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Canine DNA research gives hope to finding cures in the future
Scientists continue to make headway in the search to find out about stem cells, genes and DNA. However, most pet owners might not question what such information could do to benefit their own pooches. Scientists have actually mapped the entire canine genome – some 24,000 genes and their locations. This data has led researchers to understand the canine body even further and has helped to create new ways to positively impact the lives of dogs.
According to the source, one fascinating way that learning about canine DNA can help dogs is through breed identification. Knowing the genetic makeup of a dog means owners of mutts can finally get a true understanding of what makes them what they are. For example, if an owner of a mutt finds out it's part collie, it could help them understand why the dog is constantly trying to herd them, as that is what the breed was bred for. Unlocking such connections could ultimately help both dog and owner get what they need, such as more exercise for a working breed, or starting to play hunting games for retriever breeds.
Genetic disease testing has also come a long way for canines. Although many owners might enjoy knowing what type of coat their mix might have, understanding which breeds are prone to certain disorders is much more important. Many researchers from reputable institutions such as the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, the Canine Genetic Disease Network and the Dog Genome Project have been working to uncover the links between genetic diseases and breeds, according to the source.
Even though testing continues, finding cures or preventions is proving to be more difficult than originally thought as common disorders like hip dysplasia and osteosarcoma seem to originate from multiple genes.
For now, pet owners can help keep these issues at bay in their own breeds by giving them daily joint supplements like Glyco Flex III or Dasuquin with MSM. If the condition worsens, a vet may prescribe pet meds like Deramaxx to ease joint pain.
Scientists have been able to make some progress with genetic disease testing for certain diseases known to affect specific breeds. There is now a test to find out if boxers will have arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy or if Irish setters will develop canine leukocyte adhesion deficiency. Other tests indicate if mastiffs or Great Pyrenees' will be affected by canine multifocal retinopathy or if Labrador retrievers will get centronuclear myopathy.