Embark Genetic Screening At TVH – Case Study #1: Molly

Telford Vet has partnered with Embark Veterinary to provide canine DNA screening to gain valuable information regarding your dog’s genetic health and provide your veterinarian with actionable insights to keep them happy and healthy throughout their lives.

Every month we highlight a different patient who has been directly impacted by the effects of Embark screening. Today we are sharing the story of Molly, whose life was actually saved thanks to the results found by her genetic screening!

Dr. Minninger, Molly, and her owner, Mrs. B.

What Previous Conditions Did They Have?

Molly became a client when she was a puppy, so there were no pre-existing conditions that we were aware of or knew to be concerned about for her first visit.

What Were The Results?

In addition to the breed makeup results, Embark also checks over 210 genetic diseases to give you and your vet the power to prepare for—and even prevent—illnesses before they strike. If a dog does present positive for a condition, the TVH Vets will work alongside Embark Veterinary genetic specialists to come up with the best treatment plan moving forward.

In Molly’s case, her results showed a positive trait for a rare blood disorder called Vonwillibrands. Essentially, it meant that Molly had poor blood clotting and could “bleed out” very easily from even the smallest of incisions. The Embark Vets advised Dr. Minninger that Molly’s spay procedure would need to be completed by a specialist with extreme caution and post-operative monitoring.

What Outcome Would Have Happened Without The Screening?

Without the genetic screening, we would not have known about Molly’s rare condition. If we would have tried to do a routine spay procedure, she would have had post-surgical hemorrhage with a very real possibility of death. She would have required a blood transfusion immediately, which we would not have had on hand or prepared for since it is not normal protocol.

What Was The Updated Treatment Plan Moving Forward?

Now that we know Molly’s diagnosis, Dr. Minninger is able to perform annual bloodwork to check for other diseases in the dogs’ system. This is because other common diseases can actually exaggerate or worsen VonWillibrands, so it is crucial to stay on top of her health record and perform the annual exams and bloodwork.

How Are They Doing Now?

Molly’s owner, Mrs. B, was able to get connected with other Vet hospitals in the area, both locally and in the Poconos where the family frequently travels, that keep less-common blood products on hand in case Molly ever has an accident and needs emergency treatment. Mrs. B has proactively chosen to contact these hospitals whenever they are traveling in order to ensure the safety of her beloved pet. Without these results, she would not have known to make those extra connections, and an emergency could have ended much differently than it potentially will now.

Additionally, Mrs. B reached out to the breeder where she got Molly and was able to spread the news about VonWillibrands. It turned out that at least one other female littermate has the same condition. The owner of that littermate was able to be contacted and go through a similar process of creating a proactive treatment plan. The other pet is doing great in her post-diagnosis life. This journey taught us that 2 dogs’ lives were saved as a result of the Embark screenings.

Mrs. B provided us with her reflection on the Embark process: “Molly’s life was saved by Telford Veterinary Hospital’s use of preventative care, Genetic Screenings. The screening gave life-saving information to the doctors and staff. Simple spaying could have been the end of Molly’s life, but with the information, we handled spaying in a different manner.”

She continued with a statement about TVH as a whole:

“Whether emergency issues, chronic problems or routine care, Telford Veterinary Hospital handles all in a professional manner. Both the doctors and all of the staff go above and beyond. My family of Furbabies (all 9 of them) love going to visit. My dogs view the trips to the vet as a fun outing filled with pets and treats. If you’re looking for veterinary care, I STRONGLY recommend Telford Veterinary Hospital.”

Overall, Molly is doing well and we look forward to continuing her care.

In August, Molly and her family had the opportunity to meet those responsible for saving Molly’s life when the Executive Leadership Team from Embark Vet came to visit Telford Vet. It was truly a special moment where we all got to witness the true value of genetic insights and how its impact can be measured by four paws, a heartbeat, and a grateful family.

*This case study was provided with consent from Molly’s family.

Interested in completing a genetic screening? Visit our website for more information about the process of Embark Canine Genetic Screening at TVH and schedule your appointment today!

Have you previously completed a genetic screening for your pet? Were you confused by the results? Even if you didn’t get your dog’s genetic screening at TVH, our Vet and Genetic Specialist on staff would be happy to help you understand your results. Don’t let your results go to waste – you might have noteworthy genetic predispositions that you don’t want to let go untreated. Take advantage of the advice our team has to offer. Give us a call today to schedule a time to go over your dog’s genetic results with us!

If you’re interested in learning more about Molly’s story and the overall Embark Screening journey, feel free to visit the Embark Blog featuring Molly and check out their Youtube Channel to watch an interview with Dr. Minninger about Molly’s screening process.


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