Genetic Testing - Page 1

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Dawn G. Bonome

by Dawn G. Bonome on 30 May 2020 - 21:05

What is the best test out there for Genetic Testing for the German Shepherd?
An acquaintance of mine just lost her 8 month old German Shepherd female. One moment she was alive in the back yard, a few minutes later...DEAD.
No Necropsy was done.
Is there a test besides checking for DM, that also checks for Cardiac Issues?
Any suggestions?

by newbiegsd on 30 May 2020 - 23:05

So sorry to hear about the sudden loss. Was the puppy taken to ER? Could be septic from eating something.

Dawn G. Bonome

by Dawn G. Bonome on 31 May 2020 - 00:05

The pup was dead. The owner had no chance to take the pup to the ER that’s how fast it happened.
The owner is devastated. So much potential...never to be known.


by Hundmutter on 31 May 2020 - 02:05

Sounds like probably a heart problem, yes. Whether it was hereditary or maybe caused by some sudden shock eg snakebite is impossible to tell at this remove. Trouble with heart defects is that they usually need a live dog for detection - just as a definitive DM diagnosis really still needs a dead one.

There isn't, as far as I know, here in the UK, any regular genetic test you could do on all puppies to see if they have anything wrong with the heart while still asymptomatic. Or on breeding stock for prevention purposes. Maybe the scientists haven't isolated the relevent bit(s) of the genome yet. Maybe there is something Stateside - one of the University vet schools or a private lab - where they have something 'in the pot' that other members will know of, or you can google ?

The GSD does have some (rarish) conditions of the heart, like Persistent Aortic Arch, that may well have a genetic attribution, but AFAIK there are no tests as such that are recommended for the breed.

Very sad episode for your friend, commiserations to them.

Dawn G. Bonome

by Dawn G. Bonome on 31 May 2020 - 07:05

Hi Hundmutter.
Where she lives, no snakes.
I asked, and there was no heart murmur.
Thx for the great post!


by TIG on 31 May 2020 - 07:05

Without a necropsy it is impossible to guess what happened to this poor thing. It is quite possible and probably much more likely that it was not a genetic issue. Example, accidental or deliberate poisoning from things such as gum (xylito), rat poision, lawn fetiliser (organ phophates), snake or spider bite (black widow, brown recluse), fire ants, toy/ball/bone stuck in throat or alimentary canal, epilepsy etc etc

Dawn, dogs are living breathing things not a toaster. Many "genetic" tests today are bogus or useless just created to line someone's pocket but even with an appropriate test it really says nothing about longevity. Dogs can pass all of them and still drop dead.

Dawn G. Bonome

by Dawn G. Bonome on 31 May 2020 - 08:05

That’s the first thing that I asked if there was a Necropsy done.
I have known this person for a long time.
She has 2 other German Shepherds. An oldster, and a midagester, so if there was poison, all would be dead, so poisoning is crossed off the list.
She has owned German Shepherds for over 50 years so she knows them.
When the owner told me, I thought she meant the old girl.

by djp on 31 May 2020 - 19:05

I have heard of this happening with young dogs when exercising. I believe this might be what it is: Inherited ventricular arrhythmias of juvenile German shepherd dogs. Here is a link to the explanation.


by Jenni78 on 31 May 2020 - 19:05

Poison doesn't kill all dogs- only the ones who eat it. A puppy is highly likely to eat something a senior wouldn't.

Where do they live? Heatstroke?

Dawn G. Bonome

by Dawn G. Bonome on 31 May 2020 - 19:05

Hi Jen..
The person lives in the Western Suburbs of Illinois, so no it wasn’t heatstroke.


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