Have you ever been curious to know what their DNA might reveal about her health risk? A dog genetic screening test can offer affordable answers. These tests can inform both you and your veterinarian of diseases your pet may be more prone to due to gene mutations inherited through its genes.
Your vet can advise you as to the appropriate level of testing for your pet, but there are three essential wellness tests all dogs in their prime should receive: complete blood count (CBC), biochemistry profile and urinalysis. These can detect early warning signs for kidney, liver or diabetes diseases as well as infections, inflammation or hormone imbalances that might need attention.
An abdominal ultrasound, conducted either in the field or at a clinic, can provide invaluable information regarding the spleen, gastrointestinal tract, pancreas, adrenal glands, urinary bladder and urinary system, according to Konecny. An ultrasound may even detect overproduction of cortisol by the spleen that leads to Cushing’s disease if present, she adds.
Reputable pure-bred breeders consistently test for hereditary conditions that could affect specific breeds. This includes MDR-1 testing (which determines if a dog carries genes that impact his ability to metabolize certain drugs) in herding and sighthound breeds and OFA certification of hips – tests covered by many dog insurance policies.
Some veterinary schools also provide their own tests for hereditary health issues in Labrador Retrievers, such as the University of Wisconsin’s Cranial Cruciate Liga Rerupture Risk Screener Test (CRCT), while universities and private companies like Embark DNA offer genomic tests which analyze more than 35 physical traits, ancestry information, geographic origin, as well as over 230 genetic disease risks in their dogs.
Cornell Veterinary Biobank provides more advanced genetic testing options. It collects DNA samples, blood and tissue from healthy pets for storage at the world’s most advanced veterinary library for research into various conditions ranging from cancer to eye disease. Participating dogs contribute valuable research that benefits all canines while their owners gain peace of mind knowing their healthy pet is helping make our planet a healthier place.
If your dog is healthy, his or her veterinarian will likely advise keeping an eye on his activity level, eating habits and weight to detect any changes quickly if necessary. You should also monitor for lumps or cuts on his body; check his eyes, ears and mouth regularly as well as check for abnormal potty behavior; keeping tabs on all aspects of normal daily habits for your pet can extend his lifespan while simultaneously increasing health benefits.