Many of the illnesses we see in practice every day have a genetic cause, everything from heart disease to eye disorders, orthopedic problems, liver and kidney disorders and even cancer. DNA screening is now available for over 300 genetic diseases of dogs and cats. We can test for individual genetic defects or, in dogs, screen for 150 all at once. What secrets might be hidden in your pet’s DNA? DNA testing is an exciting new area of medicine. It’s also a very important area, since 40% of purebred dogs have at least one genetic defect. Mixed breed pets can also develop these same diseases, though often not as frequently, and so can cats – even the average housecat. Many of these problems require specific testing to find. Early detection means more effective prevention and treatment. Genetic testing should also be done before any dog is used for breeding. Most dogs carry the genes for 4-6 genetic problems that they could pass along to their offspring while not showing symptoms themselves. Learn more about genetic testing options for dogs.