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Medical Genetics

DNA, Medical Genetics, Penn VetOur medical geneticists are dedicated to the pursuit of clinical and laboratory diagnoses of inherited diseases and genetic predispositions in pediatric and adult companion animals. This knowledge will help to better understand disease processes in order to make sound breeding decisions and to offer the best management and control of the disorder in future generations.

The Veterinary Medical Geneticists at Ryan Hospital evaluate companion animals of all ages with suspected or confirmed genetic diseases. When a genetic disorder is diagnosed by routine or special laboratory tests, our veterinarians will offer management options best suited for your pet.

Equipped with years of experience and special training, we will investigate the disease process, determine its mode of inheritance, and assist with breeding programs to eliminate the disorder in the breed. 

All of this means healthier pups and kittens in generations to come.

The Section of Medical Genetics offers a unique pediatrics, genetics and reproduction clinic through the Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital. Clinics are conducted on Monday and Tuesday mornings and provide a dedicated time for hospital clients to meet with faculty and residents as well as fourth-year veterinary students.

The clinic is focused on the examination of animals with known or suspected inherited disorders, for which genetic counseling or special diagnostic studies may be required. The clinic also emphasizes pediatric preventive health programs and deals with evaluation of normal development of neonatal and growing puppies and kittens. It provides routine immunizations, treatment and prevention of parasitism as well as nutritional counseling and guidance.

Regarding reproduction, the clinic is a place for clients to discuss and explore all issues related to propagating successful, competent and sound breeding practices. Artificial insemination and assessment of fertility problems in both sexes of canine and feline species as well as advise regarding castration and spaying are offered.

This clinic is available to the public on a non-referral basis, and breeders and new puppy or kitten "parents" are encouraged to contact us. It also serves as a referral clinic for more complex disorders and problems related to pediatrics, genetics, and reproduction. Clients may also be referred here by their primary care veterinarian.

PennGen is a genetic testing facility operated through the Section of Medical Genetics at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine.

It is a collection of laboratories that coordinate as a not-for-profit unit, offering routine testing for a variety of genetic diseases, metabolic screening for inborn errors of metabolism, and a number of other diagnostic genetic services.

Resources include:

PennGen Diagnostic Services
Laboratory Contact
 Metabolic Screening, Fanconi Syndrome
and Urine Cystinuria Testing
215-898-3375
 DNA Testing, Blood Typing, Hematology 215-898-3375
 Genetic Skin Disease/Cytogenetics Laboratory DogDerm@vet.upenn.edu
 JDCM Testing 215-898-5703
JDCMtest@vet.upenn.edu