Testing of dogs: Obesity in Labrador and Flat-Coated Retrievers

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Obesity in Labrador and Flat-Coated Retrievers

Obesity is a common condition that affects a large percentage of pets and humans. Although the basis of obesity is a high-calorie diet and lack of exercise, it may also have a genetic component.

A mutation has been identified in Labrador and Flat-Coated retrievers that correlates with body weight, adiposity (increased fat tissue) and greater motivation to eat. This is the c.561_575del mutation in the POMC gene. This mutation is thought to disrupt the action of two peptides (β-MSH and β-endorphin) that are potent regulators of energy metabolism and appetite. Because of the impaired appetite control, dogs with this mutation are more prone to overfeeding and thus to weight gain and adiposity. Whether or not obesity develops is the result of a combination of several factors (genetics, food intake), so it is a multifactorial condition.

Interestingly, the frequency of the mutation is more than three times higher in the population of assistance dogs. The reason for this is that dogs with a greater appetite are selected for this purpose, which is used to motivate training.



Raffan, E., Dennis, R.J., O'Donovan, C.J., Becker, J.M., Scott, R.A., Smith, S.P., Withers, D.J., Wood, C.J., Conci, E., Clements, D.N., Summers, K.M., German, A.J., Mellersh, C.S., Arendt, M.L., Iyemere, V.P., Withers, E., Söder, J., Wernersson, S., Andersson, G., Lindblad-Toh, K., Yeo, G.S., O'Rahilly, S. : A deletion in the canine POMC gene is associated with weight and appetite in obesity-prone Labrador Retriever dogs. Cell Metab 23:893-900, 2016. Pubmed reference: 27157046

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Usual turnaround time: 12 business days
1 test price: 56.00 $ without VAT