What every practitioner should know about hereditary diseases!

Hereditary diseases are presented to us regularly in practice but it’s not straightforward to identify the specific disease or to test for it. What help is available to practitioners? And, more importantly, is it possible to start reducing the incidence of these diseases in pure bred animals? The WSAVA Hereditary Disease Committee has just launched a new web tool to provide clinically relevant information on hereditary diseases and genetic predispositions in dogs and cats.

A searchable database of laboratories offering genetic (DNA) tests for hereditary diseases in dogs and cats worldwide has been launched by the WSAVA Hereditary Disease Committee (HDC). It contains contact information about the laboratories performing these tests: outlines the specific tests available and the breeds likely to be affected. It is searchable by laboratory, test or breed.

Specific information about the genetic test including the mutation, gene and chromosome involved is also provided when available, as are links or citations to available research and references to the Online Mendelian Inheritance in Animals (OMIA) and Online Inheritance in Man (OMIM) numbers if appropriate.

In due course, the HDC hopes to link its database to the Associate database of hereditary diseases and genetic predispositions on the Veterinary Information Network (VIN) to offer more specific clinical information to clinicians and WSAVA Members.

Professor Dr Urs Giger, Chairman of the HDC, comments: "There's a strong sense of urgency and understanding that international collaboration is needed and global solutions required in tackling hereditary diseases. The veterinary clinician must also play a key role in the enhancement of the genetic health in purebred dogs. We hope the launch of our database is a big step forward in our goal of providing tools to practitioners to facilitate the diagnosis, treatment and control of these diseases.

It currently contains details on around 50 testing laboratories, representing over 130 disease mutations in nearly 200 dog and 40 cat breeds. We would welcome updates, revisions and additions. Please send any comments or questions to the committee coordinator at wsavagenetics@gmail.com."

The database can be accessed at  Canine and Feline Hereditary diseases

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