TVH Completes 100th Canine Genetic Test

Telford Vet partnered with Embark in June 2021 to conduct the first-ever pilot program with a veterinary hospital. This union has shown the benefits of informed genetic insights in the lifelong care of canine companion animals and provided exciting discoveries that are dramatically improving pet health. This week we completed our 100th test and we’re looking back to reflect on the first year of tests.

Why Did TVH Start Offering Genetic Testing?

We started using Embark to gain valuable information regarding canine genetic health and provide our vets with actionable insights to keep our patients happy and healthy throughout their lives. Within the first year, our team has completed 100 tests and provided families with detailed breed makeups, disease predisposition analysis, and quality treatment plans to provide overall better veterinary care to our patients.

We started using Embark because we believe knowledge is key for proactive veterinary care. With 75% of dogs being at risk or a carrier of a genetic disease, this testing is one way we can do our part to help.

What Is Embark?

On their website, the Embark team proudly states: “While there are many companies out there claiming to have the best dog DNA test, only Embark offers the most scientifically advanced one. Our team is made up of scientists, veterinary geneticists, and other experts in the field who are all committed to helping dogs live their healthiest lives.”

Embark tests account for over 200,000 unique genetic markers to identify the breed composition of any dog, from the youngest pup to your oldest companion, assessing more than 350 total breeds, types, and varieties. The testing also checks over 210 genetic diseases to give you and your vet the power to prepare for—and even prevent—illnesses before they strike.

How Does It Work?

Sample test kit box. Photo courtesy of Embark.

You can easily access this amazing technology at TVH and we’ll help you every step of the way. When you come in for a genetic test appointment, we collect a DNA sample at Telford Vet with a simple cheek swab. Our team then activates your account and sends the DNA sample to the Embark labs. The Embark team of scientists reviews each dog’s health findings by hand to make sure they can stand by 100% of their results.

Example of a genetic breed breakdown found in test results. Photo courtesy of Embark.

When we receive the results, our genetic specialist on staff will call you to schedule a time for us to personally go over the results with you. If a dog does test positive for a condition or has any potential predispositions, the TVH team will work alongside Embark to come up with the best treatment plan moving forward. We’ll help you understand specific care tips for your breed and any additional treatment plan, if necessary.

Our Genetic Specialist, Jess, has been a big part of the Embark process at Telford Vet. She summarized its impact by saying, “We are now able to get important information from their DNA that helps us develop a better treatment plan unique to each patient.”

This past winter, Jess had the opportunity to represent TVH and speak at the North American Veterinary Community’s annual conference. She shared her experiences with other veterinary professionals to help spread the word about Embark. Jess’s hard work this past year has been essential to the success of the Embark tests and eventual treatment plans for our patients.

First 100 Results

Dr. Minninger is grateful for the accomplishments so far with the Embark process: “As we DNA test our 100th patient since the pilot study started last year, I can confidently say that genetic screening has saved the life of at least three patients.”

When we evaluated the overall results from the first 100 tests, we were extremely proud and impressed with the care we were able to provide as a credit to this testing. Here are a few highlighted statistics from our progress:

  • 27% were free from all genetic diseases.
  • 25% were carriers of disease and should not be bred.
  • 22% had a genetic expression for significant diseases.
  • 100% of the results allowed our team to provide better Veterinary care for our patients.
Nemo and Finley remind our team just how different dog breeds can be and why it’s so important to celebrate their uniqueness through genetic testing!

Moving Forward

When reflecting on the future of the program, Jess told us her thoughts: “I believe routinely DNA testing pets are going to have a massive impact on the veterinary field moving forward. I am excited to be a part of this next leap in veterinary medicine and look forward to seeing where the research and technology go.”

As we look ahead, the entire TVH Team is excited to continue providing Embark Canine Genetic Testing and to discover what lives we can continue changing with future tests.

Interested in getting your dog’s genetics tested? Learn more about the Embark process here and call to schedule your appointment today!

Follow us on social media to stay up to date with everything going on at Telford Vet and be sure to check out the TVH Blog for more blogs about the Embark Genetic Testing coming soon!

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