Does this mean they have or will develop the disease? How does this effect a breeding program or future litters?
A result of “At Risk” for any given condition is not a diagnosis, but an indicator that your dog may be at higher risk of developing symptoms. Keep in mind that genetics are often just one of several factors that may play into the development of any given condition.
Our health results are not diagnoses and should be used as part of a larger care plan for your dog.
To learn more about how to interpret your dog's Health Results, please see In the Health Section, what does it mean for my dog if he or she has zero, one, or two copies of a variant?
My dog is "At Risk" or a "Carrier." Should I breed them? How do I make sure my puppies are healthy?
When choosing to use At-Risk or Carrier dogs in a breeding program, the mechanism of inheritance, penetrance of the mutation, clinical manifestation of the mutation (phenotype), and the prevalence of the mutation within the breed should all be taken into account.
For diseases with an autosomal recessive mechanism of inheritance, breeding a carrier to a clear dog will produce ~50% of puppies as carriers, but no puppies “At-risk”. Breeding an “At-risk” dog to a clear dog will produce 100% carriers, but still no puppies “At-risk”. When given the option, it is not recommended to breed two at risk dogs, an at risk dog to a carrier, or a carrier to a carrier as these combinations will may produce at risk puppies.
Adam Boyko, our Chief Science Officer, explains this further in this Embark Insider Series video:Should I breed my Carrier or At-Risk Dog?.