INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Genealogy DNA test kits are becoming increasingly popular, not just for humans but for their dogs and cats as well.
The animal DNA tests provide breed results and disease screenings that could show pet owners what diseases their pets may be susceptible to.
“It’s a fun way for people to explore this with their dog,” said Dr. Mary Grabow, a veterinarian at Noah’s Animal Hospital on the west side. “But sometimes DNA generates false alarms.”
Grabow says sometimes people see “illness positively” and panic.
“Many of these diseases have many factors that contribute to the development of the disease, and DNA is just one of the factors,” she said.
She says the tests are just information, not a diagnosis, and maybe not even a threat. Grabow says it opens up conversations and maybe preventive treatments.
“An owner may not even think about dilated cardiomyopathy, but if they come back with a positive marker it gives them a conversation, ‘Hey, let me talk to my vet about this disease,'” she said.
Garbow says DNA testing is a must for breeders. It shows hidden, recessive traits that might be bad for a new little one. She’s used them too and loves the growing interest in animals and animal health.
Patty Spitler, presenter of Pet Pals TV and proud dog owner, tested her rescue dog Mabel.
“I thought maybe rat terrier,” she said, holding curly Mabel in her lab. “It can’t be explained, but that’s why I had to get the DNA test because everyone says, ‘What is it? What is she?’ You know, I guess. ”
Mabel’s result: mostly mini poodles, with a schnauzer and some bulldog, terrier and hunting dog.
“Yes, it’s official, she’s a hot pig,” joked Spitler.
Spitler says she is glad she did, but adds that regardless of genes, Mabel is a member of her family.
“She’s so smart. She is so smart. I mean, she’s so smart, ”said Spitler.