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Old 12-20-2012, 10:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
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The Vetgen results are in and...

Prior to having his ears cropped, I sent out two ELISA tests. The first test came back at 47% (higher end of Carrier range) and the second was sent out due to recheck the first test (the lab told me their were clots in the blood originally sent out), but the second test came back at 40% with no issue. With the second test, I also sent out a full blood profile to make sure my boy would do well with anesthesia.

The blood chemistry as well as CBC came back normal and no other health issues were apparent. I understood that the ELISA test were notoriously incorrect, but I was worried about clotting during surgery. I used them as a baseline.

Well... the VetGen results are in and...

Rou is a Carrier... So should I have just gone by the ELISA tests this entire time? I really just paid for and had VetGen confirm what I already knew (of thought I knew). Although I don't feel this to be a waste by any means, I was wondering if the ELISA actually told the truth, and VetGen confirmed suspensions.

I receive his certificate in the mail either tomorrow or Saturday.

As far as I know, his sire was Clear and his dam most likely a Carrier.

Last edited by Vormund15; 12-20-2012 at 10:39 AM..
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Just my two cents and I'm not a vet, but you probably got lucky with the ELISA test. From what I read years ago and heard from Dr. Dodd was the whole reason Dobes have so much VWD in the lines is that breeders were relying on the ELISA test and breeding based on that. Turns out it was not effective for our breed. Dogs we thought were clear we not clear and now we have a whole lot of issues with it in the breed. I just got into Dobes when he spoke and it was back 97 or so...so I may not remember 100% correctly. I do know that the ELISA test is not 100% accurate to determine VWD status in our breed though. There are some good articles on the Vetgen site.

And if I recall correctly, the ELISA test is a snapshot of your dog's clotting ability that day. But isn't to be used to determine VWD overall status of the Doberman.

This is interesting also
http://www.vetgen.com/canine-ref-assay.html
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I believe it. Sending out the ELISA was quicker and cheaper for myself, however I want to be sure since I love my pup and have the "need to know" mentality. I do not plan to breed my boy, but now I know.

I hope it doesn't make me a crazy owner for sending in 2 ELISAs out prior to the ear crop, but if something were to happen during surgery I would never forgive myself. But everything worked out fine in the end.

As long as he is not truly affected I am at ease.

Has this happened to anyone else?
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I do bloodwork before any surgery and I'm pretty sure that includes clotting time. Then again maybe I'm a crazy owner too But if I can get info beforehand, I opt to do it. It surely can't hurt!!

It's also nice to know if you ever have an ER and you can quickly tell them he's not affected
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The tests are just different and should be used for different purposes. An Elisa or a clotting time both measure the dog's level of vonWillebrand's clotting factor or the possibility the dog will bleed excessively at the time the test is performed, and as such can be used to judge if surgery for that dog is safe (in terms of bleeding) at the time the test is done. So they are often done to check a dog's bleeding status right around the time a surgery is scheduled if there is a question about the dog's bleeding status. Of course, the level of the factor goes up and down, so a dog can look like it could potentially have a bleeding problem one day, but not a week later when you repeat the test.

That is the reason those tests are considered to be inaccurate (assuming correct collection and transportation of the test sample, which a whole 'nother issue)--but it is mostly the dog's variability that is giving the different results. Bleeding time and an Elisa test just do not give you the information you need to know if you want to know the dog's genetic makeup. vonWillebrand's is not the only reason a dog might bleed excessively, however--a bleeding time can pick up problems that the others won't.

A test like the VetGen test determines whether or not the dog has two normal genes for vonWillebrand (clear), one abnormal gene and one normal gene (trait) or both abnormal genes (affected). Complicating the issue, of course, is that the Doberman version of vonWillebrand's is relatively mild--even a dog with only abnormal genes may not have a problem with bleeding. But it is only with a test like the VetGen that one can get the information needed to know the possibility of vonWillebrand's showing up in any offspring of a particular dog with a specific partner.
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:57 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rouleaux View Post
Rou is a Carrier... So should I have just gone by the ELISA tests this entire time? I really just paid for and had VetGen confirm what I already knew (of thought I knew). Although I don't feel this to be a waste by any means, I was wondering if the ELISA actually told the truth, and VetGen confirmed suspensions.
If I was in your shoes I would have done the VetGen also, on top of the ELISA tests. I've just heard so much about how inaccurate ELISA is that I wouldn't want to risk it.
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Old 12-20-2012, 06:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I agree with everyone else about VetGen being a good idea.

As someone else said, when dogs are puppies they typically have much more vwd factor and that also tends to decrease as the dog ages. Since Roux is a carrier it wouldn't have mattered either way, but in this day and age the ELISA test is considered unreliable. With VetGen you know for sure.

BUT, I can tell you that on 2 occasions when I've taken my dogs in to a vet unfamiliar with Dobermans (our regular vet was closed), both vets INSISTED on doing an ELISA test because "all Dobermans have vwd". Having those DNA tests from VetGen was a pretty big shocker for them.
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