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DNA Testing and Genetics

Visit the following links to learn more about genetic testing and how hereditary disease can be eliminated from domestic dogs via DNA testing.

DNA Testing and Domestic Dogs

Genetic Testing of Domestic Dogs

Eliminating Genetic Disease

**NOTE: Complete health testing for breeding dogs should include more than just DNA (Embark/Wisdom) testing. 

A simple DNA test is not sufficient enough to determine if the breeding pair is afflicted with Hip/Elbow dysplasia, Cardiac problems (murmurs, Inherited Ventricular Arrhythmia), Thyroid Disease, Eye anomalies (juvenile cataracts), or any other genetic problem that is easily identified by completing these tests through the Orthopedic Foundation of Animals. If your breeder is not doing these tests, do not give them a down payment, and find a breeder who is. 


A word on Inherited Ventricular Arrhythmia (IVA)

Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies should be initially 24-hour Holter tested between 4-8 months. Dogs are considered to be "affected" when the result is greater than 50 Ventricular Premature Complexes (VPC). Less than 50 VPCs is considered a common benign abnormality. The genetic variant for IVA in Rhodesian Ridgebacks is present in greater than 80 percent of the current population. 


Based on this information, we have to assume that there is another major genetic factor contributing to dogs that are affected and are deceased before 36 months of age. At this time, a 24- hour Holter test is the best path forward to ensure potential breeding dogs are not affected. The current DNA test is not a reliable tool to use for breeding decisions.



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