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Health Conditions

Learn about common genetic health conditions in dogs. Find out how DNA testing can determine whether a dog will be at risk for genetic health conditions such as Canine Ichthyosis, PRA, and IVDD.

A woman holds her dog on her lap while speaking with a male veterinarian wearing blue scrubs about her dog's MDR1 drug sensitivity.
Health Conditions

How to Talk to Your Veterinarian About Your Dog’s MDR1 Result

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By knowing your dog’s genetic risk for MDR1 drug sensitivity, you and your veterinarian can take steps to make sure that your dog doesn’t have a bad reaction to certain drugs. What is MDR1? Multidrug Resistance 1 (MDR1) is caused by a genetic variant in the ABCB1 gene. Dogs who have this genetic variant are...

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Eye screenings
Health Conditions

Canine Eye Screenings Explained

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Genetics is part of the puzzle when it comes to canine health testing prior to breeding. An eye screening exam is one of the most common physical (phenotype) health tests for dogs. Responsible breeders aiming to produce healthy puppies will conduct annual eye testing on both parents prior to breeding. Testing both parents is a...

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Health Conditions

Fanny’s Unique Story About Vitiligo in Dogs

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Fanny (@fannyasfresh) is a Bernese Mountain Dog who tells a unique story about vitiligo in dogs. Fanny might have a rare condition called vitiligo. Her owner shared on Instagram that Fanny’s black fur started changing color when she was 3 or 4 years old. The color change started on her head, gradually at first, and...

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White dog with canine ichthyosis
Health Conditions

Canine Ichthyosis: What Can Genetic Testing Tell Us?

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Does your dog have serious dandruff, excessive scaling, or cracked skin? It may be due to a skin disorder called canine ichthyosis. While ichthyosis in dogs may be cosmetically unappealing, it may also cause considerable discomfort and lead to other systemic concerns. There is considerable ongoing research into skin disorders with both known and unknown...

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Coagulopathies: Why DNA test your dog
Health Conditions

Coagulopathies: Why DNA test your dog

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Bleeding abnormalities  (coagulopathies) in dogs can occur for a variety of reasons: Infection, organ failure, toxins—or they can be caused by an inherited abnormality in the coagulation pathway. Although some breeds are known to have a higher incidence of blood disorders, coagulopathies can affect breeds of all types and sizes—from Doberman Pinschers to Shetland Sheepdogs,...

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labrador retriever
Health Conditions

Progressive Retinal Atrophy in Dogs Explained

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Embark’s mission is to end preventable disease in dogs. As part of this work, we are committed to providing expert guidance to breeders about genetic health conditions and how the risk of developing them can differ between variants and among breeds. One such group of conditions is progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). Embark currently tests for...

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Your Dog has a High Chance of Low ALT. Should You Worry?
Health Conditions

Your Dog Has a High Chance of Low ALT. Should You Worry?

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Every Embark test screens ALT activity (via a GPT genetic variant)– one of several values your veterinarian measures on routine blood work to gauge your dog’s liver health. To best leverage your dog’s GPT result in his or her health care, it’s important to understand how your vet can use this clinical tool to establish a baseline...

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German Shepherd Dog
Health Conditions

Is Your Dog at Risk for DM? What the Latest Genetic Research Can Tell You

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What is Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)? A disease of mature dogs, Degenerative Myelopathy(DM) is a progressive, degenerative disorder of the spinal cord that causes muscle wasting and gait abnormalities. Affected dogs do not usually show signs until they are at least 8 years old when the nerves that supply the hind limbs begin degenerating.  At first,...

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low-rider dog, CCDY
Health Conditions

Genetic Testing for Type I IVDD in Dogs

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Genetic health screening with Embark includes testing for the variant associated with Type I Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD), often referred to as a slipped or herniated disc. Type I IVDD is most common in “long and low” breeds like Dachshunds, Corgis, and Basset Hounds. However, many dogs of all shapes and sizes can be at...

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Exercise Induced Collapse in Dogs
Health Conditions

Exercise-Induced Collapse in Dogs

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Exercise-Induced Collapse (EIC) in dogs is a common neurologic/brain and spinal cord disorder that can cause muscle weakness in dogs, leading to a sudden collapse during otherwise normal puppy play sessions. In a 2008 survey, owners reported that episodes were more likely to occur during times of excitement or, less commonly reported, high environmental temperatures....

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