Episode 36: How and why to include DNA sequencing in feline wellness plans

January 7, 2021
Kelsey Gustafson, Associate Editor

On this episode of The Vet Blast Podcast, Dr Adam Christman is joined by Kaushalya Kuruppu, DVM, as they discuss the significance of feline genetic testing and how to incorporate it into wellness checks.

Genetic testing is used in everyday practice to identify risk factors for polycystic kidney disease, myelopathies, and some known coagulation disorders in cats. But now, more and more clinics are offering it as a part of their feline wellness plans, according to Kaushalya Kuruppu, DVM, chief veterinary officer of Basepaws.

In this latest episode of The Vet Blast Podcast, Kuruppu talks with Adam Christman, DVM, MBA, about the benefits of feline genetic testing. She also explains why and how offering this tool as a part of your patient’s wellness plan can improve their health and potentially extend their lifespan.

Genetic testing adds a lot of value for your client because it helps to initiate that often challenging discussion with cat owners about potential pet health issues. Some clinics offer genetic testing kits like Basepaws as either part of their wellness plan or as a separate add-on that clients can purchase in their retail section. “Our research team is [currently] developing a veterinary-specific test that we can do in the clinic and can get the report to share with your clients,” says Kuruppu.

It’s also important to note that just because a patient has or doesn’t have a health marker doesn’t mean that they will automatically develop the disease or that they’re out of the woods, warns Kuruppu. For example, “just because they are clear for kidney disease, doesn’t necessarily mean that they won’t get it based on their diet and other environmental habits,” explains Kuruppu.

Listen below for more on genetic testing and how to best incorporate this tool at your practice.