by Tina Shipley
As humans we long to find out where we have evolved from and why we behave in a certain way. Tracing our ancestors can be a fascinating and inspiring activity. However is it essential to do the same for our pets? Some would say this is a ridiculous idea but for others it may actually be a worthwhile procedure.
A DNA testing kit has now been made available for all dog owners and it is a simple test that can be carried out at home. The testing kit costs £55 and it is very simple to use. A swab of canine saliva needs to be collected and placed in a secure envelope provided. This is then sent straight to the labs for testing and your results are returned within one week.
If you are the owner of a boxer dog, then it is more than likely that you suffer from re-occurring issues. Boxer dogs are prone to suffering from skin irritations, allergies and generally have weak immune systems. It has always been the disadvantage of a boxer owner as it can take endless amounts of testing to work out what is actually affecting the dog and what treatment essentially prevents any underlying issues.
Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy is an adult dog heart muscle disease that is inherited. The disease can lead to sudden death or ongoing heart problems in many dogs. Some dogs will develop a very mild form of the disease and will live quite comfortably, but others may need treatment and it is best to catch the disease during the early stages. Once carriers of a particular disease gene have been detected the disease can almost be eliminated through appropriate breeding. However the only way you would discover the gene is through DNA testing.
By simply carrying out a test you could manage to capture any early stages of this disease and actually save your boxer dog from a severe illness which could drastically lead to fatality. This demonstrates that the dog DNA tests could actually be worthwhile. However if you are simply wanting to track your dogs family tree this may work out to be a very costly activity.
Tina Shipley- Pet health and pet insurance advisor in the UK.