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Hereditary Disease Committee

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  • The Hereditary Disease Committee was formed as a comprehensive resource on hereditary diseases and genetic predispositions. This database represents a culmination of the work of the committee, and is constantly evolving with advances in the field of veterinary genetics.
  • Many of the characteristic breed traits and common and rare genetic diseases and predispositions seen in veterinary practice are now recognized to have a heritable basis and have taken on an increasingly important role in veterinary medicine.
  • Today, approximately 900 and 200 hereditary diseases and genetic predispositions are recognized in dogs and cats, respectively. Many are well characterized from clinical signs to the gene defect. Precise diagnostic tools have been developed to detect affecteds and carriers; specific treatments can be offered for a few of them, and genetic counseling with breeder clients can improve the health of small animals in future generations.
  • However, it is difficult for a clinician to keep up with the rapidly accumulating information on clinical genetics and the large spectrum of disorders and genetic predispositions. Thus, a readily accessible comprehensive resource that is up-to-date and practice oriented is needed for the veterinary clinician.
Watch this video to find out more about the Hereditary Disease Commmittee.


  • The World Small Animal Veterinary Association formed a WSAVA Committee on Hereditary Disease with the following goals:
    • Facilitate clinician diagnosis, treatment and control of hereditary diseases and genetic predispositions in dogs and cats, thereby improving the health of patients now and in future generations.
    • Create a web-based information system on hereditary diseases and genetic predispositions, and also other genetic traits.
    • Focus on clinical information, such as clinical signs, course of disease, diagnostic tests, therapy and genetic control relevant to the clinician.
    • Include specific information from national and international organizations regarding guidelines in the future.
    • Provide and facilitate continuing education on practical and novel clinical genetic aspects at the WSAVA conferences and other international & national conferences as well as on the web.
  • All cats and dogs deserve to live healthy lives.



Executive Board Liaison