Basepaws adds over 80 genetic markers to its Cat DNA test

dvm360dvm360 January 2022
Volume 53
Issue 1

The latest upgrade improves the at-home test to screen for 114 genetic markers.

Editor's note: This article was revised as of 7/20/22 to reflect an updated number of genetic markers that the test screens for.

Basepaws has refined its at-home Breed + Health Cat DNA test with the addition of 80 new genetic markers added to the test, now screening for 114 genetic markers and delivering more data for pet owners and veterinarians alike.

"The features included in this upgrade will advance pet parents' understanding of their cats, as well as provide them with actionable knowledge to share with their veterinarian for planning individualized, timely care that optimizes the health and wellbeing of their beloved companions," said Yuliana Mihaylova, PhD, Basepaws Head of Research and Development, in a company release.

The upgraded digital report for the Basepaws Cat DNA delivers 64 known feline genetic health markers, which includes new markers for feline ophthalmological conditions and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). According to the press release, although other companies test for the well-known markers associated with HCM, Basepaws will be the very first to screen for additional, recently discovered HCM-related markers, namely mutations in the MYH7 gene, which is also known to have an association with HCM in humans. It also includes genetic markers for blood type, a useful tool in supporting life-saving medical decisions, such as when a cat needs an emergency blood transfusion. What's more, the report also covers more than 50 genetic trait markers, which can help owners learn more about some of the genes and mutations responsible for their cat's unique physical appearance.

Additionally, the report provides an analysis of a cat's DNA sample against the 21 different pedigree breeds in the Basepaws reference panel to help pet parents better understand their cat's breed composition. Finally, the report includes results from the Basepaws Cat Oral Health Test that screens for the most common conditions that are known to impact a cat’s oral health, including periodontal disease and tooth resorption. The report allows pet owners to monitor their cats’ oral microbiome at home and proactively seek veterinary care based on their current risk for having an active dental disease.

According to the release, every purchase of a Basepaws Breed + Health Cat DNA test after November 15, 2021, will include the updated features. Existing customers who have used the service before November 15 can still avail themselves of the new features by purchasing an upgraded report version for a small fee. However, this fee is waived for existing Basepaws Whole Genome Sequencing Test customers.

Basepaws says it will continue to release upgrades for additional markers that are discovered through its internal research program in the future.

“The future of pet health begins with a better understanding of the building blocks of life," said Ernie Ward, DVM, CVFT, in a prepared statement. "Basepaws is leading the next generation of diagnostic testing that will allow us to prevent disease, enhance quality of life, and extend longevity."

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