Embark Genetic Screening At TVH – Case Study #2: Zoe

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 Zoe, a high-energy rescue who is now living a happier life since her Embark screening.

What Previous Conditions Did She Have?

Zoe came to Telford Vet as a slender 50 lb black dog whose physical appearance was otherwise fairly generic.

She was a young adult rescue, and her previous owners had surrendered her care due to their inability to “deal with” a medium-sized, high-energy dog. Zoe was showing aggression after adoption, especially toward other dogs. Her new owner, Mrs. A, had begun walking her using 2 leashes as an extra safety precaution.

What Were The Results?

After completing a Canine Genetic Screening with Embark Vet, Zoe’s results came back clear of any genetic markers for pre-disposed conditions. However, her breed makeup component of the comprehensive results provided very insightful information for her care. We discovered that Zoe was 50% Labrador Retriever, 44.3% Belgian Malinois, and 5.7% German Shepherd.

The genetic results allowed Dr. Minninger to put the pieces of the puzzle together and immediately better understand Zoe’s behavioral history. Her makeup of breeds are each known to be high-energy, need extra attention, and have high drive and motivation. So, it made sense that the unique combination of her genes would lead to this type of behavior, as opposed to a potential outlying medical condition.

Without the genetic screening, Zoe’s aggression may have escalated due to the unknown nature of the cause of her behavior and therefore a lack of specialized treatment. Dr. Minninger noted that this escalation could have possibly led to biting, which would have made the situation much worse for Zoe, Mrs. A, and any neighboring pets.

What Was The Updated Treatment Plan Moving Forward?

Now that Dr. Minninger and our TVH Genetic Specialist, Jess, were able to know the details of Zoe’s breed makeup, they were able to work together to create a personalized treatment plan for Zoe and her family.

The results and treatment plan allowed Mrs. A to pursue more focused training and diligent exercise to help with her energy levels, and as a result, assist in de-escalating her aggression.

How Is She Doing Now?

Since completing the genetic screening, Zoe has been able to live her best dog life!

Zoe began doing detailed work with a specialized trainer, who teaches her fun high-energy games alongside other behavioral lessons. Zoe also now has a fenced backyard at home which lets her run around and play as much as she likes.

When reflecting on the entire Embark process, Mrs. A told us that the genetic screening helped their family to identify Zoe’s needs based on her specific breed makeup and was a great contributing factor to improving her behavior. In her mind, Mrs. A said it was worth the finances to be able to give her special pet a better chance at a happy life.

Zoe is now able to use her passionate drive for positive growth and interactions with other people and pets. Most of all, she is delightfully happy, healthy, and free to be her full Belgian-Lab-Shepherd-mixed self!

*This case study was provided with consent from Zoe’s family. We’d also like to thank Zoe’s family for providing these adorable photos!

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!


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