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