DNA-Based Canine Disease Detection Services

Diagnosing canine disease can be complicated. Fortunately, detection methods have come a long way over the years. DNA-based canine disease detection services are not only effective at assessing the possibility of future disease in certain dogs, they are also effective at determining parentage and more. Just a few types of DNA-based detection services include: inherited disease screening, DNA genotyping, and parentage verification.

Inherited Disease Screening

There are many ways to test dogs for a large number of inherited diseases. The types of inherited diseases veterinary clinics may be able to screen for varies greatly, so the list below represents just a few of the inherited diseases that can be detected through DNA testing. It is important to note that dog diseases come in all forms and some are specific to certain breeds. Inherited diseases that can be detected through DNA testing include:

Centronuclear Myopathy in Labrador Retrievers
An inherited autosomal recessive disorder and is characterized by muscle weakness and exercise intolerance.

Canine Exercise Induced Collapse (EIC)

Dogs clinically affected by Exercise Induced Collapse (EIC) will often begin to exhibit leg weakness followed by a complete collapse after just 5 to 15 minutes of strenuous activity.

Cystinuria in Newfoundlands

A metabolic disorder that can cause stones in the urinary tract.
Phosphofructokinase Deficiency (PFK) in English Springer Spaniel and Cocker Spaniel

A metabolic disorder that prevents glucose from being converted into available energy, leading to muscle disease and sometimes anemia in affected animals.

Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency (PK) in West Highland Terriers

A defect in red blood cells that leads to anemia and liver failure.

Fucosidosis in English Springer Spaniels

A defect characterized by a deteriorating nervous system that results in behavioral changes. Some clinical signs are loss of learned behavior, deafness, blindness, and depression.

DNA Genotyping

DNA genotyping is the process of screening individual dogs to identify the specific gene and the specific error mutation in a gene that causes disease. Genotyping can also be used to establish DNA pedigrees, resolve ownership issues, and confirm parentage. DNA genotyping can be used for cats as well as other pets like birds and rabbits.

Parentage Verification

Parentage verification involves the study of the DNA profiles of an offspring and its probable parents in order to identify the true parentage.

DNA-based Canine Disease Detection Services and Your Vet

If you would like to take advantage of DNA-based canine disease detection services, you should talk to your vet about what services the establishment offers. Some veterinary clinics feature on-site labs while others will use an outside veterinary diagnostics center.