Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Pet DNA testing looks a little hairy

Pet DNA testing has recently experienced a boom. The general public have jumped at the opportunity to have their dogs and cats DNA tested, and nearly 20 companies are glad to do it. While this new technology has been used to give "individualized healthcare" to pets there is one big problem, no regulation.

While many pet owners are simply interested in the entertainment value of knowing what breed their pet is, many people are making medical decisions based on test results. In humans, the mutations associated with disease are ceaselessly analyzed from multiple individuals, to determine the actual likelihood of disease. This has yet to happen with dogs. Most companies only compare the DNA to one individual's genome. Many pet owners are insisting on executing treatments, surgeries, and even euthanasia based on tests with very low accuracy.

This may sound troubling, but Veterinarians understand there is much work to be done. The International Veterinarian community must demand regulation on pet DNA testing businesses so that its potential may be unleashed. By researching more about canines' genome and its relationship to pathology we may better understand cancer and diabetes in humans.

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1 comment:

  1. I've gotten a DNA test on my previous dog and it showed a few mutations, but they never occurred throughout his life. As stated above, there isn't enough information to examine dogs and there should be more research on them because dogs have become a part of many families.