Interested in testing your mixed breed or rescue?
A client brings in a rescue that appears to be part cocker spaniel. We take a blood sample and a DNA test is performed (cost of around $125) and indicated that indeed the pet is 45% cocker spaniel. We know that Cocker Spaniels are prone to glaucoma, ear infections, and many other things and we want to do all we can to prevent those diseases and detect them before they cause problems if possible.
As a result of the DNA test we take ocular pressures with our Tonopen to screen for glaucoma and find at least for now everything is OK but set up a schedule of annual rechecks to make sure we keep on top of this now known underlying condition. For the possibility of allergies and ear infections we advise the addition of anti-inflammatory doses of EPA(the key anti-inflammatory ingredient in fish oil) to her diet and discuss how to detect allergies.
As another example, we might sit down at a puppy consultation (we offer these as a courtesy to our clients) and discuss the many behavioral and medical characteristics that a client might encounter with a certain breed of puppy (or a mixed breed that contains a majority of a particular breed) say a Boxer who as a breed are know to have higher rates of cancer than other breeds. We would use a referenced list of medical conditions to substantiate our discussion. The outcome might be that the owner having just lost a family member to cancer decides she just doesn’t want to take that additional risk and chooses a different breed despite the great behavioral and fun look that boxer dogs have.
Please let us know if you have any questions or comments in this exciting area. This is an open blog so please feel free to share! Dr K