Episode 49: How genomic sequencing is enhancing veterinary medicine

April 28, 2021
Kelsey Gustafson, Associate Editor

On this episode of The Vet Blast Podcast, Dr Christman is joined by Dr Kock, a market development manager at NEOGEN who discusses the nuts and bolts of genomic sequencing, including its unique role in preventive medicine. (Sponsored by NEOGEN).

Lindsey Kock, DVM, says she’s always been captivated by larger animals. She spent a few years in general practice but always had a passion for cattle reproduction. Kock also longed to understand how to use data to become a more successful practitioner. Now she’s using genomic sequencing to help enhance veterinary care.

“I always knew there was something more out there for me that was a little different,” she says. “I think what pulled me in was looking at where genomics was at in the beef space and even in dairy and what we were able to learn about animals and thinking about how we can take that herd mentality and apply it to an individual animal.”

On this episode of The Vet blast Podcast, Kock, market development manager at NEOGEN—talks with Adam Christman, DVM, MBA, about the significance of genomic sequencing, including how it can elevate veterinary practices and improve care.

“[Genomic sequencing] follows the trends in what we see in the human space,” she tells Christman. “In dogs, genomic testing is fairly non-invasive. The process involves collecting a cheek-swab sample—the DNA used lives inside the nucleus of that cells." From there, scientists break down the cell and extract the DNA and begin looking for individual changes called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which have historically been accomplished through arrays or BeadChip technology.

“[BeadChip technology] are targeted tests to say that within this whole genome of 2.9 billion base pairs, we want to look at these 20 markers or these 100 markers,” she says.

According to Kock, NEOGEN’s Igenity® Canine Wellness provides markers for those complex traits or cases that are common in daily practice. She also tells Christman that there has been a growing interest in using DNA-based data to understand canine nutritional and behavioral needs. “It’s not news to us,” she says. “It’s important to be able to tell them [clients] their pet needs a healthier bodyweight because they have an increased risk for Intervertebral disk disease (IVDD) or cancer.” Data like this not only provides insight on your patients, but can also be used to reinforce client recommendations—a win-win for veterinarians and pet owners.

Listen below to learn more about genomic sequencing and breed identification.