Animal DNA Testing

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Myostatin Deficiency "Bully" Test for Whippets

DDC Veterinary is pleased to offer breeders a fast, affordable and reliable DNA test for identifying the varying genotypes for Myostatin Deficiency. Breeders can use DNA testing as a tool to better manage their matings and make more informed selection decisions for future generations.

Commonly referred to as the "Bully gene" among Whippet breeders, Myostatin Deficiency is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait characterized by a heavy muscling effect among canines with 2 copies of the mutation affected.

Those canines having 1 copy of the mutation, carriers, can appear to be normal phenotypically but on average possess a greater potential for racing. The carrier canines will also likely pass on the Myostatin Deficiency Mutation 50% of the time, therefore a carrier/carrier mating will likely result in producing "Bully" affected pups in 25% of the offspring.

There are 3 possible genotypes reported for Myostatin Deficiency among Whippets:

  • Clear (those having 2 copies of the normal allele and appear to be normal).
  • Carrier (those having 1 copy of the normal allele and 1 copy of the Myostatin Deficiency Mutation and appear to be normal).
  • Affected (those having 2 copies of the Myostatin Deficiency Mutation and appear to be more heavily muscled).

Highlights regarding this new test include:

  • DNA samples can be collected easily at home using buccal (cheek) swabs.
  • Dogs can be DNA tested at ANY age.
  • The cost for testing is $58 (US) per canine with a $10 discount per test for 5 or more samples submitted at the same time.
  • DNA results are emailed within 5 business days of receipt of the samples.

For more information about how these test results can be used for registration, contact the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) or the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) or the Whippet Health Foundation.

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