Today’s advances in modern medicine can apply to more than just people.

Heartland Veterinary Clinic is now offering care to the molecular level by testing dogs’ DNA for breed types and genetic mutations that can cause health problems.

"We've had a lot of interest in it lately and for a couple of reasons. Some people like to do it because they're curious what breed their dog is," said Liz Gantt, practice manager of Heartland Veterinary Clinic, located at 1120 W. Kansas Ave. in McPherson.

While finding out the breed of a dog can be fascinating, it also comes with many benefits.

"The other part of DNA testing is it does a genetic analysis for a genetic mutation test for a lot of different things. For example, if certain breeds are pre-disposed to diseases, they can get an idea of if a dog is a carrier of that or not and what they should be concerned about," she added.

In years past, DNA testing has received some backlash, but animals at Heartland Veterinary Clinic do not leave the clinic to be tested.

"We draw the blood sample at the clinic — it's pretty easy — they're in and out of there. Then we send the blood sample to Royal Canin and it usually takes three weeks or so to get the results back," Gantt noted.

DNA testing costs about $115, and Gantt noted that testing can pay off in the long run.Royal Canin has DNA samples of over 250 breeds and over 140 disease mutations to use when checking a sample.

For those who buy a dog from a reputable breeder, they have the benefit of knowing their pet's genetic history.

"They have the information on the health of the parents and usually some genetic screening has been done on the adults to make sure they are a good candidate for breeding. When you adopt a rescue dog, you don't have the benefit of knowing any health history; so this is a great way to have that peace of mind while also helping a shelter pet who needs a home," Gantt added.

For more information, call 620-241-3662 or visit their website at or visit their Facebook page.

Contact Brooke Haas by email at or follow her on Twitter @ MacSentinel.