Study reveals genetic diseases in purebred dogs

One study identified genetic diseases that mixed-breed dogs are likely to develop, also finding that fewer mixed-breed dogs than pure-bred dogs are affected by the pathogenic mutations tested.

Wisdom Health and Genoscoper Laboratories, which provide genetic testing for dogs and cats, on April 30 published “Frequency and Distribution of 152 Variants of Genetic Diseases in Over 100,000 Mixed-Breed and Pure-Breed Dogs” in PLOS Genetics, a online journal of the Public Library of Science. .

The to study examined the DNA of 83,000 mixed breed dogs and 18,000 purebred dogs representing 330 breeds, types and varieties. Disease mutations tested included progressive retinal atrophy, hyperuricosuria, collie eye abnormality, multi-drug sensitivity, and von Willebrand disease.

“There has long been a perception that mixed breed dogs are less prone to disease than purebred dogs,” said Dr. Cindy Cole, CEO of Wisdom Health, in an announcement regarding the study. “This DNA-based evidence shows that although mixed-breed dogs are actually less likely than purebreds to develop the recessive disorders assessed in the study, they can still be carriers.”

Based on 152 diseases tested, about two in 100 mixed-breed dogs were at risk of getting affected and 40 out of 100 were carriers of at least one of the diseases. About five in 100 purebred dogs were at risk of being affected and 28 out of 100 were carriers of at least one of the diseases.

Research has also indicated that through sound breeding practices, which often include genetic testing, certain diseases appear to have been eradicated from breed pools. For example, severe X-linked combined immunodeficiency, a mutation originally found in Basset Hounds, appears to have been eradicated.

The ocular, nervous, and circulatory systems were most commonly affected in the purebred and mixed-breed dog populations in the study.

Related JAVMA content:

Uncover Your Dog’s Genetic Secrets (March 15, 2017)

Genetic Variants Associated With The Disease Common In All Dog Breeds (March 15, 2017)

AVMA adopts policy on responsible pet breeding (March 1, 2017)

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Jeanetta J. Stewart

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