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Ways to Learn Your Pet’s Genetic Background

If you have ever wanted to dive into the genetics of your pet to better understand their origins, health and how to properly care for them, you are not alone. That’s why Genetic Veterinary Sciences, Inc. has developed an array of brands — including two new brands that cater to birds and cats — that help you learn more about your pet in an easy and accurate manner. Jessica Pieros, marketing specialist for Paw Print Genetics, a division of Genetic Veterinary Sciences, breaks down how each brand works and what you need to do to get your pet’s results.

1. AvianDx

There are over 10,000 species of birds world-wide that are monomorphic, meaning that their sex cannot be determined from physical characteristics such as color, plumage or size. Although they may look the same in appearance, male birds have two copies of the Z sex chromosome, while female birds have one copy each of a W and a Z sex chromosome. The new AvianDx’s EarlyBird Sex Identification test will quickly and accurately identify the sex of your bird. The company accepts a variety of sample types that include eggshells, blood and feathers. It tests each sample with two independent methods to ensure a 99.9% accuracy rate. Simply download and print our sample form from the website to send your sample to our laboratory. Results are reported within 10 days or less of sample receipt. The company currently accepts samples from both the United States and Canada.

2. CatScan

The new CatScan is a genetic screen of more than 75 diseases and traits commonly found in cats. This is a simple and easy to use kit that requires no veterinarian visit! Using cheek swabs, follow our easy to use instructions to collect your cat’s DNA. The company also accepts sample types of whole blood, frozen semen or dried blood. However, these are to be collected by a professional. The cheek swabs are provided in our kits and allow for the customer to collect samples within their home. Sample collections are then sent back to our laboratory. The CatScan has the largest menu of tests available on the market, with an accuracy rate of 99% — the highest in the industry. You will receive results for each test within 14 days or less of receiving your sample in our laboratory. The company accepts samples from all over the world. However, it only ships kits to the United States and Canada.

3. Paw Print Genetics

The company has multiple tests that it offers through Paw Print Genetics that include its breed specific panels and breed specific individualized testing for inherited diseases, coat colors and traits. Paw Print Genetics was designed for testing purebred dogs. You can look through the catalog of testing to order an individual test that pertains to your dog’s breed or choose a breed-specific panel. It offers more than 180 different tests for over 300 different dog breeds that includes testing for your dog’s eyes, heart, skin, and more! Its breed-specific panels are a collection of tests that look into the mutations for the most commonly found diseases in a particular breed. Prices vary on panels, but discounts are available. Results are reported to your online account within 14 days of sample receipt.

The company accepts a variety of sample types. It provides cheek swabs in the kits that it sends out (U.S. and Canada only). It also accepts sample types that include whole blood, frozen semen, postmortem tissues, dried blood spots and umbilical cords; all which must be collected by a professional. Its accuracy rate for Paw Print Genetics is 99.9%, as it tests each sample received with two independent methods to ensure accurate results.

4. Canine HealthCheck

Rather than breed specific testing, the Canine HealthCheck is a comprehensive test that screens for more than 150 mutations for diseases and traits commonly found in dogs. The Canine HealthCheck allows valuable insight into your dog's genetics, which play a huge role in their overall health. Using the provided swabs, follow the instructions to activate your kit and collect your dog’s DNA. After collection, the sample is returned to the laboratory using the included prepaid envelope. Once the samples are received, the company provides you a report that details your dog's genetic health in 14 days or less. You will receive insights for every gene tested as normal, a carrier or at-risk for the diseases. The company has an accuracy rate of 99% and only ships within the United States. Learning about your dog’s genetics will provide you a peace of mind for years to come.