Here is a link to the Genetic Health Analysis.

Adrian Nevill, BVM&S Hawthorne Hills Veterinary Hospital, Seattle WA | Behavior, Care & Wellness, Diseases, Medical Conditions, Medical Issues, Nutrition, Pet Adoption, Routine exams

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