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Genetic Testing For German Shepherds

Should You Get A Mini Shepherd

Degenerative myelopathy DNA test German Shepherd

In our opinion, you should never purchase a Mini Shepherd. As we mentioned above, a Mini German Shepherd is usually a product of poor breeding methods or breed mixtures.

Mini Shepherds can come with multiple medical complications, meaning they may have an unhealthy future ahead of them.

If you are looking for a German Shepherd to welcome into your family, its best to choose an ethical and reputable breeder. If you want a smaller pup, we recommend a breed other than a German Shepherd.

Take a look at the video below, as it highlights some of the health complications that a Mini Shepherd can face:

The Combination Of A Genetic Mutation And Sex Can Predict A German Shepherd Dogs Risk Of Being Affected By Cim With 75% Accuracy

Training the Next Generation of Canine Health ResearchersDr. Sarah M. Bell was awarded an AKC Canine Health Foundation Clinician-Scientist Fellowship in 2019 and 2020, sponsored by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals . She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in genetics from Clemson University and has continued there as a graduate research assistant pursuing a doctoral degree in genetics. Under the mentorship of CHF-funded investigator Dr. Leigh Anne Clark, Dr. Bell has been studying the genetic basis of congenital idiopathic megaesophagus in German Shepherd Dogs and Great Danes. The goal of her study is to develop a genomic prediction tool to help breeders plan matings that will not produce dogs with CIM without sacrificing genetic diversity.

Reference:Bell, S. M., Evans, J. M., Evans, K. M., Tsai, K. L., Noorai, R. E., Famula, T. R., Holle, D. M., & Clark, L. A. . Congenital idiopathic megaesophagus in the German shepherd dog is a sex-differentiated trait and is associated with an intronic variable number tandem repeat in Melanin-Concentrating Hormone Receptor 2. PLOS Genetics, 18, e1010044.

All About Dna Testing For German Shepherd Dogs

Mail-in DNA kits for humans have become incredibly popular in recent years, but did you know the demand for pet DNA tests is also on the rise? Amazingly, the company Embarkone of the leaders in the pet DNA spacesold roughly 100,000 units in 2018. As genetic science advances and Americans spend more money on their pets, its unlikely this trend will diminish anytime soon.

Although these kits are undeniably popular, does that mean they should be trusted? Is a DNA test a worthwhile investment for your pooch?

In this article, well take a closer look at the pros and perils of dog-approved DNA tests. Well also share specific info to look for if you have a German shepherd. By the end of this piece, you should have a better understanding of whether a dog DNA kit is worth your hard-earned cash.

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First Complete German Shepherd Dna Offers New Tool To Fight Disease

University of New South Wales
The DNA sequencing of a healthy German shepherd offers scientists new insight into the evolution of the domestic dog while also enabling dogs to be screened for hip and other diseases much more accurately.

Scientists have mapped the genome of the German shepherd, one of the world’s most popular canine breeds, after using a blood sample from ‘Nala,’ a healthy five-year-old German shepherd living in Sydney.

In a paper published today in respected ‘big data’ journal GigaScience, a global team of researchers from institutions including UNSW Sydney detailed the mammoth task of unravelling the 38 pairs of dog chromosomes to decode the 19,000 genes and 2.8 billion base pairs of DNA, using advanced genetic sequencing technology.

The new genome not only provides science with a more complete biological snapshot of the dog species in general, but also offers a reference for future studies of the typical diseases that afflict this much-loved breed.

Popular choice

UNSW Science’s Professor Bill Ballard, an evolutionary biologist who sequenced the genome of the Australian dingo in 2017, says German shepherds are popular choices in the home and the workplace because of their natural intelligence, balanced temperament and protective nature. But after more than a century of breeding for desired physical characteristics, they are particularly vulnerable to genetic diseases.

Top dog

Gene machines

Bred for success

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Are Doggie Dna Tests Worth Your Dinero

Question on Genetic testing

As geneticists continue to unravel the complexities of doggie DNA, these DNA test kits have real promise for the future of pet care. True, pet DNA tests still have a long way to go, but that doesnt mean theyre worthless. If youre most interested in getting a detailed glimpse into your dogs breed, then one of these kits could be worth the price.

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What About Cat Dna Tests

Your felines genetic code is a mess when it comes to figuring out their family. Cats are far more difficult to identify by breed than dogs, because their DNA is much less diverse.1 And historically, a lot of what we consider to be cat breeds have intermixed with random cats frequently and repeatedly, further muddying the genetic waters. Currently, the UC Davis Veterinary Genetics Laboratory, which was among the first to offer genetic testing, can trace cat lineage back to eight geographic regions, rather than to specific breeds. But if there are similarities between your cat and one of the 29 breeds that the laboratory has sequenced within those regions, it will tell you which ones are closely related to your cat.

Wirecutter identified nine additional labs that offer cat health screening, ancestry, or kitty paternity tests commonly used by breeders. Basepaws is a newcomer to the market, targeting pet owners of mixed-breed cats. Currently, Basepaws tests for only 21 different breeds, and the company stresses that its NOT a breed verification test, so we do not determine pedigree, and some breeders may mistake our breed test with confirmation of their cats pedigree. Basepaws also doesnt test for all known cat breeds and admits to needing many more samples for its database.

We dont believe the results of either test are accurate enough, so weve elected to shelve testing them for now.

Hyperuricosuria And Hyperuricemia Or Urolithiasis Huu

This condition causes kidney and bladder stones composed of urate. In most dogs, uric acid is converted to allantoin, an inert substance that is then excreted in the urine. Dogs with HUU have defects in the pathway that converts uric acid to allantoin. As such, uric acid builds up, crystallizes and forms urate stones in the kidney and bladder. Uric acid is an intermediate of purine metabolism. While hyperuricemia in other species can lead to painful conditions such as gout, dogs do not develop systemic signs of hyperuricemia. The gene is SLC2A9 and the mode of inheritance is recessive.

Citations: Bannasch et al 2008 , Karmi et al 2010 , Donner et al 2016

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The Dog Dna Test Breeders Trust

A great tool

“I use Embark to test all my potential breeding dogs. It is a great tool to make the right breeding decisions. I encourage other breeders to use Embark – the more we know about our dog’s health, the better breeding decisions we can make to improve our breed.”

Making me a better breeder

“Embark has been a crucial component in making me a better breeder. As a breeder of Australian Shepherds, there are many genetic health issues and color/trait genetics to consider before pairing two parents together. Having this knowledge can help provide a healthy puppy to an anxiously awaiting family and change their whole life!”

Who Should Know The Results Of Your German Shepherds Health Testing

Degenerative Myelopathy onset in GSD

Once your receive any test result, provide the information to your breeder. Responsible breeders appreciate and value the information you provide and use it to make better breeding decisions.

The health information on your dog should also be made available to the public when possible so other owners and breeders can make better decisions about their future prospects. Even though the German Shepherd gene pool might appear large, it is not. Many dogs are closely related and the health of one line can greatly impact the health of others. All breeders and owners need to know if your puppy has great hips. They also need to know if your puppys hips are not so great.

Additionally, when having health screenings performed through OFA, remember to indicate on the form that you wish the results to be made public so all German Shepherd breeders and future owners can benefit from your efforts. If you do not select this option, your valuable data is lost to everyone.

Check out Reebok’s blog for additional articles coming soon on the subject of health testing. Discover the differences between OFA, SV and PennHipand more.

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What Is Dm In German Shepherds

What is degenerative myelopathy? Degenerative myelopathy , also known as chronic degenerative radiculomyelopathy , is a disease affecting the spinal cord, resulting in slowly progressive hind limb weakness and paralysis. The symptoms result from degeneration of the white matter of the spinal cord.

What diseases do German Shepherds have? As a German Shepherd owner, you may have heard about a devastating disease called Degenerative Myelopathy. Often thought of as the canine equivalent of Multiple Sclerosis, this progressive neurological disease affects the spinal cord and ravages muscle coordination, starting in the hind legs and eventually affecting the front legs, as well.

What is degenerative myelopathy in German Shepherds? Degenerative Myelopathy in German Shepherd Dogs GSDs are susceptible to diseases or genetic defects. One of the disorders they inherit is Degenerative Myelopathy. Keep reading to find out more about this fatal disease, what causes it, and what treatments are available.

How many German Shepherds are affected by DM? Worldwide between 1 to 3% of German Shepherds are affected. In the USA alone however its more like 8.8%! Because each year between 14,000 to 42,000 GSDs are diagnosed with DM which effectively means that in the USA the proportion of affected GSDs is much higher.

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Coat Color Test For German Shepherd Dogs

There are three a alleles at the agouti locus in German Shepherd Dogs and these account for virtually all of the coat color variation in this breed. Sable in GSD is used to denote hairs that are banded with black tips and base and reddish or cream in between. This is a different use of sable than in many other breeds who use sable to mean a predominance of reddish hairs with occasional solid black hairs interspersed. Sable in GSD is caused by the aW or the wild type allele.

Some GSD are also black-and-tan or saddle-tan. This coat color is caused by either an atat or ata genotype. Finally some GSD are solid black. Such dogs have the genotype aa. DNA testing is now available to distinguish all of these alleles. Although most GSD have a melanistic mask, a few do not. Both the EM and E alleles are present in German Shepherd Dogs and therefore the E genotype will also be reported. While uncommon, the e allele has been observed in GSDs reported as white. Testing for the e allele is also available. Learn more

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Study: A Genetic Testand Genderpredicts Risk Of Canine Cim With 75% Accuracy

Researchers at Clemson University have discovered a genetic variation associated with an often fatal esophageal disorder common in German shepherdsand developed a test to check for it, according to a new study.

Congenital idiopathic megaesophagus , is an inherited disorder where a puppy develops an enlarged esophagus that fails to move food into their stomachs. Puppies with this condition regurgitate their food and fail to thrive, often leading to euthanasia.

CIM generally manifests when the puppies are weaned from their mothers milk to solid foods at about four weeks of age. The food just sits in their esophagus and doesnt trigger the normal sequential contractions that help push food into the stomach.

They dont have swallowing activity, said study author Sarah Bell, a graduate research assistant in genetics at Clemson. Because a dogs esophagus is horizontal instead of vertical like ours, gravity doesnt aid the transportation of food into the stomach.

Because gravity isnt helping the process along, puppies with CIM have to eat and drink while sitting upright in a dog high chairand stay there for up to 30 minutes afterward. Some will outgrow the condition, but many require lifelong symptomatic management that includes upright feedings, small liquid meals multiple times a day, gelatin cubes, and drug therapies.

The researchers say sildenafil increases the percentage of dogs who outgrow CIM and no longer need to use a high chair when eating.

What Is Degenerative Myelopathy

How To Know What Type Of German Shepherd Do You Have?

Degenerative myelopathy , also known as chronic degenerative radiculomyelopathy , is a disease affecting the spinal cord, resulting in slowly progressive hind limb weakness and paralysis. The symptoms result from degeneration of the white matter of the spinal cord. DM is similar to some of the forms of human amyotrophic lateral sclerosis more commonly known as Lou Gehrigs Disease.

The exact cause of DM is unknown. In its early stages, the symptoms of DM resemble those of osteoarthritis , which often occurs secondary to hip dysplasia in many large breed dogs, making diagnosis challenging.

In later stages of the disease, the progressive weakness and ataxia distinguish it from osteoarthritis of the hip joints. Other considerations for this condition include spinal injuries, spinal tumors, lumbosacral stenosis, fibrocartilaginous embolism, myasthenia gravis, and discospondylitis.

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Good Breeding Practices To Prevent Dm

Because Degenerative myelopathy is an inherited disease, victims can be limited through responsible breeding practices.

If youre planning to add a puppy whos prone to the disease, ask the breeder about the history of DM in the dogs lineage.

Good breeders are proactive and remove a dog from the breeding pool when their DNA test shows theyre in the At-Risk category.

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Can A Puppy Have Degenerative Myelopathy

Signs of Degenerative Myelopathy in Dogs They usually occur in dogs over eight years of age. Eventually a dog with DM will fall down when trying to walk and develop complete paralysis of the hind limbs. In dogs that are not euthanized, the disease will eventually progress to affect the front limbs as well.

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Should You Buy The Identibreed Dog Dna Test

Although this is a newer test on the market, I think its totally worth buying it.

Heres why

They test for 160 health conditions in 16 categories. They also test for chronic stress, which is something new.

And they open up information about your dogs vitamin, mineral and hormone levels.

This information alone is worth a lot for us folks who want the best for our pooches.

And to top it off, the price tag is more than reasonable.

So all-in-all, Id say a definite yes to the IdentiBreed Canine DNA Test.

Image Credits:

DNA My Dog logo used with express permission from the manufacturer.

Genetic Test For Congenital Idiopathic Megaesophagus In German Shepherd Dogs

Testing and Selecting German Shepherd Puppies for work

Publication:Bell, S. M., Evans, J. M., Evans, K. M., Tsai, K. L., Noorai, R. E., Famula, T. R., Holle, D. M., & Clark, L. A. . Congenital idiopathic megaesophagus in the German shepherd dog is a sex-differentiated trait and is associated with an intronic variable number tandem repeat in Melanin-Concentrating Hormone Receptor 2. PLOS Genetics, 18, e1010044. What can we learn?A genome-wide association study for canine idiopathic megaesophagus in German Shepherd Dogs revealed an associated gene variant on canine chromosome 12. The gene in question plays a role in appetite, weight gain, and gastrointestinal motility. German Shepherd Dog males are affected by CIM almost twice as often as females. Investigators propose that estrogen plays a role in gastro-esophageal sphincter function as seen in humans.A genetic mutation has been identified that, along with sex, can predict a German Shepherd Dogs risk of congenital idiopathic megaesophagus with 75% accuracy.

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Should You Buy The Dna My Dog Test

If you only want to know what breeds your dogs ancestors were then maybe.

But you can get that information with the Mars Panel test at a fraction of the price more.

Think about it

Poor customer service, a tiny breed database and no connections with a well-known research facility.

Not to mention the fact that they give no information about the volume of their genetic markers.

Although this test is cheap, its quality doesnt justify the price.

The DNA MY Dog test is not one of my favorites is my last choice when it comes to DNA testing your dog.

See the Canine HealthCheck Genetic DNA Disease & Trait Test on Amazon

What Will A Dog Dna Test Tell You

A dog DNA test reveals the likely breed composition of your mutt, with some companies reporting results that go down to 1% of your dogs genetic code. They can also discern between lineages and provide a DNA tree from both the sire and dame . For an additional fee, you can learn about any hereditary conditions that may be worth bringing up to your vet so you can be better prepared for potential ailments as your pet ages. But dont rely on these at-home tests to make life-altering decisions for your pet, as they merely provide a potential statistical likelihoodnot an actual diagnosis. Discuss any concerns with your veterinarian.

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How Can You Test Your Dog

Testing your lovable mutt will cost $65 plus $6.95 shipping and handling. You can order a test from the companys website, The test kit should arrive in 3-7 days. You will collect the DNA sample at your house by following the simple directions. . You will receive a soft-bristled brush which you rub on the inside of your dogs cheek to collect cells. There is video footage of this procedure on the website if needed. You will also receive written cell collection instructions with the test. Then, you simply submit the swab sample back to MetaMorphix in a pre-paid envelope, and results will be returned in four to six weeks.

ResultsThe company has genetically identified and certified 38 common, canine breeds. If any of these validated breeds are present in the composition of your mixed breed, they will be listed in one of three categories:

Primary Primary breeds make up 50% or more of the dogSecondary Secondary breeds are easily recognizable but not part of the majorityIn-the-mixIn the mix are present at a very low but measurable percentage.Perhaps the only con of this exciting scientific development, if your dog has DNA of a breed that is not yet validated, it will not be listed. However, MetaMorphixs compilation of validated breeds is quite extensive and covers most breeds commonly found in mixes.

Validated Breeds

The 38 validated breeds are the following:

1. Afghan Hound


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