Genetic Testing For Diseases
While nearly every puppy buyer I speak to has some knowledge of Hip dysplasia, few understand that it is not a completely preventable condition despite the emphasis placed upon it; rarely are they aware that it is the inherent traits of the medium to large breed dog PLUS the environment that leads to dysplasia. And even fewer buyers are aware that we can do more toward completely preventing other diseases through a simple cheek swab of breeding stock.
In reality, we are far more likely to eradicate certain genetic diseases within Breeds than we are to ever eliminate dysplasia entirely because much of dysplasia is caused AFTER the puppy goes to his or her new home by the environment in which it is living. (After 30 generations (six decades) of selective breeding, dysplasia is still an issue!)
Many of the inheritable diseases require that both parents pass on a copy of the gene responsible for disease to a puppy. To avoid breeding dogs that could pass on these genes and have affected puppies, one or both parents are genetically tested. Unfortunately, there are many Breeders who are not taking advantage of the availability of these tests and may be spreading Carriers throughout the breeding stock they sell to other Breeders. Those untested dogs may be unwittingly bred to another Carrier and a percentage of the puppies born to them WILL be affected by these diseases to some degree or another. Breeders truly concerned about "improving/bettering the breed" will be testing at the very least the males used in their breeding programs for the following diseases (if your Breeder is NOT testing at least one of a breeding pair for the genes related to these diseases, ask them why). Aisling Labradors will have tested one or both parents for at least the diseases listed below (in some cases, additional testing will have been done).
Hereditary nasal parakeratosis (HNPK) - There may be other causes of this condition in dogs and a normal result does not exclude a different mutation in this gene or any other gene that may result in a similar genetic disease or trait. PAW PRINT GENETICS. This is a (disfiguring) disease that affects Labrador Retrievers and related breeds and leads to dry, rough, discolored crusts on the edges of the dog’s nose. The disease results from a mutation that causes the nose to dry out and can lead to chronic irritation and inflammation of the skin on and surrounding the dog’s nose. Symptoms of the disorder appear in young dogs typically between the ages of around 6 months to 1 year of age. In more severe cases of the disease, cracked skin around and on the tip of the nose can become infected and require medical attention. In later stages, the disease can also affect nose pigmentation with nose skin color changing from dark to lighter shades of color. Once diagnosed, continuous care is required to reduce the occurrence of crusting on and around the dog’s nose using topical treatments. GenSol Diagnostics
Exercise Induced Collapse - There may be other causes of this condition in dogs and a normal result does not exclude a different mutation in this gene or any other gene that may result in a similar genetic disease or trait. PAW PRINT GENETICS. EIC was first identified in the 1990s, but since then, it’s been seen increasingly in Labrador Retrievers. Because litter mates and other related dogs were found to be similarly affected, veterinarians came to understand the hereditary nature of the condition. It’s since become clear that the exact source of the genetic problem involves a mutation in a gene involved in the communication between nerves of the central nervous system. In EIC, dogs will collapse after 5 to 10 minutes of high-drive, trigger activities, such as chasing a ball or hunting. Though a large majority of these cases recover completely within a short timeframe (less than 30 minutes), some dogs have been known to die of the condition. VetStreet.com