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Breed Risk Lab Testing

Many disease problems are genetic or inherited, and certain breeds are at risk for specific diseases. Some of these can be tested for, enabling earlier diagnosis and intervention, while others require awareness from the owner about what to watch for and when to call the veterinarian. We aim to ensure that every owner of an at-risk breed is informed about the potential diseases and problems that could affect their dog. Here is a sampling of some of these problems.

1. ACL Tear (Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear):

Occurs in any breed, but breeds more at risk include Doberman Pinschers, Rottweilers, Labrador Retrievers, Chow Chows, Bulldogs, and dogs with straight hind leg conformation.
Recommendations: High-quality diet, sensible exercise routines, avoiding over-exercising, and maintaining a healthy weight. Pet insurance is advisable.

2. Cardiomyopathy:

Breeds at risk include Boxers, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, English Cocker Spaniels, Doberman Pinschers, and giant breeds.
Recommendations for at-risk breeds: Annual ECG screening after age 1. For high-risk breeds, an echocardiogram annually after age 5-6.

3. GDV (Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus or “Bloat”):

Occurs in dogs with deep, narrow chests like Greyhounds, Collies, Great Danes, German Shepherds, and others.
Recommendations: Know the signs, act quickly if symptoms develop, rush to an emergency clinic, and consider pet insurance. Avoid strenuous exercise after meals.

4. Hemangioma and Hemangiosarcoma:

Common tumors in older large breed dogs, with hemangiosarcoma being cancerous.
Recommendations: Know the signs, seek help if symptoms appear, and consider senior wellness testing.

5. Respiratory Distress Syndrome:

Affects brachycephalic dogs and cats (those with a squished-in face), such as Bulldogs, Pekingese, Persians, and Pugs.
Recommendations: Correct defects with surgery early on, ideally at the time of spaying or neutering.

Understanding these risks and following recommended guidelines can contribute to the well-being and longevity of your canine companion.