Our customers fall into two types, veterinarians and breeder/owners. The central element of almost all of our services is DNA-based genetic testing that allows detection of the carriers state for disease genes or coat color traits. This information allows the breeder to avoid breeding animals that carry disease genes, and to select animals to breed that will produce offspring with desired coat colors.
Additionally, veterinarians and dog owners may be interested in testing for the von Willebrand type disease mutation common in Dobermans, and also present in several other breeds. Dogs affected with this disease, that is who have two copies of the mutated gene, have a mild bleeding disorder, but may bleed seriously at the time of surgery, which is important for the veterinarian to know ahead of time. Below we lay out a little more information on the types of services offered in the three species of animals we currently serve.
Traditionally, canine services have been our major activity. Thus, we offer numerous service involving DNA-based detection of disease genes and coat color genes in the dog. Testing for disease-causing genes allows the breeder to avoid breeding dogs that could result in puppies affected with the disease.
One of the major diseases we test for is von Willebrand's disease, a bleeding disease.VetGen presently tests for five different mutations, and has obtained exclusive license for the patents describing canine vWD.
One, the Doberman-type mutation, is extremely common in many breeds. While it is a mild disease normally, it can cause fatal bleeding at the time of surgery or trauma. We also offer tests for many other disease-causing genes in dogs.
Also available are numerous tests for many of the coat color genes responsible for a great deal of the coat color variation in dogs. By using these tests, breeders can select mates who will produce litters with predictable coat colors, and avoid undesirable coat colors. We also offer DNA "profiling", a characterization of DNA that allows dog identification and parentage determinations.
A major service in horses is testing for severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) in Arabian horses. This is a fairly common genetic defect in Arabians, and leads to death in foals from infection within a few weeks. VetGen holds the exclusive license to testing for this genetic defect.
VetGen has also obtained a license to offer testing for glycogen branching enzyme deficiency (GBED). This defect results in abortion and foal mortality.When breeders use these tests, they can avoid breeding horses that will produce affected colts and fillys.
Additionally, we offer tests for coat color genes affecting many breeds of horses. If these tests are used, breeders can select breeding stock that will produce foals of a desired coat color. We also offer DNA "profiling" in horses, which allows horse identification and parentage determination.
VetGen's entry into feline DNA services is more recent than with dogs and horses, and therefore our offerings are more limited. We currently offer coat trait testing for the feline B locus responsible for cinnamon and chocolate as well as dilute.