The Ins and Outs of Pedigree Analysis, Genetic Diversity, and Genetic Disease Control in Scottish Deerhounds: The 2019 National Specialty Health Seminar

Photo by Shannon Neill

These videos of the 2019 National Specialty Health seminar, presented by veterinary geneticist Dr. Jerold Bell, is based on his analysis of a Scottish Deerhound computerized pedigree database, AKC registration statistics, and pedigree analysis of the most influential Scottish Deerhound dogs and bitches.

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Genetic Testing Information

The SDCA Health & Genetics Committee has published two position statements on genetic testing, the first being an introduction to genetic testing and the second on Factor VII. It appears that we will have more genetic tests sooner rather than later (YAY!), so it is imperative that all breeders understand how to use these tests and owners understand how they are used so we can all work together to eliminate these disease-causing variants without reducing the breed’s gene pool.

You can read these position statements here. These position statements can also be found on the SDCA’s main web site.

Photo of Deerhounds by Cally Whitman.

by John E. Dillberger, DVM

Reprinted from the January/February 2012 Claymore.

In response to last month’s column, I received a note from Scottie Sterrett about the example I used to illustrate genetic testing.  The point that she touched on is so important that I wanted to share her letter and my response with everyone.  I hope this will stimulate further conversation about the issues that genetic testing raises for all of us. Read more

Genetic Testing Versus Health Testing

by John E. Dillberger, DVM

Reprinted from the November/December 2011 Claymore.

We are in the midst of a genetic test explosion in dogs.  Almost every month, a research group announces that they have found a gene responsible for a particular disease in dogs, or that they are offering a genetic test for the disease, or both.

In the excitement generated by all of this progress, it is easy to confuse a genetic test with a health test.  In some cases, a genetic test is a health test.  Other times, it isn’t at all clear what, if anything, the genetic test result means for a dog’s health.  And even when a genetic test is truly a health test, the results have to be interpreted with caution, just as one would interpret the results of any other sort of health test. Read more