A genetic test is not a clinical diagnosis, but it might help your vet make a diagnosis.
Remember, Embark tests for genetic variants that associate with increased disease risk. Only your veterinarian can determine whether your dog actually has a clinical disease, which involves evaluation of your dog's presentation, history, clinical diagnostics such as bloodwork or radiographs, and yes, sometimes a genetic test. Your vet is trained to tie all of this information together to paint a clinical picture of your dog, which ultimately will inform their diagnosis.
If my dog is at increased risk for a genetic health condition, what's the likelihood that my dog develops a disease? It really depends on the condition. Some variants are known to have incomplete penetrance, meaning not all dogs at increased risk will go on to be diagnosed with the disease, or variable expressivity, meaning that a dog's clinical signs might fall somewhere along a spectrum of disease severity. But as we've noted above, visiting your dog's veterinarian is the first step into determining whether your dog might be showing signs of disease or not. You can email your dog's veterinarian a copy of your dog's health results as soon as they're available so that they can review the information and discuss them with you at your next appointment.
Your veterinarian may email Embark for further information regarding clinical presentation, penetrance, and additional testing recommended for an at risk dog. If you would like to have your veterinarian speak with us directly, please email us with written permission stating that it is ok for us to speak to your vet directly.
You can also contact us if you have any questions about the results
The question was " Is Embark a diagnostic test?" and from the above logic no test is a diagnostic test because no test is 100% specific and 100% sensitive. The basic answer is Embark is a diagnostic test but not a diagnosis then go into your explanation on how a diagnosis is made on signalment, history, physical exam findings, all diagnostic pieces (including genetic tests) to put together the clinical puzzle to diagnose a disease.
Article is closed for comments.