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Sat Jul 28, 2018, 12:02 PM

Questions Rise About Shortcomings Of DNA Tests For Dogs

When Petunia, a 13-year-old pug, started having trouble walking, her concerned owners bought a $65 genetic test. It turned up positive for a mutation linked to a degenerative disease similar to ALS in humans.

To keep her from suffering, they put her to sleep.

The trouble with Petunia's story, notes a commentary in the prestigious science journal Nature, is that research suggests only a small percentage of dogs who test positive for the mutation will actually develop the disease.

"That is a real case," said Dr. Lisa Moses, a veterinarian at the MSPCA-Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston and a research scholar on bioethics at Harvard. "And it is one, but there have been many of them. In fact, a number of cases just like that one are what started me thinking about this years ago, when the first genetic tests started to be used routinely."

DNA testing of dogs is a booming business. Over the last decade or so, the genes of hundreds of thousands of dogs have been analyzed, whether to determine which breeds the dogs belong to, or, as with Petunia, to check for genetic diseases. But Moses and two other Boston-based experts warn in Nature that the pet genetics industry is running too wild, and they're calling for it to be reined in.


https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/07/28/632723832/questions-rise-about-shortcomings-of-dna-tests-for-dogs

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Reply Questions Rise About Shortcomings Of DNA Tests For Dogs (Original post)
douglas9 Jul 2018 OP
tblue37 Jul 2018 #1
defacto7 Jul 2018 #2
Stonepounder Jul 2018 #3
BigmanPigman Jul 2018 #4
Rhiannon12866 Jul 2018 #5
mopinko Jul 2018 #6

Response to douglas9 (Original post)

Sat Jul 28, 2018, 12:12 PM

1. K&R and thanks! nt

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Response to douglas9 (Original post)

Sat Jul 28, 2018, 12:46 PM

2. Not to mention the shortcomings of human DNA testing.

People think it's a miracle catch-all and it's not.

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Response to douglas9 (Original post)

Sat Jul 28, 2018, 12:48 PM

3. K&R This need to be spread far and wide.

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Response to douglas9 (Original post)

Sat Jul 28, 2018, 10:43 PM

4. Good post!

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Response to douglas9 (Original post)

Sun Jul 29, 2018, 11:12 PM

5. I got one of those tests for my brother for his dog

The pup was adopted from a shelter and he's sure he's some kind of terrier (he looks much like the pup in the photo), and he's tried to figure it out by his looks, but I thought he might want to know for sure. The pup is now 11, very sweet dog.

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Response to douglas9 (Original post)

Sun Jul 29, 2018, 11:18 PM

6. i used embark, which is the spendiest, after reading amazon reviews.

most of the cheap ones had plenty of people who got whacky results if they didnt send a picture. chihuahuas that were really great danes and such. those who provided a pic got about as good a guess as their vets could give.
embark has access to a huge cornell database, which is the critical part, imho.

it was interesting. i cant imagine making a euthanasia decision based on it. but i'm guessing a 13 yo pug was already having problems.

i did my mutt puppy, and what the shelter said and what the dna said were, um, very different.
otoh, i did my victorian bulldog, and was very pleased that the testing backed up what the breeder had told me, and allayed my fears of inbreeding in developing this newish breed.

interesting, but life and death? nah.

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