Pet Testing Reviews for Animal Genetics

Animal Genetics
From £13.00

At a Glance

Editor's Rating:
4 out of 5 stars
Customer Service:
4 out of 5 stars
Clarity of Results:
5 out of 5 stars
References Cited:
4.5 out of 5 stars
Value for Money:
3.5 out of 5 stars

Summary

My experience with Animal Genetics was a positive one. The results were delivered fairly quickly, were simple and easy to understand. I found the website, ordering and payment processes a little old-fashioned, but overall the experience was straightforward. If I needed to test for any other canine genetic disorders, I would use them again.

Full Review

Established in 1998, Animal Genetics UK provides a range of DNA testing services for animals across Europe from their base in St. Austell, Cornwall. Their list of services has continued to expand as new methods of processing genetic material have been developed. They’ve gained important insights from DNA sequencing projects like the Equine and Canine Genome Projects, which have allowed them to detect a number of inherited conditions. Their research department collaborates with leading universities and research institutions worldwide, and the company has worked with a number of organisations and agencies on conservation projects around the world.

Product Expectations

At first glance, the Animal Genetics website appeared rather outdated. Still, the layout of the homepage was simple, and divided into different categories for the different animals, including birds, dogs and horses. (Currently, they do not offer tests for cats.) Clicking on ‘Canine Testing’, I was brought to a page showing the different types of test: tests for colour and coat pattern, tests for inherited diseases, and DNA relationships and genetic profile tests.

I wanted to purchase the test for Primary Lens Luxation (PLL), and so I selected ‘Genetic Testing for Inherited Diseases’. Here, I was greeted by an impressive range of diseases I could test for (around 40 in total). Beside the name of each disease was a list of all the breeds which might suffer from it. As I knew which disease I wanted to test for, I scrolled down to PLL.

Clicking the link brought me to an information page about Primary Lens Luxation, which the previous page had told me affected a startling number of dog breeds. I read that PLL is a genetic disorder characterised by weakened fibres in the eye that hold the lens in place. Since these fibres are weak, they can allow the lens to slip out of place, which can be very painful and can potentially lead to blindness. As it is generally recessive, two parents carrying the gene have a 25% chance of passing it on to their offspring without suffering from it themselves.

There was a sample of what the results would look like: ‘PLL/PLL’ would indicate that my dog was affected, ‘PLL/n’ would indicate that she was a carrier, and ‘n/n’ would indicate that she was unaffected.

Ordering Experience

I could order a buccal (cheek) brush sample collection kit, or send in a blood or dewclaw sample. I chose to order a kit online and was taken to a page where I filled out my name and address details, so that it could be posted to me. I was also asked whether my dog was older than six weeks (which she was). This page was not secured by https, meaning that my name and address weren’t as secure as they might otherwise be. Surprisingly, though, I was not asked for any bank details at this point.

I received no confirmation of my order, but the DNA collection kit arrived in the mail in less than a week. It included instructions about how to take a sample, a fee schedule for the different disease tests, a leaflet about canine testing, a cheek brush (which resembled a mascara wand), an envelope for sending the sample back, and a submission form. Postage wasn’t prepaid.

I had to write my payment information on the submission form, and then post this back with my dog’s sample. This struck me as old-fashioned, and didn’t seem particularly secure, since my payment details could get lost in the mail.

The next day, I received a payment confirmation from WorldPay on behalf of Animal Genetics, though there was no confirmation of receipt from Animal Genetics itself.

The Results

Eight days after receiving my payment confirmation, I was sent an email containing my results. This was a very simple table with my dog’s name, breed, and whether she was affected with Primary Lens Luxation, carrying one copy of the PLL mutation, or completely clear (shown below).

Click to see larger
My dog’s results.

My dog’s results.

There was also a ‘Result Guide’ below. This made clear that, since my dog scored ‘n/n’, she had tested negative, meaning she would not suffer from the condition or pass it on to her offspring.

Summary

My experience with Animal Genetics was a positive one. The results were delivered fairly quickly, were simple and easy to understand. I found the website, ordering and payment processes a little old-fashioned, but overall the experience was straightforward. If I needed to test for any other canine genetic disorders, I would use them again.