Canine hereditary disorders more widespread than realized

The technological potential to test a dog for multiple inherited disorders at once has existed for several years. The challenge is to harness that potential for practical use in veterinary medicine. A new study offers a model.

Researchers from the University of Helsinki in Finland concluded that genetic panel screening is a comprehensive, efficient, and valid diagnostic and research discovery tool, and has a range of applications in veterinary care, disease research, and breeding.

Findings also concluded that several known disease alleles are more widespread across different breeds than previously recognized.

The study was published in PLOS|One on August 15.

The researchers tested nearly 7000 dogs representing around 230 different breeds for predisposition to almost 100 genetic disorders and observed that one in six dogs carried at least one of the tested disease predisposing genetic variants in their genome.

Moreover, one in six of the tested genetic variants were also discovered in a dog breed in which it had not previously been reported in the scientific literature. Through clinical follow up of dogs genetically at risk, the research team was able to confirm that several disorders cause the same disease signs also in other than previously described breeds.   

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