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Genetic Diseases in Mixed Breeds…Who Knew?

Study Shows both Purebreds and Mixed Breeds Can Inherit Genetic Diseases

If you still watch any amount of TV commercials, you've probably seen the Ancestry DNA ads that show a man who thought he was Scottish, turn out to be German. Or the woman, who for her lifetime assumed she was Pacific Islander, but really, her DNA concludes she’s 64% Native American. I’m sure you could perform similar genetic testing to determine whether your large, black and tan pooch is a 50-50 German Shepherd-Siberian Husky mixture, or is 25% Doberman,and 75% Newfoundland. But why bother? You already know that he’s 100% loveable.

If you are among the 53% majority of dog owners in America that have a mixed-breed as part of the family, you may think your pup is immune to genetic health conditions. And while it’s true that mixed breeds are generally less prone to disease, a massive scientific study of 100,000+ dogs, and more than 150 genetic disease variants, revealed some pretty interesting findings. This new study show both purebreds and mixed breeds can inherit genetic diseases, mostly affecting the vision, nervous and circulatory systems. What’s more, mixed-breeds are more likely to be carriers of genetic conditions than purebred dogs.  The study's findings are available through an on-line database aimed at providing veterinarians with oodles of scientific data to help them better treat your pet. However, if you want a more user-friendly experience to determine your dog’s risk, by breed (pure or mixed), try Toto’s Breed Risk Calculator, which will not only help you identify your breed’s predisposition for certain diseases, but also what to expect in average lifetime medical costs for that breed.

Let’s face it. When it comes to mixed breed vs. purebred, it’s really a matter of personal preference, or in a lot of cases..indifference. No matter what, that four-legged canine companion is called man/woman’s best friend for a reason. And once he’s become part of the family, you want to make sure gets the love and care he needs. That’s why pet health insurance is so important, so that no matter what comes your way, you both are covered.