How genomic sequencing is enhancing veterinary medication

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Lindsey Kock, DVM, says she was always fascinated by larger animals. She spent several years in general medicine but always had a passion for breeding cattle. Kock also longed to understand how to use data to become a successful practitioner. Now she is using genome sequencing to improve veterinary care.

“I always knew that there was something more for me that was a little different,” she says. “I think what attracted me was to look at where the genomics were in the beef room and even the dairy and what we could learn about animals and think about how we could apply that herd mentality to a single animal.”

On this episode of The Vet Blast Podcast, Kock, Market Development Manager at NEOGEN, talks to Adam Christman, DVM, MBA about the importance of genome sequencing, including how it can improve veterinary practice and care.

“[Genomic sequencing] follows the trends in what we see in human space, ”she tells Christman. “In dogs, genome testing is pretty much non-invasive. The process involves collecting a cheek swab sample – the DNA used lives in the nucleus of these cells. “From there, scientists break down the cell, extract the DNA, and look for individual changes known as Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs). Historically, this was achieved through arrays or BeadChip technology.

“[BeadChip technology] These are targeted tests to say that we want to look at those 20 markers or those 100 markers within this entire 2.9 billion base pair genome, ”she says.

According to Kock, NEOGEN’s Igenity® Canine Wellness offers markers for the complex features or cases that are common in everyday practice. She also tells Christman that there has been growing interest in using DNA-based data to understand dogs’ nutritional and behavioral needs. “It’s not news to us,” she says. “It’s important to be able to tell them [clients] Your pet needs a healthier body weight because they are at increased risk of developing disc disease (IVDD) or cancer. “Data like this not only provides insights into your patients, but can also be used to reinforce customer recommendations – a win-win situation for vets and pet owners.

Listen below to learn more about genome sequencing and breed identification.