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These clinical genetic tools can inform clinical decisions and diagnoses. These tools do not predict increased risk for disease.
Sky has one copy of a variant associated with reduced ALT activity as measured on veterinary blood chemistry panels. Please inform your veterinarian that Sky has this genotype, as ALT is often used as an indicator of liver health and Sky is likely to have a lower than average resting ALT activity. As such, an increase in Sky’s ALT activity could be evidence of liver damage, even if it is within normal limits by standard ALT reference ranges.
Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) is a clinical tool that can be used by veterinarians to better monitor liver health. This result is not associated with liver disease. ALT is one of several values veterinarians measure on routine blood work to evaluate the liver. It is a naturally occurring enzyme located in liver cells that helps break down protein. When the liver is damaged or inflamed, ALT is released into the bloodstream.
Genetic testing is the only way to provide your veterinarian with this clinical tool.
Veterinarians may recommend blood work to establish a baseline ALT value for healthy dogs with one or two copies of this variant.
If Sky inherited any of the variants that we tested, they will be listed at the top of the Health Report section, along with a description of how to interpret this result. We also include all of the variants that we tested Sky for that we did not detect the risk variant for.A genetic test is not a diagnosis
This genetic test does not diagnose a disease. Please talk to your vet about your dog’s genetic results, or if you think that your pet may have a health condition or disease.
Sky is at increased risk for one genetic health condition.
Sky has one copy of an FGF4 retrogene on chromosome 12. In some breeds such as Beagles, Cocker Spaniels, and Dachshunds (among others) this variant is found in nearly all dogs. While those breeds are known to have an elevated risk of IVDD, many dogs in those breeds never develop IVDD. For mixed breed dogs and purebreds of other breeds where this variant is not as common, risk for Type I IVDD is greater for individuals with this variant than for similar dogs.
Type I Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) is a back/spine issue that refers to a health condition affecting the discs that act as cushions between vertebrae. With Type I IVDD, affected dogs can have a disc event where it ruptures or herniates towards the spinal cord. This pressure on the spinal cord causes neurologic signs which can range from a wobbly gait to impairment of movement. Chondrodystrophy (CDDY) refers to the relative proportion between a dog’s legs and body, wherein the legs are shorter and the body longer. There are multiple different variants that can cause a markedly chondrodystrophic appearance as observed in Dachshunds and Corgis. However, this particular variant is the only one known to also increase the risk for IVDD.
Signs of CDDY are recognized in puppies as it affects body shape. IVDD is usually first recognized in adult dogs, with breed specific differences in age of onset.
Research indicates that dogs with one or two copies of this variant have a similar risk of developing IVDD. However, there are some breeds (e.g. Beagles and Cocker Spaniels, among others) where this variant has been passed down to nearly all dogs of the breed and most do not show overt clinical signs of the disorder. This suggests that there are other genetic and environmental factors (such as weight, mobility, and family history) that contribute to an individual dog’s risk of developing clinical IVDD. Signs of IVDD include neck or back pain, a change in your dog's walking pattern (including dragging of the hind limbs), and paralysis. These signs can be mild to severe, and if your dog starts exhibiting these signs, you should schedule an appointment with your veterinarian for a diagnosis.
For CDDY, dogs with one copy of this variant may have mild proportional differences in their leg length. Dogs with two copies of this variant will often have visually longer bodies and shorter legs. For IVDD, a neurological exam will be performed on any dog showing suspicious signs. Based on the result of this exam, radiographs to detect the presence of calcified discs or advanced imaging (MRI/CT) to detect a disc rupture may be recommended.
IVDD is treated differently based on the severity of the disease. Mild cases often respond to medical management which includes cage rest and pain management, while severe cases are often treated with surgical intervention. Both conservative and surgical treatment should be followed up with rehabilitation and physical therapy.
This result should not impact Sky’s health but it could have consequences for siblings or other related dogs if they inherited two copies of the variant. We recommend discussing this result with their owners or breeders if you are in contact.
Your dog carries this variant and will pass it on to ~50% of her offspring.
PRA-prcd is a retinal disease that causes progressive, non-painful vision loss. The retina contains cells, called photoreceptors, that collect information about light and send signals to the brain. There are two types of photoreceptors: rods, for night vision and movement, and cones, for day vision and color. This type of PRA leads to early loss of rod cells, leading to night blindness before day blindness.
The age affected dogs will first show signs of visual impairment varies by breed. However, most begin showing clinical signs in early adulthood.
Veterinarians use a focused light to examine the pupils. In affected dogs, the pupils will appear more dilated and slower to contract. Your vet may also use a lens to visualize the retina at the back of the eye to look for changes in the optic nerve or blood vessels. You may be referred to a veterinary ophthalmologist for a definitive diagnosis.
Currently, there is no definitive treatment for PRA. Supplements, including antioxidants, have been proposed for management of the disease, but have not been scientifically proven effective.
Sky did not have the variants that we tested for, that are relevant to her breeds:
Sky did not have the variants that we tested for, in the following conditions that the potential effect on dogs with Sky’s breeds may not yet be known.
Our genetic COI measures the proportion of your dog’s genome (her genes) where the genes on the mother’s side are identical by descent to those on the father’s side. The higher your dog’s coefficient of inbreeding (the percentage), the more inbred your dog is.
This graph represents where your dog’s inbreeding levels fall on a scale compared to both dogs with a similar breed makeup to her (the yellow dotted line) and all purebred dogs (the grey line).
Embark scientists, along with our research partners at Cornell University, have shown the impact of inbreeding on longevity and fertility and developed a state-of-the-art, peer-reviewed method for accurately measuring COI and predicting average COI in litters.
Embark Veterinary is a canine genetics company offering research-grade genetic tests to pet owners and breeders. Every Embark test examines over 200,000 genetic markers, and provides results for over 200 genetic health conditions, breed identification, clinical tools, and more.
Embark is a research partner of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine and collaborates with scientists and registries to accelerate genetic research in canine health. We make it easy for customers and vets to understand, share and make use of their dog’s unique genetic profile to improve canine health and happiness.
Learn more at embarkvet.com
Veterinarians and hospitals can send inquiries to email@example.com.