Frequently Asked Questions: general
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general | pra | clad/pra | csnb
1. What is the turnaround time for testing?
Turnaround time for testing depends on the test that has been requested, but it usually is within 10 business days of receipt of the sample. RCD2 PRA testing is an exception to this rule, as are tests that are done off site, Ichthyosis and Ataxia which are sent to France for analysis
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4. Why does OptiGen NOT certify pups classified as Normal by Parentage?
Theoretically, it would be correct to expect all descendents from a normal x normal mating to be normal for that exact genetic disease. This is true if both parents in EVERY mating are known to be genetically normal either by genetic testing or by "normal by parentage".
However, in order to confidently rely on this approach, you need to consider the requirements and risks:
Our recommendation to concerned breeders is to always test the dogs that will be bred. You can rely more on "normal by parentage" for pets or dogs that won't be bred. If pets or non-breeders are carriers, they won't have the disease.
Based on all these reasons, OptiGen does not issue certificates for "normal by parentage."
- You must start out testing all of your breeding stock and any new breeding stock brought into your kennel. You must not rely on anyone's "word" that a dog is normal.
- You must confirm parentage relationships for every descendent on an ongoing basis through parentage analysis. There is a very real rate of mistakenly identified parents, typically sires. We must stress to you that cases of faulty parentage happen to the very best of breeders. Accidents happen. Double matings happen. You can rely on "normal by parentage" only if you document actual parentage. Some breed clubs and registering organizations consider ongoing risk of non-parentage high enough to justify acceptance of only one generation of "normal by parentage."
- You must accept that there is a very low, but real rate of inaccuracy in parentage testing. Sometimes, more than one male can be considered the potential sire because their DNA is so similar. Sometimes, mistakes are made.
- Regarding PRA, we believe there is more than one form of inherited PRA in some breeds. While the prcd form of PRA (detected by OptiGen's test) is by far the cause of the majority of PRA cases, a small portion remains unidentified. There's nothing we can offer at present, but you need to be aware that a second type of PRA could show up.
- The frequency of new mutations causing an inherited disease is extremely rare, but this risk really can't be factored in for practical purposes.
- And finally, if a human error were made anywhere along the line - samples labeled incorrectly, dogs identified incorrectly, a lab or office error was made, several generations could pass before the error was recognized. Great attention to detail at every step is required.
5. Do animals need to be tattooed or microchipped in order to have the test?
To be tested by OptiGen, dogs do not need to have permanent identification. However, there are situations where permanent ID is needed.
1. Permanent ID is needed for many registries; if you wish to have your dog entered in a registry, please make sure that you are providing all the information required by that registry.
2. In order to receive OptiGen’s special litter rate for multiple samples, puppies must have either a microchip or tattoo to “prevent mistaken identity” whether accidental or deliberate. Microchips can be inserted in 8-week-old pups (see "How old must my dog be to have a genetic test?")
6. How accurate is a direct mutation test?
The OptiGen direct mutation tests are exactly accurate. This means that the test gives clear readings in the laboratory; there is no issue of interpreting what we see. Numerous controls--absolute measures of accuracy--are used with every sample we process. The results for each dog will never change with age and will be the same whenever the same version of the test is repeated.
7. How old must my dog be to have a genetic test?
A genetic – DNA – test on blood can be performed on very young animals, usually as soon as your dog is big enough for your veterinarian to obtain 1-3 mls of blood (less than one teaspoonful). The same instructions and test procedures apply to pups as to older dogs.
8. Do puppies from 2 OptiGen-tested normal parents need to be tested?
As long as there were absolutely no surprises or accidents with this breeding, and there were no mix-ups within or among litters, only puppies that will be used for breeding should be tested. However, OptiGen will not certify the status of untested pups.
9. Can you test previously frozen blood or semen?
Frozen blood can be used, but must be shipped frozen to OptiGen.
Frozen semen can be used for most tests. Please read the details for use and shipping at the link "Instructions and Information".
10. Will the test results change as my dog gets older?
No. DNA does not change with age.
11. Why do some OptiGen tests cost more than others?
The difference in the price of the tests reflects the amount of work that goes into developing each test, as well as the cost of licensing or patenting the test.
12. What’s the difference between a mutation test and a marker-based test?
Marker tests identify a gene or a particular allele by a “fingerprint,” or genotype, that is almost always associated with it. Specific patterns of markers are used to predict the presence or absence of a disease mutation.
Mutation tests identify the exact abnormality in the disease gene that results in the particular disease. This is a direct means to determine the genetic status of an individual animal.
13. Why does it take so long to get the results?
The test requires the careful completion of a number of steps. For each sample, 3 reactions are performed individually, and up to 96 samples can be processed at once. However, each of the 3 reactions requires about 11 hours to perform. This does not include the time it takes to extract the DNA from the blood samples, the “hands-on” time - preparing the samples for each reaction, or the analysis and recording of test results.
14. Why should I submit test requests on-line?
Written or phoned-in requests need to be manually entered into OptiGen’s computer, while all test requests submitted on-line go directly into the secured database. So submitting tests on-line prevents mistakes such as misspellings, lessens the amount of “pre-test” processing, and may actually increase turn-around time. In addition, you will get a price discount for entering on-line.
15. Do you want to learn more about OptiGen?
More information can be found on our site...just type our address... www.optigen.com in the URL line of your browser.