Urs Giger, Prof. Dr. med. vet., MS, FVH, DACVIM & DECVIM-CA (Internal Medicine), DECVCP (Clinical Pathology)
School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA
During the past few days DSAVA, FECAVA, and WSAVA held sessions on various aspects of hereditary diseases and genetic predispositions to disease in companion animals. General concepts on genetic diseases from clinical signs to the molecular genetic diagnosis were presented. Some hereditary traits and diseases were specifically discussed and solutions explored. The challenges and opportunities for the veterinary clinician, in particular regarding diagnostics, treatment options, and genetic counseling, were emphasized.
There are close to one thousand hereditary traits in dogs and three hundred in cats. Diagnostics include clinical examination, imaging, routine laboratory tests as well as specific genetic tests. Over two hundred disease causing mutations have been determined in dogs and more than thirty in cats. All currently available DNA tests for hereditary diseases in dogs and cats and associated laboratories worldwide can be found at http://research.vet.upenn.edu/Default.aspx?TabId=7620 (VIN editor: Original link was modified on 03-05-2018). Furthermore, panel screening for all reported mutations has been reported and may be most cost effective as long as one is assuring that the mutation found also causes disease in another breed and genetic counseling is provided.
All speakers on hereditary diseases during the DSAVA, FECAVA, and WSAVA sessions were invited to participate the panel discussion in this final session. This final session also offers an opportunity for attendees to pose specific questions to the speakers of the prior presentations.