Frequently Asked Questions (Canine)
What is DNA?
This acronym stands for Deoxyribo-Nucleic-Acid. It is a long, complex molecule carrying information in the form of a chemical code and dictates how the body and cells should form.
What is the best kind of sample to send for testing?
For animals under 10 weeks or not weaned, a blood sample is strongly recommend. Blood samples can be collected from the end of a clipped toenail and placed on filter paper or a cotton q-tip (bud).
For animals over 10 weeks we recommend a buccal swab sample. Please place samples in paper envelopes and avoid placing samples in plastic bags or containers. It is important to remember that the quality of the sample submitted to the lab is extremely important in the entire testing process.
Is the testing accurate?
We use PCR technology renowned for its clinical precision to ensure result accuracy; our laboratory team has been working together for almost two decades. Cheek swabs, blood samples and dewclaws provide a strong source of DNA, but if for whatever reason results are inconclusive after the first attempt (i.e. sample decomposition) we will always contact you to request a replacement sample at no extra cost.
Although the accuracy rate is extremely high, like all clinical testing there is a very small chance (less than .001%) of inaccurate identification of an allele. Many factors contribute to this so if you are not comfortable with your result or would like us to double check you may resubmit a fresh sample at no charge.
How do I collect a sample from my dog?
Please see our Canine Sample Collection page for more information about collecting blood and cheek samples.
How many swabs and what kind do I need to send?
Generally we need one swab for all testing. Our collection kits contain two swabs to ensure that we have enough template material and have an extra swab if needed. If you are running multiple tests on your dog it is NOT necessary to submit more than one sample.
Is there a minimum age for testing a puppy?
No, we can test from birth. But since puppy's mouths are small, it can be difficult to obtain a cheek sample from a swab. Therefore, for puppies under 10 weeks old, we recommend submitting a blood sample.
How much does it cost?
How can I pay for my testing?
Payment can be made by credit card, cheque, or electronic transfer. Cheques should be in English pounds and be made out to Animal Genetics UK. For credit card payments, you may either write your credit card number on the form or call us to make payment. We accept Visa and Mastercard.
How do I obtain my results?
Results are available by e-mail. All tests are certified free of charge, hard-copy certificates are sent soon after results are reported.
How long does testing take?
Results will be made available within 7-10 days of receipt of samples.
My test result came back as "No Result" -- what does this mean?
There was not enough DNA available on the sample for testing. There is no cost to retest -- send a new sample marked "Retest" and we will do a new test for you at no additional charge.
Do I need to test my dog for all of the genetic disorders?
No, most of the genetic disorders listed are breed specific - meaning that only a few breeds may actually have a certain disorder. The breeds that are affected by each disorder are listed on each disease page, and you may always contact us if you have any other questions.
Both parents of my dog are clear, can you issue a "Cleared by Parentage" certificate?
Animal Genetics will issue "Cleared by Parentage" certificates, however, all of the disorder testing must have been done by Animal Genetics, and a parentage verification must be performed. This is done to ensure the validity of the results we provide.
I have English Bulldogs, what should I test my dogs for?
Many people are interested in testing a dog to see if they carry either the "blue gene" or the "chocolate gene". The "blue gene" is really a misnomer, as the dilution gene dilutes all types of pigment.
I have an Australian Shepherd, and I would like to see if he is Red-Factored, or will produced red offspring. What should I test for?
In Australian Shepherds, the B-Locus determines if a black or blue dog will be able to produce red offspring. If the dog tests B/B, he does not have the red gene, and will never have red offspring. If the dog tests B/b, he does carry the red gene. Breeding to another carrier or to a red dog should produce red offspring. Dogs that are actually red will test b/b. If you wish to test your dog for the red gene, please mark the B-Locus box on your submission form. If you would like us to send you out any free submission kits, please click HERE.
I have a Black Labrador, and I would like to know if he will throw colour, what should I test for?
Labradors have several combinations of genes that play a role in coat colour. The first is the E-Locus. This gene determines if a dog can produce black pigment, or yellow pigment. The allele for black pigment is the "E" allele, and is dominant over the recessive yellow "e" allele. A black lab can be "E/E" or "E/e" and appear black. A dog that is "E/e" can pass on the gene for yellow coat colour.
Can you determine the breed of my dog?
No, there are no tests currently available to test dog breed.
Why is my sample "On Hold"?
There is a problem with the payment for the sample. Please make a payment or contact us for assistance.