Genetic Testing for Dogs – Breeding Healthier Pets
For many years vets have taken x-rays of hips and elbows to enable assessment and scoring of these joints under the BVA/KC scheme. The scheme was set up because so many individual dogs were born with painful & disabling joint problems. The scoring allows us to advise Owners whether or not a dog’s joint conformation is better or worse than average and therefore whether or not it is wise to breed from this individual. Similarly an eye examination scheme is also available.
In recent years the advance in the science of genetics has allowed the development of gene testing. Many gene tests for pet animals are now available commercially. This means that some genetic problems of some breeds can be identified by blood tests. And more and more gene tests are becoming available all the time; there are already thousands. Each test is very specific for a single defective gene. Sometimes the gene tests can replace the BVA eye examination but usually they provide additional information about an individuals risk of carrying problem genes. We can offer Optigen (An American company) tests cheaper than can be obtained by direct contact with Optigen, by batching up test samples. This means the results come back slightly slower but at a considerable cost saving to you. If you are considering breeding from your pet, please get some advice from our nursing team who will be able to recommend the appropriate tests for your pet’s breed and take the blood samples required.